Notes about Creating the Point Lobos Reserve American conservationist Newton B. Drury, was a significant participant in the movement to create State Parks in California, later becoming director of the National Park Service and active with Save the Redwoods. At the critical time of determining the future of Point Lobos, Drury was secretary to the Lobos Advisory Committee. Excerpted here is part of an article he wrote in 1938 for American Forests magazine:“Escaping almost miraculously from the destruction of native landscape values that had occurred around it, passing from owner to owner who regarded it lightly –once in the free-and-easy early days of the Mexican regime, tradition says, lost as the stake in a game of cards –site of a whaling station, shipment point for a coal mine, laid out on paper as a townsite with a harsh gridiron of streets, grazed over by cattle, in parts occasionally burned –this rare and exceptional landscape was finally passed into the trusteeship of the State of California, fortunately held most of the essentially primitive character that had lured increasing thousands to it.
“Yet when the State acquired Point Lobos, apprehension as to its future still remained.
Residents of Carmel, a quaint and leisurely village which had long been a refuge for votaries of the arts, held up their hands in horror at the prospect of a state park. They envisioned formal paths and artificial masonry, networks of roads and the frantic rush of automobile traffic, the din of crowds, the nondescript structures of catch-penny concessions and tourist camps, all, they feared, to the loss of more precious,but more fragile things –the spell, the mystery, the beauty of this site.
“The Carmelites sighed with relief, therefore, and so did nature lovers throughout the nation, when the State Park Commission set its face against these possibilities, pledging for all time that Point Lobos would be a ‘reserve’ –a property held in trust as nature had designed it. For the commission concluded that it was in the public interest to hold this land unmodified, even at the cost of considerable restriction of use, as thus only could its highest values to the public be perpetuated.”
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