Owner/Client: California State Parks
Carmel Area State Parks include Point Lobos State Natural Reserve (“the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world”), Carmel River State Beach, the recently acquired Point Lobos Ranch Property, and Hatton Canyon, the former State Route 1 bypass alignment right-of-way. Ascent is assisting California State Parks with the preparation of a General Plan and EIR for the four units. The General Plan provides overarching resource conservation, outdoor recreation, park management, and interpretation/education goals and guidelines for the park as a whole, while addressing the individual issues and opportunities associated with resource-specific management zones. The General Plan will establish several preserves within the state park lands to protect coastal habitats, San Jose Creek (for steelhead and California red-legged frog), a large expanse of mountain lion habitat, and rare plant communities (e.g., Monterey cypress, Gowen cypress).
Located along the Monterey County coastline, the plan area includes many sensitive ecological resources, but is also renowned as a tourism destination for visitors from across the world – sometimes described as being “loved to death,” referring to the damage that has occurred with overuse. Key issues include protection and restoration of sensitive coastal and marine resources; adaptation to climate change vulnerabilities; protection of important cultural resources (both Native American and post-European settlement); resolution of congested traffic, parking, and overcrowding; and provision of environmentally sensitive, high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities. The Program EIR prepared as part of the General Plan provides comprehensive environmental review of the proposed plan.