Letter: “The Bluff”
With reference to the recent article in the HMB Review, I am concerned about the proposed changes along the POST property, affectionately known as "the bluff", north of Pillar Point. If the proposed changes occur, then we will be losing one of the best places on the coastside to roam freely and to witness nature in action.
Does Leland Yee [pdf] or anyone else really believe that "informal trails on Pillar Point Bluff are exacerbating severe erosion on the property’s cliffsides…"? If you’ve ever had the pleasure of standing on the beach below those cliffs, then you’ve probably observed the constant rain of rock fragments from the bluff. This *is not* the result of people strolling along the bluff’s edge; it *is* the result of a dynamic geological setting. The bluff is both cut and bounded by active faults along the western edge of the San Andreas fault system, and the bluff will continue to erode and rain debris for as long as the deformation continues, and probably for long after. We cannot change that.
What concerns me is the rush to close trails and to limit access for reasons that are beyond our control. Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for restoring native habitat and I support the ongoing eradication of the Pampas Grass on the bluff top, and I appreciate the fact that FMR rangers actually tend to the people that bring dogs onto that precious stretch of beach.
Let’s just be mindful of the fact that the geography of the bluff has been and continues to be shaped by forces bigger than ourselves and also that it’s pretty cool to be able to actually witness those slow and inexorable forces in action (landslides both small and large, the constant rain of sediment off the bluff, the seasonal movement of sand on the beaches, etc.). If we take it upon ourselves to stabilize these naturally unstable slopes, then we *will be* altering the property’s "critical natural habitat"—and nobody wants that…do they?