First phase begins October 30
California State Parks today announced a three-phased reopening plan for vehicular use at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and Pismo State Beach (SB), starting Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Vehicular access to all state park units was closed in March to prevent visitation surges and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Staff recommending gradual phase out
The California Coastal Commission staff will be recommending that the California Coastal Commission (CCC) phase out all OHV use at Oceano Dunes SVRA over the next five years.
Oceano Dunes closure is frightening
OCEANO DUNES IS CLOSED! The closure of Oceano Dunes SVRA (ODSVRA) is about as sad as it gets, and off-roaders everywhere should be extremely concerned.
Help us get the dunes reopened
Oceano Dunes SVRA has three important meetings coming up in the next few weeks and here is your chance to get involved and help save the dunes from permanent closure.
The dunes are scheduled to be reopen on October 1, but many of the anti-access groups are mobilizing to do anything it takes to keep the dunes closed forever.
Bill appropriates $900 million annually
Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). This SAN-supported law will dedicate $9.5 billion over the next five years to address the maintenance backlog on federal lands by creating a national parks and public land legacy restoration fund, enabling the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and several other federal agencies to rebuild and improve trails, roads, docks, campgrounds and more. The bill will also appropriate $900 million annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for projects that help to protect natural areas, water resources, cultural heritage sites and to provide recreation opportunities. The GAOA will benefit SAN’s off-roading community in addition to those who use RVs and boats to enjoy the nation’s parks and recreation areas.
Cal4Wheel's Northern Natural Resource Consultant Jeff Blewett was recently informed that he has been appointed to the Northern California District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) for three years. This council is composed of citizens from diverse backgrounds, advising the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in matters related to serving the interests of all public land users.
In late 2017, the California Coastal Commission approved a large expansion of dust control measures at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area without complying with the California Environmental Policy Act (CEQA). Friends of Oceano Dunes sued to block the approval and won that battle in Feb. 2020.
OHV Commission meeting August 6 via Zoom
Your next chance to help Oceano Dunes is this week.
The OHV Commission will be holding their next meeting via Zoom on August 6, 2020 beginning at 8:30 am. Meeting details, agenda, and how to sign up to speak can be found in the link below.
OHMVR Commission Meeting Notice
Coastal Commission meeting July 8-10, 2020
We have a very critical California Coastal Commission (CCC) meeting coming up on July 8,9 and 10.
There is no doubt that many of these public agencies and environmental groups have one goal and that is to close Oceano Dunes SVRA down to OHV recreational activities. They do not care what issues they use: dust emissions, safety, Endangered Species and now COVID19. They will do anything to close us out of the dunes we have recreated in for decades.
I personally did not get out for Memorial Day Weekend but many of you did. Johnson Valley, Moon Rocks, Sand Mountain, Rubicon, Fordyce, Hollister Hills SVRA and many other trails and campgrounds all had big crowds over the weekend. Unfortunately, I saw way too many posts on social media about piles of garbage left behind on our trails and in our campgrounds.
Slowly we are starting to see states, counties and cities begin to reopen after governors start to ease up on their local “shelter in place” orders. It’s going to be a slow process getting everything reopened and everyone back to work, but unfortunately for us who live in California it will seem like we are in slow motion. Governor Newsom’s four-phase plan will keep many parts of our economy locked down for a few more months.
Here is a quick update on both the bills regarding Carnegie SVRA.
AB 2551- Alameda/Tesla Carnegie SVRA Expansion – As of April 30, 2020 the bill had been cancelled at the request of the author.
SB 1147- Carnegie SVRA – The bill has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee on March 5 and no action scheduled.
The good news is that some of this week’s updates are places opening back up and not being closed due to the coronavirus. Although USFS Region 5 has announced that most developed recreation sites will remain closed through May 15, the individual forests are slowly opening motorized roads and trails as seasonal road and trail closures are lifted.
Meeting will be via Zoom
Public Meeting Purpose:
The purpose of the public meeting is to receive comment on the Oceano Dunes HCP Draft EIR. This is an opportunity for the pubic to provide verbal comment on the environmental analysis contained in the Draft EIR. Anyone wishing to provide verbal comment will be given an opportunity to speak. Meeting participation is the only way to submit verbal comment. It is not necessary to attend the meeting to submit written comment. The public may also submit written comment on the Draft EIR through emailing comments to the following address: OceanoDunesHCP@parks.ca.gov.
Comments due May 21, 2020
The Bureau of Land Management El Centro Field Office invites the public to provide written comments on additional off-highway vehicle (OHV) routes in the Vinagre Wash Special Management Area, near Palo Verde, Imperial County. The public comment period will end on May 21.
This Special Management Area, designated under the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9) in March 2019, allows for the consideration of additional routes that would provide significant or unique recreational opportunities and are consistent with the purposes of the Management Area.