West Coast
Randol White - KCBX News /

CA - Vehicular access at Oceano Dunes remains controversial despite California Coastal Commission vote to phase out OHV access

Months after the California Coastal Commission voted to phase out off-highway vehicle access at Oceano Dunes, the issue remains a hot topic.

Months after the California Coastal Commission voted to phase out off-highway vehicle access at Oceano Dunes, the issue remains a hot topic.

In October, California State Parks violated the March 18 decision to restrict vehicle access at the dunes by removing the southern exclosure fencing at the state park. The vehicle ban was intended to provide a safe and enclosed habitat for the federally threatened snowy plover.

In years past, that area would typically reopen to vehicular access around September or October after the snowy plover nesting season is over.

But, one of the permit amendments approved by the Coastal Commission in March requires the area’s conversion from seasonal to permanent protection, in compliance with the Endangered Species Act to provide a year-long habitat for the shorebirds.

The Coastal Commission quickly addressed the issue in a letter to State Parks on October 15, according to Public Information Officer for the California Coastal Commission Noaki Schwartz, requesting that the fencing be replaced and calling the situation a miscommunication between the two agencies. The fencing has since been replaced.

Read more.