Opinion » Shredder

Hell's coming


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Well, who's ready for a shit show?

Yes, another one! What do you think this is? A non-polarized political climate? If something as benign as growing hemp can stir this county's residents into a fitful tizzy of fear, just imagine what a four-decade long fight entering its apex will do.


I'm not sure what happened to push California Coastal Commission staffers into finally harshing the buzz of Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreational Area off-roaders after putting it off for 40 years, but that's what happened. After tip-toeing around the fact that State Parks has failed over and over again to comply with the conditions of its permit, the commission staff wants to bring the hammer down on off-road vehicle use at the dunes—and dare I say, it might just maybe be due in part to State Parks' clear inability to manage the park's popularity (like, at all).

Why now? Umm, beach bonfire get-together between staffs gone terribly wrong? One drink too many and Steve from State Parks called Joe from the commission a snowy plover—and that's when the gloves came off. Nobody calls Joe a snowy plover! Nobody!

No matter the reason, everybody who has ever had anything to say about the Oceano Dunes will descend upon the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo on July 11, when the Coastal Commission hears its staff's recommendations about what should happen at the off-road park. It's not looking good for off-roaders. Like at all.

And they are pissed!

Perpetual broken record, facts-questioner, and Friends of the Oceano Dunes President Jim "Death by 1,000 Fenceposts" Suty posted a sweet video about the issue on June 22 telling dunes riders to prepare themselves.

"It's a long report, there's some misinformation in there, some bad facts, which is common, and we'll work through that," he said. "At the end of the day, it's clear what they want to do, which is to remove OHV use from the park."

Well, Jim, be honest, isn't it just the whole report that you don't like? Staff definitely made it clear that something needs to change. The status quo, the report says, is no longer OK. And I don't really need a report to tell me that. There are enough deaths, accidents, and other mishaps on the dunes that tell me the way things are operating isn't working.

Instead of getting your group to sue State Parks over every decision it tries to make that actually might bring it into compliance with the conditions of its permit, maybe you could, like, be part of the solution—so the fight isn't so painful and directed at what you might think is the inevitable. You have been saying the same thing for more than a decade and it hasn't changed a damn thing.

"Blah, blah, blah ... death by 1,000 fenceposts and we're going to lose the park over time unless something changes," is what you say every freakin' time.

But I guess it works as a rallying cry. The inevitable bullshit about how California is ruining the nation came up on the Facebook post. OMG, you automatons! Can't you come up with something that someone hasn't already said?

"This state is ruined," Curtis Kennedy stated in a post on the video's thread. Boring!

"Thanks Democrats for continuing to ruin this state," Chris Rose added to the conversation. Yawn! Heard that one.

Comments like that do nothing but draw lines in the sand—lines that you can't drive your ATV across. And those lines are basically all your fault, as Mikey Maxwell, the beacon of wisdom in a crowded sea of idiocy stated: "You can honestly thank yourselves for this ... at least those of you who bring pallets to burn or leave your campground trashed or bring illegal fireworks ... YOU ruined it for everyone." Or the drinking and driving in the middle of the night, the going 40 miles per hour faster than you should, and getting into head-on collisions that kill people.

Blaming environmentalists (although—and this is just between me and you—they're no better than you off-road supporters; ya'll are all crazy) isn't going to accomplish anything. Maybe its time to police your own and then grab a seat at the compromise table before your group loses the thing it's been fighting for due to stubbornness.

And you, environmentalists. Don't think you're getting off the hook so easy. Every time somebody mutters a syllable about the dunes, you cry, "Armageddon is coming." Look, we get it! You don't like off-roading or off-roaders. Duh! But seriously, you don't get to make decisions for every Steve, Joe, and Patty. Democracy doesn't work only for you.

And, you, State Parks, this is all your fault. Seriously, it is. You know that don't you? You have no idea how to properly manage the park, and every decision you make seems to put even bigger pallets into the flaming bonfire that is the Oceano Dunes.

But don't worry, everyone. Just like any issue at the dunes, there won't be a decision made on the recommendations anytime soon. The commission is already prepping for lawsuits. It's put an indemnification clause of sorts into the staff report asking State Parks to agree to reimburse the commission for any attorney's fees it might incur defending whatever it decides. Δ

The Shredder thinks it's time to become a land-use attorney. Send comments to [email protected].



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