On a 3-2 vote on March 27, SLO County supervisors declined to support the Carrizo Plain National Monument's nomination as a World Heritage site.
The Wilderness Society decided in January to nominate the grassland for UNESCO World Heritage designation because of the opportunities for economic benefits, but the lack of political support may doom the proposal to failure, Supervisor Jim Patterson said.
Around 30 people testified during about 90 minutes at the meeting, with more than half in favor of the nomination. Others who live near the national monument expressed concerns about additional tourist traffic in the remote rural area, as well as possible United Nations influence.
The San Luis Obispo City Council and Chamber of Commerce supported the proposal, but the Taft City Council did not, reportedly because of concerns about impacts on oil drilling.
Supervisor Bruce Gibson joined Patterson in supporting the World Heritage designation, after Patterson called the honorific "the Nobel Prize of land."
Supervisor Harry Ovitt said there are already "too many cooks" involved in managing the land.
"It's been there 10,000 years, it's still there, and it still has its beauty," Ovitt said.
Supervisors Katcho Achadjian and Jerry Lenthall also voted not to support the nomination.