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For Immediate Release: 11/24/2015

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El Niño Potential Impacts on Point Lobos State Natural Reserve


James Bilz

(831) 647-6268


CARMEL, Calif. — California State Parks (State Parks) advises visitors that it may close Point Lobos State Natural Reserve (Reserve) during and after storms in the coming months. With weather predictions indicating that large storms may come to California due to warming in the Pacific Ocean, known as El Niño, closing the reserve will protect visitors and allow State Parks time to assess damage within the reserve. The Reserve will post information on any closures on their website at

Four years of unprecedented drought have stressed the forest within the reserve. Heavy rain and high winds could down many trees, creating hazardous conditions.

In December 2014, a storm dropped three to five inches of rain on the Carmel area over a two-day period, flooding trails and downing trees. State Park officials at the time closed the reserve to avoid extensive damage to the natural vegetation. The closure allowed time for trails to drain and staff to clear fallen trees. This winter California State Parks is committed to managing the reserve in the same manner, protecting the natural resource and ensuring public safety. 

California's historic drought remains severe, and residents must continue to conserve water. At the same time, it is also important to prepare for the possibility of large storms and coastal and bay flooding.Using water wisely while taking steps to prepare for winter storms will help to protect our households, our communities and our state. Please visit for updates on weather conditions and what Californians can do to prepare. 

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.