Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Commission Keeps Oceano Dunes Open to Off-Roaders For Now
GV-Wire-1
By gvwire
Published 5 years ago on
July 12, 2019

Share

Oceano Dunes on California’s central coast will remain open to off-road vehicles for at least another year.

After several hours of often emotional testimony, the California Coastal Commission voted to reject staff recommendations to phase out off-roading at the state recreational area.
After several hours of often emotional testimony, the California Coastal Commission voted to reject staff recommendations to phase out off-roading at the state recreational area.
Instead, commissioners gave the California Department of Parks and Recreation a year to come up with a management plan for Oceano Dunes, and to provide quarterly updates of the plan’s progress.
The staff recommendation was due to concerns about destruction of habitat for endangered species and effects to downwind communities, where air quality is a danger to public health. The commission voted 8-2 to reject a plan to begin phasing out off-roader use.

Only Oceanfront Park That Allows Vehicles on Sand

Hundreds of people turned out for the public comment portion of the commission’s meeting in San Luis Obispo.
Off-roaders say they have as much of a right to recreate on public lands as anyone else.
Oceano Dunes, which draws roughly 2 million visitors a year, is the only oceanfront state park that allows vehicles on its sand.
The commission’s decision to push the Oceano Dunes issue down the road for at least another year did little to clear up a decades-long battle that defines the California coast — protecting the environment vs. open access to public recreation.
Commissioner Steve Padilla acknowledged the commission was “kicking the can down the road.”

‘We Need to Strike a Balance’

Thursday’s meeting was the latest public display of a decades-long political clash that began when the state parks department took over management of the land and the Coastal Commission issued a permit, the conditions of which have never been met, commission staff said.
Lisa Mangat, state parks director, essentially agreed with the commission’s decision to step back and order a management plan.
“State Parks commits to protect some of our most precious resources while still striving to provide world-class recreation opportunities,” Mangat said. “We need to strike a balance.”
Those opposed to closing the dunes to recreational use spoke about the desire to maintain access to land, and to continue family traditions.

Concerns About Public Access, Air Quality

Mark Leister, who brings his entire family to the dunes, said it is the only beach his father-in-law, a disabled veteran, can access easily.
“My father-in-law is missing half a leg. If it wasn’t for OHV at the dunes, he would never get to the beach because accessibility,” Leister said.
Those who support immediate phasing out of off-road use spoke about air quality and the effect on wildlife.
One Nipomo Mesa resident told people at the meeting to imagine living on the Central Coast but being forced to stay inside one out of every days because of health concerns. That’s how often Nipomo Mesa violated state air quality standards in 2017.

Photo of Thanksgiving celebrants at Oceano Duneslarg
For more than 30 years, a group of friends and family from Sanger have gathered at Oceano Dunes for Thanksgiving. (Special to GV Wire/Steve Mogila)

DON'T MISS

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

DON'T MISS

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

DON'T MISS

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

DON'T MISS

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

DON'T MISS

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

DON'T MISS

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

DON'T MISS

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

DON'T MISS

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

DON'T MISS

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

DON'T MISS

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

UP NEXT

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

UP NEXT

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

UP NEXT

This Week’s Weather Will Take Us from Fleece to Flip-Flops

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

Palestinian Supporters Block Golden Gate Bridge in Nationwide Protest

UP NEXT

Bureau of Prisons to Close California Women’s Prison Where Inmates Have Been Subjected to Sex Abuse

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

5 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

5 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

Local /

6 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

7 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

7 hours ago

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

7 hours ago

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

8 hours ago

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

9 hours ago

Ethiopia’s Lemma Wins, Fresno’s Albertson 7th in Boston Marathon. Kenya’s Obiri Retains Women Title.

9 hours ago

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

9 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

Alright, cats and kittens, straphang onto your beanies because I’m about to lay a news flash on you that’s so whimsically wild it coul...

4 hours ago

Fresno Monopoly Edition
4 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

4 hours ago

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

4 hours ago

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

5 hours ago

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

5 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

Local /
6 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

7 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

7 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend