Forest Service Once Again Mistakes Itself for CIA

March 31, 2009


Ventana Wilderness, Los Padres National Forest

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus bill, provides $650 million to the Forest Service for “road maintenance and decommissioning, deferred maintenance work, abandoned mine cleanup, and other related critical habitat, forest improvement, and watershed enhancement projects.” Read the rest of this entry »

Corn Snow Time

March 27, 2009


There’s nothing quite like the beauty, solitude and serenity of snow-covered mountains. And there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of carving turns in a pristine backcountry bowl.

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Driver who Killed Daniel Vasquez Cops a Plea

March 20, 2009

Just over two years ago, on February 9, 2007, our friend Daniel Vasquez was riding his bike home from work. He didn’t make it. Charles Seaborn, a man who’d been cited for drunk driving in the past, was once again driving drunk. Seaborn hit Daniel so hard that Daniel’s bike ended up embedded in the front of Seaborn’s Range Rover. But Seaborn didn’t stop. He left Daniel dying beside the road.

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Who Owns the Rain?

March 18, 2009


Engorged with water pirated from its rightful human owners, a Coccora (Amanita calyptroderma) emerges from the forest floor

Just when we were thinking no one could be more dysfunctional than our community and state when it comes to dealing with limited water supplies, the LA Times publishes an article describing how water districts in Colorado are complaining that homeowners using rain barrels to capture run-off from their roofs are stealing water in violation of law. Read the rest of this entry »

Palo Corona Regional Park

March 13, 2009


View of Carmel River mouth from “Inspiration Point”

When a coalition of state and private funders acquired the 10,000 acre Palo Corona Ranch in 2004, they created a protected wildland corridor reaching from the mouth of the Carmel River all the way to the Ventana Wilderness. Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering the 1995 Floods: Letter from Cachagua Part 1

March 10, 2009

As today is the 14th anniversary of the March 1995 floods, the largest Carmel River flow on record, we’ve reached into the archives to bring you an excerpt from a letter written just days after the event — Read the rest of this entry »

Court Rules in Favor of Public Access in Monterey Trail Dispute

March 7, 2009

War Path

Back in May, we took a look at the misguided efforts of some nearby homeowners to exclude the public from a Monterey trail that’s been in use for longer than anyone can remember.

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Cal-Am Puts Steelhead and Ratepayers at Risk With Decision to Leave Worthless San Clemente Dam in Place

March 5, 2009


San Clemente Dam is almost completely filled in with silt and is worthless for water storage – or any other purpose. It is also structurally unsafe and at risk of failure during earthquakes or high flows. This morning (when this picture was taken) the dam was spilling about 1,000 cubic feet per second. On March 10, 1995, the dam survived a 16,000cfs flow that overtopped it completely. Read the rest of this entry »

Mudslide Closes Highway 1 as Rain Totals Climb

March 2, 2009

11:00PM Monday March 2

As 24-hour rainfall totals are now above 5 inches at some Coast Ridge locations, there is obviously a potential for debris flows should significant additional rain arrive tonight. Already Highway 1 has been closed, at least temporarily, by a mudslide/debris flow between Fernwood and the State Park Entrance (the slide occurred about 10:30PM). At least one vehicle is reportedly trapped in the slide, which involves mud, rocks and trees and covers the entire roadway. CalTrans hopes to have the road reopened by around 2:00AM. We’re guessing that’s a bit optimistic.

Tuesday Morning Update

The slide was cleared by about 2:30AM and the Highway was fully reopened a few hours later. We just hope the people caught in the slide weren’t wearing their best shoes …