Prescribed Burns in LPNF

Los Padres to begin implementing prescribed fire activities

GOLETA, Calif.— Los Padres National Forest officials today announced plans to begin implementing their annual prescribed burning operations on the Forest over the next few months. When favorable weather conditions are present, specific project locations and dates will be shared on the Forest’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The objectives of the projects are to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to people and communities, create conditions which offer a safer and more effective wildfire response, foster more resilient ecosystems, and minimize the effects of large wildfires on the landscape.

When implementing these projects, fire managers follow a burn plan that outlines the “prescription” or environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation and relative humidity that need to be present before the project begins. When the criteria are met, crews implement, monitor, and patrol each burn to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by managers. The prescribed fire program will continue through the winter and spring months as permitted by weather and other environmental factors.

Prescribed fires including both understory and pile burning are intended to reduce the amount of vegetation, such as needles, small plants, brush, and small trees which can carry fire from the forest floor into the treetops. Studies and experience have shown that prescribed fires stimulate the growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs that provide food for deer, mountain quail and other wildlife.

The ignition of all prescribed burns is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment and appropriate conditions. Prescribed burn planning and execution are closely coordinated with the National Weather Service and Air Quality Management Districts in order to manage smoke production and minimize impacts as much as possible.

When these burns occur, information signs will be posted along the roadways to alert the public to the burning activity and subsequent visible smoke in the area.

For questions on the Los Padres National Forest prescribed fire program, please contact Fuels Management Specialist Rebecca Dykes at (805) 961-5764.

Lost Dog – Limekiln State Park

”This is my girl Poppy my therapy dog. She ran away on 12/11/19 at Limekiln State Park Big Sur California. She is a friendly dog. A medium size Terrier Pitbull mix. Short white fur and spots Approximately 3 years old. She has a basic chip.“ She was lost from campsite 15 near the bridge to the beach. He owner is on FB. Randy Swank is Poppy’s human’s name.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2019

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

– John Henry Jowett (1864-1923)

I may not have time to blog for the next few days, and in case that turns out to be true, I wanted to take this moment in time to wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving Day. May it be filled with love, joy, friends and family. Take a few moments each day to fill your soul with the gratitude you truly feel. Blessed be.

Jo-Ann always put together such a beautiful Thanksgiving table. I miss this
Thanksgiving Morning on top of the World by Brendon Shave

Ode to Lana & Meet Lady, the new addition

Before getting into today’s post, I would like to share some words I posted on Face Book about Lana Weeks passing. She was and will continue to be, an amazing lady and a big part of this coast.

“There are few people in Big Sur who have not been touched by this lady’s grace, compassion, and love the past few years. I am but one of the many she touched. I admired her so much and gained such wisdom just from knowing her. Selfless in her giving and support of Big Sur Fire. We will all miss her guiding influence, but she will live on in all of us whom she touched in so many ways. God Speed, Lana, and I will meet up with you when the time comes, and we can share stories again.”

This is a reminder to us elders…we need to honor not only those of us who remain, but those who will take our place. We need to make sure that this legacy — our legacy — continues. Let us make sure that the caring and compassion we envision lingers long after our bodies depart.

I know, heavy, right? But the love and beauty Lana represents continues in the babies — human and four-legged. This is the story of another being of light who came into my life as Lana was leaving it — another being was joining our Big Sur family — a fur baby.

Thursday, our dear Chica, Elsa Rivera, posted a photo of the cutest puppy on Face Book. She had been abandoned and needed a home. I have a thing for abandoned dogs. This is the photo that capture my heart and several others.


The story I have been told is that apparently, a couple had picked her up at the Rez, and on the way home decided they really couldn’t take her to their home, so they stopped at Loma Vista Shell and left her with Katy (?). From there she eventually ended up at Blaze and then with me, by about 8 pm. First nights with puppies are typically rough ones, particularly ones with no litter mates or mamas to assist. Thursday night was no different. Brendon introduced us, then went home, leaving his dog, Bella, also. First night…I have 3 and I am supposed to let them all “work it out.” Right…I also wanted to be able to sleep.

C’mon, Dad, do I really have to share my bed with this newbie?

No, she did not. After trying to get some sleep with Missy on my bed, and Lady trying her best to climb into the bed, I gave up and took the puppy into the office (where I have a spare twin) and that is how we all got some sleep that night.

And this, is one from Friday as she gets used to her new home, bed, and pals. I just happened to have this new, never-used bed. I suspect she will outgrow it.

It was a busy day for all of us as the pack order was established. Missy has always acknowledged me as the pack leader, and she has never let anyone challenge that. She is my second in command, and she worked all day making sure that pack order was established. Lady lives, Bella is happy, I am in charge and all the girls are in their places. It was a good first day for all of us.

Lady down for the night
Bella, settled in for the night
Missy, the ever active Border Collie, keeping an eye out for a mouse or ?? while the others slept. She finally has a job that will REALLY keep her busy — training the new puppy.

Slice of Life on the South Coast: The challenges of simple errands and illegal campfires

My latest article for Voices of Monterey Bay is out. Here is the introduction:

I had an appointment on a Wednesday late last month with the Veterans Administration optometrist. It had been a while — six years, it turned out. I needed new glasses. It takes me two and one-half to three hours one way from Big Sur due to road construction and traffic. It is hard to do a round trip in a single day anymore.

The next day was the annual luncheon for the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. This is when they lay out the annual report for the current year, and the business plan for the next year. I find it valuable to understand the goals of this organization, how it’s intended to achieve them, and how MCCVB money is obtained and spent. Friday was the Democratic Women of Monterey County’s brunch with Adam Schiff. That afternoon, I had a second appointment with the VA optometrist.

Rather than fight traffic for three days, I stayed in town for those three nights so that I could accomplish all that I wanted to. which meant I only had to fight the traffic home on a single day; unfortunately it was the  Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Sigh. I vowed to relax and enjoy it — but I couldn’t relax. People would suddenly pull over with no warning, no signaling, making everyone behind them slam on their brakes. At least there was no road construction. And blissfully, Bixby was fogged in, so the traffic jam there was only a minor irritation.

But once I got to the dirt road to my home, the challenges increased. Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Lots of traffic on a one-lane dirt road made for an interesting drive. 

For the rest of this article, including my encounter with a nude man trying to get my attention, see:

South Coast looking north in the fog