Environment

Want to explore the pristine land surrounding Diablo Canyon? Here’s your chance

Runner Samantha Pruitt of Race SLO traverses Wild Cherry Canyon, part of 12,000 acres of undeveloped land surrounding Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near Avila Beach.
Runner Samantha Pruitt of Race SLO traverses Wild Cherry Canyon, part of 12,000 acres of undeveloped land surrounding Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near Avila Beach. Race SLO

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the land surrounding Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant — some of the only undeveloped coastal land in California — here’s your chance.

PG&E will start hosting free public tours of the 12,000 acres surrounding the plant in August and September, as a way to increase public knowledge of the land and help gather input on how it should be used once the plant is decommissioned in 2025.

PG&E manages 14 miles of pristine coastline between Avila Beach and Montaña de Oro State Park on the historic Pecho Coast, according to a news release.

The three-hour tour will highlight the cultural significance and biological diversity of the land, and include stops at the southern part of the property, the power plant site, the marina and the coastal bluffs to the north.

The tour won’t go through the Wild Cherry Canyon area — 2,400 acres that has been the topic of hot debate since the utility company announced in 2016 that it would close the plant.

Some have speculated about future uses for the undeveloped land — including potentially building up to 15,000 homes in the area. PG&E has said that though it doesn’t have development rights for the lease-held property, it also wouldn’t commit to any plans until the public has had a chance to chime in.

Tours will start at 9 a.m. on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Aug. 7 to Sept. 26. Additional 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. tours will be offered on Aug. 11 and 18.

Tours will start at the PG&E Energy Education Center, 6588 Ontario Road in San Luis Obispo. Additional information, including all tour dates, can be found at www.pge.com/diablocanyontours.

Space is limited so reservations are required.

For those interested in the future of the property, the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel — a group founded by PG&E to explore issues around decommissioning — will hold public meetings in August and September that will focus on possible uses of the land and facilities.

Comments from the public will be gathered at those meetings and could help shape the company’s future plans for the property.

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the tour location.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928; @kaytyleslie
Read Next

  Comments