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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

The Influence of the Counterculture, Community, and State

The Influence of the Counterculture, Community, and State

Chapter:
(p.105) Five The Influence of the Counterculture, Community, and State
Source:
Big Sur
Author(s):

Shelley Alden Brooks

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520294417.003.0006

During the counter-culture era of the 1960s and early 1970s, Big Sur became a magnet for hippies, back-to-the-land activists, and New Age visitors exploring the mind-expanding retreats at the Esalen Institute. Added to these arrivals were the more mainstream families flocking to the state parks and beaches, and wealthy new residents. Chapter 5 examines the arrival of these various admirers and their influence on Big Sur’s image and land management. This chapter also broadens the picture to examine the statewide impact of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. The spill was a wakeup call to the state and the nation, and it reinforced the linkage between the quality of the environment and Americans’ quality of life. It spurred the passage of Proposition 20 in 1972 to protect California’s prized coastline. New state regulations required environmentally sensitive land management plans from all coastal counties. This chapter argues that Big Sur residents understood the importance (and accepted the irony) of coalescing as a vibrant community as they began to draft one of the most stringent antidevelopment plans in the state. Their sophisticated knowledge of land management helped retain this coastline’s distinction and their prized place within it.

Keywords:   hippies, back-to-the-land, counter-culture, Esalen Institute, Santa Barbara Oil Spill, Proposition 20, coastline, community, Big Sur

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