Despite the recent US Government shutdown, and the subsequent loss of our Special Use Permit from the US Forest Service, the 22nd. Annual Big Sur Jade Festival this past Columbus Day weekend turned out to be an unprecedented success despite those difficulties. We would like to thank the residents of Big Sur for their staunch support, for their refusal to let events on the other side of the country cancel an event which has provided educational opportunities to local schoolchildren and supported local first responders and many community organizations for over two decades.
We specifically would like to thank our Congressional Representative Sam Farr, and his aide Alec Arago for their help during this difficult episode. Mr. Farr personally intervened by calling the US Secretary of Agriculture on our behalf and opening a dialogue with the US Forest Service which resulted in the partial reinstatement of our operating permit despite the shutdown. Mr. Farr’s availability and concern for his constituents during this trying time was a testament to him and his staff, we could not have accomplished what we did without his assistance. Many local residents and businesses then stepped forward and provided much needed support for our volunteers and organizers. Treebones Resort, and Mr. Harry Harris kindly offered our volunteers places to camp on their properties, along with Gordon Piffero, Superintendent of Big Sur Unified School District who allowed volunteers to camp at Pacific Valley School. Without those volunteers and a place to house them the festival would have been impossible to manage, we owe deep thanks to those individuals who selflessly made that possible. We also want to thank Jeanne Alkaire who started a Change.org petition which garnered nearly a thousand signatures on our behalf in less than two days, we were amazed and gratified by that international response. Local businesses like Treebones Resort, Nepenthe, and Esalen Institute stepped up and provided material support to our festival, and as always we thank them for their kind patronage. We also would like to thank the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade with CERT Team members, and it’s Board of Directors who volunteered to mange parking at this year’s festival, an effort skillfully led by John Handy. The result of having those highly trained individuals involved was a smooth and incident-free weekend which was made possible by their hard work and professionalism. And we must not forget US Forest Service Chief Ranger Tim Short, who despite the lack of personnel worked diligently with us to provide the resources we needed to accomplish our goal of producing one of the premiere fund-raising events of the year in Big Sur. We look forward to a new era of cooperation with the US Forest Service as a result of his involvement. And last, but certainly not least we thank our volunteers, some who traveled hundreds of miles to attend, for their hard work and dedication.
The South Coast Community Land Trust will continue to provide educational opportunities and support to local community organizations due to the involvement of all those named above and so many more, it never would have happened without your support. Thank you Big Sur, thank you for demanding a miracle.
Secretary of the Board of Directors, South Coast Community Land Trust
Entertainment Director, Big Sur Jade Festival
From Lisa Gering in the comment section below. I thought it important enough to reproduce here in its entirety.
“As a coordinator of the Jade Festival who has been in discussion with the USFS this entire week, there is HUGE concern of campfires, stoves and cigarette smoking or anything with a flame in our tinderbox forest. Everyone needs to let anyone they see with a campfire, etc, to put it out right then and there…no exceptions! Everyone needs to be respectful of the land that hosts us. If that goes up in smoke, so do we as residents and there goes the Jade Festival (it’s happened before and can happen again)! Please be considerate and tread lightly. No toilet paper, trash and especially fires. Our permit, that was so generously reinstated, thanks to so many of you, Congressman Sam Farr and his hard working aide Alec, will be revisited after the festival. How well things run at this festival has a direct impact on our permit next year. Please help us continue to have this festival in the best possible venue that exists! People will be asked to move along if they are camping along the highway overnight. I recommend people look into Limekiln or Pfeiffer State Park, San Simeon Campground or Big Sur proper. The gov’t shutdown has given us this opportunity to look closer at the impact of the amount of people that come to join in the beauty that surrounds us in addition to the jade and gems that sparkle in abundance this weekend. Thank you for all your support, have a great time and be respectful of our environment and those people who have been hired to oversee its care.”
The 22nd. Big Sur Jade Festival is officially ON!!
The US Forest Service has reinstated our Special Use Permit and restored our use of the parking area on the west side of Highway 1 adjacent to Sand Dollar Day Use area, (**which remains closed). **Attention: Plaskett Creek Campground and Kirk Creek Campground remain closed. Attendees should make other plans for overnight lodging and camping. We will try to find room on the campus of Pacific Valley School for some of those volunteers who would normally stay at Plaskett Creek Campground. Due to the lack of room, verified vendors and verified volunteers who have already signed up for specific shifts on the parking spreadsheet will be given precedence for very limited on-campus camping. Camping will be limited to verified vendors and verified volunteers only; NO public parking or camping will be allowed on the campus of Pacific Valley School, all attendee parking will be along Highway 1 or directed to the designated parking area adjacent to Sand Dollar Day Use area parking lot; no exceptions! The gate to the designated parking area will be closed when at capacity and after 5 pm, overnight parking or camping will not be allowed in that area.
Congratulations to all who lobbied to save our Festival; your combined voices have won the day! We hope to see you all at the 22nd. Annual Big Sur Jade Festival October 11, 12, & 13, 2013.
**Closed due to Government shutdown; could reopen at any time if standoff ends, but is not open at the time of this notice.
Due to the government shutdown, the campgrounds we rely on for our volunteers, musicians, etc, are closing tomorrow, Friday the 4th at 1 pm until further notice. The Jade Festival Committee is considering all possible options at this time, and probably won’t make a decision until next Wednesday morning. I will keep you posted when a decision is made. In the meantime, lets hope our idiotic government gets its act together. Unintended consequences like this one are unacceptable.
Los Padres National Forest campgrounds and Pfeiffer Beach are under Federal jurisdiction but are privately managed by Parks Management Company. Friday, October 4. FRIDAY at 1:00 PM all the National Forest Campgrounds managed by Parks Management Company will be closed until further notice. Their website is http://campone.com/ (information will be posted there soon)
Campgrounds that will be closed on Friday, October 4 at 1:00 PM:
Bottchers Gap, Ponderosa and Nacimiento Campgrounds, Kirk Creek, Plaskett Creek and Cerro Alto Campgrounds.
Big Sur Station remains open. The Federal Employees located at Big Sur Station, the fire fighters, will remain on the job.
Less than two weeks … Oct 11, 12, 13th. We still need a few volunteers to help with parking – a 4 hour shift. You get fed, a T-shirt, (based on availability) and lots of good music and fun. Drop me an email at email@example.com if you can help. As always, the weather is expected to grace us. “A long stretch of dry and warm autumn weather should last through the second week” of October.