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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

Defining the Value of California’s Coastline

Defining the Value of California’s Coastline

(p.154) Seven Defining the Value of California’s Coastline
Big Sur

Shelley Alden Brooks

University of California Press

Chapter 7 argues that in the 1980s, as California dealt with the financial impact of Proposition 13, and the federal government called for reduced-cost preservation as a growing number of Americans rejected federal land acquisition, Big Sur became a successful test case for a new preservation model that relied upon private and public partnerships and novel conservation methods. The impetus behind the Coastal Act represented the growing sense among Californians that their coastline was a public commons. This 1,100-mile band of prized California landscape therefore became a flash point for hashing out shifting ideas about the role and responsibility of the government and private citizens to protect the coast, public access, and property rights. This chapter examines the work of the California Coastal Commission, the California State Coastal Conservancy, Monterey County officials, and Big Sur residents to protect the region’s natural and cultural resources. Embedded in Big Sur’s state-mandated Local Coastal Program was a form of preservation wrought by the political and economic possibilities of the late twentieth century, premised upon the cultural significance of this coastline as a last best place.

Keywords:   Proposition 13, Coastal Act, California Coastal Commission, Local Coastal Program, Monterey County, California State Coastal Conservancy, public commons, property rights, public access, Big Sur

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