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Big SurThe Making of a Prized California Landscape$
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Shelley Alden Brooks

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294417

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294417.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Open Space at Continent’s End

Open Space at Continent’s End

(p.74) Four Open Space at Continent’s End
Big Sur

Shelley Alden Brooks

University of California Press

Chapter 4 revolves around the pivotal year of 1962, when Monterey County planners and Big Sur residents crafted a pioneering open-space master plan that foreshadowed the state’s commitment to coastal conservation in the following decades. Some residents balked at the idea of submitting to increased regulation, but the majority of residents understood that the government was going to have growing influence over the shape of landscapes and acknowledged the paradox that to retain a sense of the wild, residents would have to work alongside the government to determine viable residential and tourist features. Together, residents and Monterey County officials helped to secure in Big Sur a landscape quite distinct from two other notable California destinations: the rapidly commercializing Tahoe region and the newly established Point Reyes National Seashore. By accommodating a spectrum of visitors while restricting the numbers who could settle here, Big Sur locals and county officials secured the appearance of a democratic landscape long associated with the West, while, in fact, creating an increasingly exclusive landscape more representative of contemporary California.

Keywords:   open space, coastal conservation, 1962, Nathaniel Owings, Tahoe, Point Reyes, Big Sur

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