In the mid-90’s, I lived on Channel Rd and had community access to the stretch of beach on the west side of Lopez, from King’s Point to the big rock south of Otis Perkins. I walked that beach every day, carefully and with practiced stealth, so as not to disturb all the wildlife I saw there that I didn’t see elsewhere. One of the reasons for its pristine and undisturbed state was its lack of human contact. Yes, I am a human, but a human who practices a sacred and precious attitude toward the land and waters. I would sit quietly for hours and see seals and their babies come ashore, river otters trek back and forth from the shoreline to the hillside woods with their little families in tow. I saw harlequins, eagles in fights with crows over stolen chicks. I saw things I would never see if these creatures knew I was around … and certainly not if there were other humans and/or dogs. Down toward the southern end of this stretch, I witness pigeon guillemots flying to and from their nests to the limestone cliffs. I have extensive notes from those years of all the wonders I saw.
My passionate desire to keep this stretch of beach from becoming a public tourist attraction has nothing to do with wanting to keep it all to myself. I don’t live there anymore, I am not a landowner or worried about “my” private property … I am concerned for the undisputed disruption of this wild space if it is publicized and promoted.
I have nothing against tourists, although I admit I wish they hadn’t learned about Iceberg Point. Shark Reef seems to have already become a sacrifice area and anyone who visits can see the erosion of the land just above the water, the new “trails” that tear through the fragile fauna down to the rocks and water below.
I am pleading for the Land Bank and all the supporters of opening this area up to the public to re-think their idea and keep this beach free of human disturbance.
There is more public beach access on Lopez than any of the other 2 main islands here … plenty, I believe, for city folks who deserve and need the chance to walk a beach when they visit. Please leave this one area to the critters who live there and raise their families there, undisturbed except by their own natural predators.