April 8, 2021
SENATE CONFIRMS ARMANDO QUINTERO AS CA STATE PARK DIRECTOR
On April 7, the CA Senate Rules Committee voted to confirm Armando Quintero as the CA State Park Director. Quintero was questioned about management prescriptions at Oceano Dunes SVRA and if Parks would be mounting a legal challenge to the Coastal Commission’s recent vote to close the unit to OHVs in three years? Director Quintero said he has been meeting with CCC leadership on a weekly basis and that Parks will be consulting with the Administration on any legal actions or administrative decisions they may or may not take or enact.
Director Quintero stated that Parks is hiring a number of new non-badge park managers (for example Parks just hired Peter Jones to be the District Manager at Prairie City SVRA). I believe this is in response, in part, to a loud cry by many in OHV leadership who have repeatedly stated the import of having decision-makers at the local level that will provide on-the-ground oversight of unit management activities/staff and also provide more accountability to park users and partners.
Quintero also stated the important role that State Park grant programs (including the OHV grant program) has in providing access and management support for sustainable recreation on public lands throughout the state.
Don Amador, QWR President and former Chairman of the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, states, "While this confirmation is an important step, it remains to be seen just how Quintero implements his vision for enhanced access to sustainable recreation while balancing that goal with protecting natural and cultural resources."
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