Packed Main Hearing Room
CA Coastal Commission Hearing, July 11, 2019
By Don Amador
July 12, 2019
Historic OHV Turnout Stems Closure Tide at Oceano Dunes
A huge crowd of 850-1,000 OHV enthusiasts, related businesses, elected officials, and partners made access history yesterday at the Coastal Commission hearing held in San Luis Obispo, California where the long-term future of motorized recreation at Oceano Dunes SVRA was hanging in the balance. They packed the main hearing room and a number of overflow rooms.
CA State Park Director, Lisa Mangat, Talks About Need
for Coastal Commission to Allow PWP Process to Move Forward
The 8-2 vote to defer the Coastal Commission’s staff recommendations - so as to allow the California State Park Public Works Plan (PWP) public process for Oceano Dunes SVRA to play out - was also the result of State Parks taking a strong position against the Coastal Commission report and a lot of hard work by various parties before the hearing as highlighted in the LA Times article below:
LINK TO LA TIMES ARTICLE
It’s not often the Coastal Commission is forced to look affected citizens in the eye about how their closure proposals will devastate local businesses and communities where shop owners will be forced to close and lay-off staff and the newly unemployed will not be able to pay their mortgages or put food on the table.
San Luis Obispo County District 4 Supervisor, Lynn Compton
Speaks in Strong Support of Oceano Dunes SVRA
The Coastal Commission was also confronted with the fact their staff did not consult with local government agencies that were also blindsided by the staff report.
Proud Duner Stands in Support of OHV Recreation
While the vote result was significant, the key element in the Coastal Commission decision was to direct staff to work with State Parks to create a collaborative stakeholder group that would include representatives from the Coastal Commission, CA OHV Commission, State Parks, local government, OHV groups, businesses, and conservation interests. That venue would allow for more robust and meaningful discussions between the Coastal Commission and other members of the group.
Rugged Radio Shows Up to Defend Local Business
I don’t view the Coastal Commission decision as a major “OHV Victory” but rather an event that earned its place as a seminal moment on the land access timeline alongside other significant issues such as the S21/CA Desert Protection Act, Clinton/Gore Roadless Initiative, 2005 Forest Service Travel Management Rule, and the 2007-2017 fight to restructure and permanently reauthorize the CA OHV Program.
Coastal Commission Staff Continue to Front OHV "Dust Plume" Hoax
While OHV lives on to fight another day in the battle for Oceano Dunes SVRA, we have some immediate action items and those are:
Encourage OHV Stakeholders to Be Active in the PWP Process
Challenge False APCD/Coastal Commission OHV Generated “Dust Plume” Assertion
Challenge Stipulated Order of Abatement
Continue to Build OHV Political Force
Be Prepared for Future Legal Challenge
The greater OHV community should be proud of what they accomplished at the hearing. Your attendance and testimony made more of an impact than you can ever know. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend what will go down as a major milestone in OHV political history.
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Don Amador has almost 30 years in the field of land use management, policy, and politics. Don writes on recreation and environmental issues from his office in Oakley, CA. He may be reached via email at: Damador@cwo.com