Hazard Mitigation Forum

Dear BSMAAC and Big Sur community members:

Monterey County Office of Emergency Services is hosting a Hazard Mitigation forum at the Big Sur Grange Hall on January 16th from 6pm to 8pm.

Join us to help your community be hazard ready!

Monterey County is updating its current (2016) Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. In compliance with FEMA’s published requirements and procedures for local hazard mitigation plans in 44 CFR §201.6(c)(1), the public outreach strategy for hazard mitigation will provide a mechanism for coordination and accountability among the jurisdictions, as we seek to enhance community engagement and education.

Monterey County is a community with diverse concerns and needs. Hazards such as, fires, drought, floods, landslides and severe weather are just a few hazards that cannot be prevented. Come join us on our hazard mitigation community event to learn more about creating strategies to reduce disaster loses and foster community resiliency.

You can register to attend here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/monterey-county-hazard-mitigation-community-forum-district-5-tickets-86190822069

Christmas Story — Esselen tribe to get their land back…

…At least some of it. “Although the history of Native American indigenous peoples have unquestionably been filled with hardship, the Esselen Tribe in California—maybe the smallest native tribe in the country—has perhaps struggled the most. But now, thanks to a historic deal, it has gotten its land back.

“Forcibly converted to Christianity by Spanish missionaries, pulled into missions for tutoring, and exploited for forced labor, the number of remaining descendants from their tribe located in Big Sur is so small that in 2010, the Bureau of Indian Affairs denied their request to be recognized as a tribe and given tribal status.

“Recently, however, California authorities managed to raise $37 million for 21 different cultural and city projects, including a $4.5 million grant to buy a large tract of ancestral Esselen land as part of the Esselen Tribal Lands Conservation Project.

“The 1,199-acre ranch, once owned by a Swedish man named Alex Adler, runs along the Little Sur Coast near the Central California shore where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise above the Pacific Ocean.

Tracts of old-growth oak and redwoods, grasslands, and chaparral cover the area where the Spanish missionaries first encountered the Esselen during their travels north through California. Thanks to the grant, the Esselen are no longer landless; the forests and fields where their ancestors lived are theirs once more to continue the traditions of the past.

“This is one of the first times a tribe has gotten its land back,” Tom Little Bear Nason told Monterey County Now. “We consider the place sacred and we intend to protect it. We will use it to preserve our traditions.”

“Nason, who heads the Esselen Tribe of Monterey, a nonprofit set up in June to accept ownership of the ranch, also added that there will be no commercialization of the land and their culture, although they do plan to allow small tour groups to visit and learn from their settlement a few times a year.”

For the rest of this article click on: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/smallest-native-californian-tribe-gifted-their-own-land/

Special Screening — short film on Big Sur, responsibility, and tourism

The screening will begin at 7:30 sharp. 
The film is about twenty minutes long. 

Directly following the screening will be a public Q&A session with the film makers along with a panel of selected community members –about the film, the future of Big Sur, the interaction with visitors, responsible travel and more!

*This is a FREE screening*

The event starts at 7pm
The screening starts at 7:30
Come as you are. 
Tea, coffee, and light snacks will be provided 

BSK MIA & New Voices Article

I apologize for my lack of blogging this week, but several things converged at once, and since Saturday, I have had to be selfish. First I was sick and ended up sleeping most of three days. Then, I had a deadline to make for Voices (see below), and finally, the winter power issues have hit, which means no internet, among other things.

I have recovered from that nasty bug (thanks in part to the Elderberry tincture I made last year), I made my deadline, and will give you the lead-in and a link below, and today, I am, hopefully, resolving my power issues, by making sure my batteries are fully charged after having replenished them with two gallons of distilled water.

From Voices of Monterey Bay:

“Big Sur is the greatest meeting of land and sea. It is where the mountains are constantly marching to the ocean. It is a place to which the word “iconic” has been applied much too often. It is a place that has been “discovered” and Instagramed into a cliché.

We have come to experience ‘LA-type traffic‘ here in paradise, and thus, we are in need of a plan.

Just in the last few days the magazine Fodor’s Travel put Big Sur on its 2020 NO GO list. It is in good company, along with Bali, Barcelona and 10 other popular destinations. With its beauty and all the promotion it gets, the chickens ’have come home to roost,’ according to Fodor’s.

Big Sur is past the point of needing to be ‘managed.’ Any plan that attempts to do this ‘managing’ will be, by necessity, complex and difficult. In the end, it is Mother Nature who determines much of what happens here. That is the allure and the draw. We humans must be careful to consider the needs of this place — her environment —  before our own. And a proposed plan meant to tackle the problem acknowledges that Big Sur’s terrain and remote location make solutions even more difficult.”

Please take a few minutes and read about the Traffic Demand Management Plan and the formation of the Byways Organization that will be charged with designing and implementing any possible solutions to our highway issues here: https://voicesofmontereybay.org/2019/11/21/traffic-demands-management-plan-for-the-highway-1-corridor-in-big-sur/

Partnership to address Tourist Impact

Dear Friend of Big Sur,

The Community Association of Big Sur (CABS) has launched a private public partnership to address tourism and its impact in Big Sur. In partnership with the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and their provision of a seed grant to begin the process, CABS has hired Costas Christ of Beyond Green Travel to lead the effort. 

