The relationship we have with the wild coast of California is emblematic of the primal connection we share with the land.
Rugged, and often inaccessible, California's wild coast, from Big Sur north, continues to capture our collective imagination, enduring to become a landscape of dreams, ambition, and solace. Firmly rooted in our popular culture, this coast attracts visitors from around the world to witness natural forces embraced in a delicate dance. The fractured ranges born of tectonic shifting confront a tireless sea creating both the dramatic mountains running from Big Sur to the Klamath and the wayward waters of San Francisco and Tomales Bay. Sun, storm, fire and rain collude to erode precarious cliffs, expose shoreline bedrock, and nurse the giant Coast Redwoods stretching to the Oregon border.
Within ourselves, the landscape's timelessness stirs a conflict born of contemplation and ambition. For some, these dramatic vistas offer respite and renewal — an escape from the pressures of modern living. For others, this land's rich resources, whether timber, fish, or land, are an opportunity. It is not infrequent that the coast becomes a battleground as preservation confronts development on the field of politics and commerce.
It is against these conflicts that we begin to consider our place within the landscape. We are compelled to question the depth of our connection to the land and the very values we impress upon it.