King Gillette and Beyond

The CCC meets at King Gilette Ranch, Malibu Lagoon and the new Puerrco Canyon Campsites

At the end of summer, the California Coastal Commission held one of its roving monthly meetings at the King Gillette Ranch, near Mulholland and Malibu Canyon Road, to discuss local and statewide coastal issues.

This prompted local Malibu surfers and members of the Malibu Surfing Association, along with the Malibu Lagoon Action Committee, to appeal to the commissioners to consider putting the erosion and wave quality problems of Surfrider Beach on the Commissions Agenda.

This group also previously addressed the Malibu City Council to start the ball rolling in fixing the erosion problems affecting the Adamson House and addressing claims that the wave quality at Surfrider has been jeopardized since last years winter flooding. They also insinuated that the Malibu Lagoon Restoration project might have been responsible for increased erosion.

(Update: Seasonal summer sand movements starting in July have built up enough to protect the Adamson House from further erosion problems, but this may be in part due to this summers slowest south swell season in over 10 years ).

After the official meeting was concluded all the attendees, City council member Jefferson Wagner and Commissioners were invited on a field trip to the Lagoon where Commissioner Steve Hudson, Craig Sap and Suzanne Goode of State Parks spoke of the lagoon’s history, failures, and recent successes. Most everyone agreed that the goals of the project had exceeded expectations; however, restoration opponent Marcia Hanscom embarrassed herself when she rudely interrupted State Parks Biologist Suzanne Goode as she was speaking about the historic wildlife successes since the completion of the Restoration. Marcia said the historic nesting of the endangered Least Terns and Snowy Plovers was not a result of the environmental improvements of the lagoon restoration. Ironically, the new resident Osprey was resting on one of the island perches eating a fish from the restored area that was previously known as a biological Dead Zone. Fish were jumping out of the water, and dozens of endangered Least Terns were witnessed successfully diving for fish just behind the group of speakers and taking the fish to their nest to feed their young.

The entire group was invited to continue on the field trip to the newly acquired 703 acres of land in Puerco Canyon where public park development plans would be viewed. The plans include grading and widening an access road up the canyon to a parking area to accommodate 80 parking spaces for trailhead access at one ocean view location. Further up the steep canyon would be a campground facility that could accommodate up to 100 campers and staff members. The camp will be a priority for inner-city youth and disadvantaged kids, though there will be no campfires, smoking or open flames. Staff buildings with bunks, offices, and a kitchen will also be built on the premises.

Concerns: Joe Edmiston hopes for 300-400 car trips a day to the trailheads and camp facilities, but there could be much more than expected. The single lane road is currently a narrow dirt lane with steep dropoffs.They say there are no plans for grading before paving it, but somehow it is supposed to become two lanes? They say they are not going to grade it. Right?! No way to widen without massive grading. So . . . what’s to happen? One of the reasons James Cameron did not develop his land before he sold it to the Conservancy was the problems involved with getting the permits for widening the road for adequate emergency responses, not to mention massive cost and the damage to ESHA.

They’re bringing in landscaping right up into ESHA, changing the typography, and altering the environment.

Joe Edmiston hopes for 300-400 car trips a day to the trailheads and camp facilities, but there could be much more than expected.

If we look at how poorly SMMC has maintained its property and trails on Winding Way and Charmlee, we can expect the same deterioration and riffraff for Puerco Canyon. SMMC has been criticized for being understaffed in supervising their properties, and anyone who thinks ‘No Smoking’ signs will deter visitors from smoking is delusional. Yes, an increased fire threat is very real.

If you thought traffic and parking at Winding Way were already dangerous, wait until hundreds of daily visitors invade this quiet canyon and cross PCH at one of the most difficult intersections in Malibu. – Steve Woods




Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and a few short months later provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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