This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things.
Newton B. Drury Parkway, that languorous, serpentine, redwood-lined scenic bypass through Prairie Creek State Park, will now be closed dusk 'til dawn because of burl-raiding nincompoops.
California State Parks announced the closure — effective Saturday at sundown — as a measure to keep people from poaching redwood burls, an increasing problem in the park. Burls are rare, and thusly lucrative as souvenirs
and memorabilia for redwood-inspecting tourists.
From a press release:
Newton B. Drury Parkway will be closed on a nightly basis starting Saturday, March 1, 2014. The parkway will be closed each day at sunset and reopened at sunrise. The hours of closure will be variable as the time of sunset and sunrise changes. Closure hours may also be impacted if staff is responding to other emergencies. Patrols will also be increased during this time to ensure the protection of our natural resources.
This closure is in response to a significant increase in wood poaching crimes occurring along the parkway. These crimes usually involve cutting burl and bunion growths from both standing and fallen old-growth redwood trees. The wood is then sold for construction materials, ornamental furniture, and souvenirs. This type of wood is becoming increasingly rare and the most plentiful supply is often found on park lands.
Much of the illegal poaching occurs at night. The closure is a proactive step toward preserving our State’s priceless natural resources.
The parkway will remain open as usual during the daylight hours.
Access to Elk Prairie Campground in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is still available both night and day by taking the Newton B. Drury Parkway exit (Exit 753) off of Highway 101.