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Jenner Jottings - Tim McKusick - June 2015


Jenner Jottings - Tim McKusick - June 2015

Things are busy in the seaside hamlet of Jenner, a popular destination for day-trippers from the bay area. Even with the Russian River at historic low flow levels, the estuary is a pleasant spot for kayaking and paddle-boarding. With the mouth of the river currently open, the tidal influences are keeping the lower river navigable and thoroughly enjoyable. 

Pegasus Theater Company is taking Tapas, its 9th Annual New Short Play Festival, on the road. Their exciting opening weekend will be at the Jenner Community Club ,the first of four venues. 

The recent Holiday weekend brought coast-lovers out in droves. Highway One seemed like an endless parade at times. At Russian Gulch Beach just north of Jenner, dozens of cars lined the highway shoulder as the parking lot gates are chained shut, as they have been for some time now. 

Question: If and when the State decides to install Iron Rangers and charge admission to these beaches, what will keep the public from simply parking on the side of the Highway as they do now, and walking in to the Park free of charge?

Will the State Parks install No Parking signs along the State Highway? Will the Park Rangers be saddled with meter-maid duty on top of everything else they have to handle?

I believe that the answer to this iron ranger dilemma will be found at the local level, not from the offices of the Coastal Commission. Organizations like our local Surfrider Foundation, Coastwalk, and the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods are already the main reason many of our State Parks and facilities are open and clean. 

It was local pride and determination that gave us the Jenner Headlands Preserve. It will be local organizing and fundraising that will ultimately keep our beaches open and free. 

I have a novel idea: Let’s ask our friends at the many local (and highly successful!) micro breweries to offer special brews that dedicate a portion of the profits to keep our local State Beaches open, free and clean. I would buy a Russian Gulch Stout! Or a bottle of Goat Rock Porter! If I knew that it was going to the noble cause of keeping ocean sunsets available to everyone free of charge, it would be an easy decision. 

I would take the same idea a step further to fund the purchase of conservation easements over lands with critical Coho habitat. I would definitely stock up on Sheephouse Creek IPA! It would be poetic justice if the brewery whose namesake creek in Marin County is the source of Coho seed-stock used to improve the genetics of our hatchery fish actually took me up on this proposition. 

A few months ago I wrote about the scary proposition of driving Meyers Grade and Seaview Roads in the fog and rain due to the lack of a center line or reflectors. The Road Gods must have been listening, as we now have a fresh double yellow line! What a difference. It is amazing the peace of mind this simple task brings. Thank you to whoever is responsible!