However, we need to raise more funding in order to not only complete the analysis and planning process, but to also test out recommended mitigations. 

CABS is proud to announce that the Monterey County Weekly in partnership with the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation have chosen our non-profit and this project to be highlighted in the Monterey County Givesfundraising campaign.

See link at below photo to go to the Monterey County Gives link to make a donation.

Your contribution will be matched by these sponsors, enabling our community to do this important work to benefit generations to come.
 
With gratitude,
Butch Kronlund, ED, Community Association of Big Sur
“Our community can design innovative solutions to ensure that tourism benefits businesses, visitors, residents and our fragile coastline.”Butch Kronlund, ED, Community Association of Big Sur
Donate to McGives & help Big Sur complete and implement a sustainable tourism plan.www.CABigSur.orgwww.BigSurPledge.org

To get to MC Gives to donate, click https://www.montereycountygives.com/nonprofit/community-association-of-big-sur/

Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur

Big Sur Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan Update
And A Request for Input

Dear Big Sur Community Members,

Many thanks to all the community members who participated in meeting with Costas Christ of Beyond Green Travel during his visit in August.  CABS has now entered into a contract with Beyond Green Travel to move forward on a Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur. To learn more about this process, go to the “Initiatives” page on our website.

An important component of this work is collecting data on traffic.  CABS is coordinating with traffic engineers, Cal Trans and TAMC to consolidate existing data sets and reports on traffic volume as a preliminary step to establish where we are going in terms of gathering data for overall vehicle impact on the Highway. 

Residents from up and down the coast have expressed that capturing traffic counts in real time, 24-7, 365 days a year for multiple years is an important place to start. Three locations stand out as initial gathering locations: Mal Paso Creek Bridge, Nacimiento Rd and Highway 1 intersection and the southern county line. 

We believe that the residents who travel the highway on a regular basis may have insights that could inform the scope of this study. You can help us with the following question. Aside from these 3 locations, above, where else along the Highway or side roads would data on traffic volume be of value?

Please email your input on this question to info@cabigsur.org

Thanks!
CABS

Tourist Tuesday, 8/27/19 — Emergency Response hampered by tourist traffic at Bixby Bridge

Today, I am going to forego my planned post on the “Invisible Costs of Tourism” to talk about a very real cost that many of us have been warning about for some time — that is traffic jams at Bixby and the impact on emergency response times. These costs are not monetary, they are to life and limb. I admit, I am biased. I lost my leg in an auto accident, and nearly lost my life. I am VERY aware that in emergency responses, time is a critical factor.

Medical Emergency on Highway One hampered by tourist traffic jam and road construction at Bixby Bridge.

There was a head-on collision at Big Creek yesterday, with several people injured, one critically. The CHP dispatcher wrote this:

12:07 PM8[24] A27-014 HEAVY TRAFF AT BIXBY / DOWN TO 1 LN / REQ 1141 BE ADVSD

Fortunately, Big Sur Fire is south of Bixby. Thankfully, Chief Matt Harris, and his supportive volunteer board is cross-training ALL volunteers not only for fire fighting, but for cliff-rescue as well as EMTs. They needed both for this incident, as is often the case. These are the men and women we count on, who are also there for our tourists. Please consider a donation to: http://Bigsurfire.org It is a completely voluntary organization dependent on donations and grants.

For the critical patient, our military neighbor, Fort Hunter Liggett, sent a medical helicopter. He was not able to land at Big Creek due to fog, so he landed at the Hermitage. Big Sur Fire, MCSO, AMR met him there and transferred the patient from the ambulance to the helicopter. Good job all, and I probably speak for the entire coast when I wish the patient a speedy and full recovery.

I would just like to note that all of these people involved are professionals, only one of which is not paid. Marcus Foster, and Big Sur Fire, I hold you in great regard. Thank you.

I should add, that in addition to the traffic problems at Bixby, there is currently road construction going on in the area which exacerbates the problem.

Photos by Brendon Shave:

Marcus Foster of Big Sur Fire

Vehicle over cliff — Big Sur

Sunday morning update: The driver of the vehicle has not been found and the search was called off as of 10 pm last night.

Here is an update:

Detail Information.
7:13 PM12[32] B27-068 1097 W/H70 NEG VISUAL ON VEH – UNK IF OCCPD
6:52 PM11[28] [Rotation Request Comment] 1039 CALIFORNIA TOW HD 831-424-8615
6:45 PM10[25] [Notification] [CHP]-PER MTYCOM/ NOW POSS WATER RESCUE / STATE PARKS 97 / SUBJ IN WATER WAVING THEIR ARMS / UNK IF FISHERMAND OR OCCPT OF THE VEH / COAST GAURD IS STARTING [Shared

Incident: 00367 Type: Trfc Collision-1141 Enrt Location: 55000 Sr1 Loc Desc: SR1 Lat/Lon: 36.125445 -121.637867 

Vehicle over Cliff about 100 ft down — this is near Esalen.

Detail Information
6:26 PM6[15] H70 ABOUT TO LIFT OFF, WILL ADVS ETA WHEN IN THE AIR
6:25 PM5[13] 1039 AIR OPS, ENRT NOW
6:23 PM4[10] MONTEREY COMM HAS FIRE ENRT, REQ H70 IF AVAILABLE
6:15 PM3[6] 1039 S4/ CPD
6:14 PM2[3] RED VEHICLE