Andrew Molera State Park Wilderness Bill Update

April 16, 2010

Another local firefighter speaks out in support of Molera Wilderness.

Scott Bogen letter to The Carmel Pine Cone

April 12, 2010
The links below are to Molera Wilderness support letters from two professional firefighters highly experienced in fighting wildfires in the Ventana region.  Steve Benoit is a retired Cal Fire Captain who served in Monterey County for 33 years and has fought wildfires in Molera State Park and adjacent Ventana Wilderness.  Mike Boone is a retired Forest Service Engine Captain and Division Chief whose 31 year career included 19 years fighting wildfires on the Monterey Ranger District.  If you have doubts as to the fire prudence of the proposed Molera Wilderness, please read these two letters from highly experienced wildfire professionals.

Steve Benoit letter to Assemblymember Monning

Mike Boone letter to Assemblymember Monning

April 6, 2010
Assemblymember Bill Monning announced today that he is not proceeding with the Molera Wilderness legislation (AB 2074) this year.  The Assemblymember identified local community concerns regarding wildfire protection that need to be more fully vetted before further action is taken on the legislation.  See the link below to view Assemblymember Monning’s complete letter.

The Molera Wilderness proposal will not impede full use of the existing Big Box fireline or the secondary fireline on Molera Ridge.  Wildfire professionals participated in the mapping of this proposal.  Other highly qualified wildfire professionals have endorsed this wilderness designation and have confirmed that it will not increase wildfire risk to the local community.
Our challenge now is to demonstrate to Assemblymember Monning that the majority of Californians in his district, and throughout the central coast, support permanent wilderness preservation of the wild backcountry of Andrew Molera State Park.  If you have not yet voiced your support to the Assemblymember please do so now using the email link or snail mail address below.

View Assemblymember Monning Letter

March 30, 2010
Recent input from local residents identified a concern regarding maintenance of the Big Box Fire Line on National Forest land adjacent to the proposed Molera Wilderness.  To insure that there would not be any fire line management conflict between the State Park and the National Forest, a small adjustment to the wilderness boundary was proposed.
Click on the link below to see this adjustment and the position of the Big Box Fire Line relative to the proposed Molera Wilderness. The second link offers another perspective of the Molera Wilderness proposal. 

View revised map of proposed Wilderness Area with adjacent Big Box Fire Line

View Xasauan Today’s Look at the Uplands of the Proposed Molera Wilderness


Assemblymember Bill Monning has introduced legislation (AB 2074) that would designate as state wilderness 920 acres in the north easterly corner of Andrew Molera State Park. This is the area from the top of the coast ridge down to the S. Fork of the Little Sur River and adjacent to the federal Ventana Wilderness Area. The proposed wilderness boundaries are held back from adjacent private properties and from the old ridge top road, which has been used as a firebreak.

The proposed wilderness features spectacular views of the canyon of the Little Sur River and Pico Blanco. Vegetation ranges from open grasslands, chaparral, and oak woodland to ancient redwood forest. If you have ever hiked the East Molera Trail to the top of the coast ridge and gazed across the canyon of the South Fork to the spectacular crystalline marble summit of Pico Blanco, you know how special these wild lands are.

This area is the wildest part of spectacular Andrew Molera State Park and is wilderness in every sense of the word, except for the official protective designation. If you love the wild lands of this area and want them to remain wild, please send a letter or email to Assemblymember Monning and ask him to protect the Andrew Molera State Park Wilderness. Tell him about your wild land experiences there and why you believe this land should be preserved as wilderness.

William W. Monning
Assemblymember, 27th District
PO Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0027

Email Bill Monning: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


View map of proposed Wilderness Area

Aerial View of proposed Wilderness Area

Read the bill as proposed on 2/18/10

Youth In Wilderness

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The mission of the Youth in Wilderness program is to educate, inspire and motivate future generations of central California's wilderness advocates and stewards.

Youth in Wilderness inspires local students to understand, protect and restore wilderness lands in the Ventana region. The program is a bridge between young people and wilderness. We offer unique, empowering outdoor experiences through workshops and backpacking expeditions into the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness.  Since the VWA launched the program in 2009, the Youth in Wilderness Program has served 1,165 students on 64 wilderness expeditions. Through our stewardship trips, students have donated over 5,000 hours to the maintenance and restoration of backcountry trails, camps and signage.


A Sustained Engagement:

The Youth in Wilderness program provides a sustained engagement to the youth we serve. In addition to leading students on backpacking expeditions into the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness, we meet with students throughout the year, implementing outdoor education workshops at partner campuses. We strive to develop a strong connection with students in order to help them develop as community leaders and environmental stewards.

Program Objectives:

Our goal is to inspire a new generation of dedicated wilderness stewards while providing students with an opportunity to gain skills in leadership and community-building.

Environmental Education: When partnering with middle and high school students, our focus is to provide youth with positive wilderness experiences and introduce them to environmental stewardship. The curriculum for Environmental Education workshops and backcountry expeditions has four primary components: natural history interpretation, team-building activities, wilderness conservation and wilderness skills practice. Students develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for the wilderness while gaining self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Stewardship: When partnering with universities, our focus is to provide young adults with an opportunity to actively engage in wilderness stewardship. We develop, organize and implement service-learning projects through which students can get out and give back to public trails and camps in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness. Students learn the process of grass-roots wilderness protection while helping to maintain access to our local wilderness areas for current and future generations.

Program Outcomes:

Youth in Wilderness offers experiences for students to strengthen their connection to the outdoors while cultivating practical outdoor skills and expanding their knowledge of local wilderness. On our trips, students work together to set up camp, collect firewood and prepare meals. As they begin to be more comfortable living outdoors, they gain confidence. As students explore the area—testing the creek water, listening to the sounds of the forest, taking in a panoramic ocean view—our trip leaders supplement their experience with hands-on natural history interpretation.


In an effort to keep wilderness accessible to all, Youth in Wilderness outings are provided at no cost to participants. To help ensure that we are able to continue inspiring the youth of California, please consider a donation to the Youth in Wilderness Program. We greatly appreciate your support and couldn’t do this work without our community – thank you!

For more pictures, videos and updates on the Youth in Wilderness Program, please visit our Facebook page.

For more information please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (831) 423-3191