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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Ziplines proposed at both Jacks Peak and Point Lobos East

October 2011
Smith Blue ButterflyThe federally-endangered Smith's blue butterfly has a wing span of only one inch. Photo: Dale Hameister

The Monterey Peninsula is currently threatened with zipline proposals in two fragile park settings at Jacks Peak County Park and Point Lobos East, a new 1,300-acre addition to Point Lobos State Reserve, east of Highway 1.

Canada-based Ziptrek Ecotours would install platforms and cables at high points in the parks from hundreds of feet to several thousand feet long as an aerial tramway through these nature preserves, which are currently designated for passive recreation.

In the case of Jacks Peak County Park, the County and Ziptrek are currently negotiating a contract for use. The Chapter has requested that any proposal trigger a full Environmental Impact Report. Jacks Peak County Park contains one of the few remaining intact native Monterey Pine forests— the largest such forest in the world.

The zipline under consideration at Point Lobos East was vehemently opposed by members of the California Native Plant Society and the Point Lobos Foundation. State Parks has agreed to complete the general plan process before it goes any further with negotiations.

Point Lobos East is an area of several rare plant communities such as Monterey Pine forest, maritime chaparral, and coastal scrub, which includes Seacliff buckwheat, exclusive host to federally-endangered Smith's Blue Butterfly. This parkland is not yet open to the public and is in the coastal zone.

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