Opinion » Letters

I will continue to fight for Oso Flaco


Forty years ago, I moved to this area and became immediately involved with a group from the local Sierra Club seeking to limit the expansion of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) into the sensitive habitats surrounding Oso Flaco Lake. Kathleen Goddard Jones, Gaylord Jones, Malcolm McCloud, Dirk and Bonnie Walters, Bill Deneen, Norm Hammond, Nancy Mann, and myself worked to oppose that expansion by petitioning State Parks to change its proposed plans. We cited the Local Coastal Plan and studies by the California Department of Fish and Game that recognized the Oso Flaco Lake region as the most sensitive and valuable ecological region in California. Kathleen invited State Parks Director Peter Dangermond down, and he toured the areas of Oso Flaco Lake and the SVRA with State Parks Superintendent Don Patton.

At the same time, we organized the first annual Day of the Dunes program of presentations extolling the virtues of saving the natural resources of the area from further off-highway vehicle (OHV) destruction. Apparently, this all worked to convince the state authorities to shelve the plans and invest a lot of money to save and rehabilitate Oso Flaco Lake and its environs.

Fast forward to 2019. I received an email from the Morro Coast Audubon Society that describes almost exactly the same environmentally destructive proposal from the SVRA that we defeated almost 40 years ago. Nothing has changed. Oso Flaco Lake is still the most sensitive and valuable natural habitat in California. OHVs are still as destructive of sensitive resources. The habitat can still not tolerate the planned destruction involved in any of the proposed expansions, access, or camping proposals. Nothing has changed except the passage of time and the dogged pursuit by OHV enthusiasts to invade the Oso Flaco Lake area.

I am no longer a young man. Many of the colleagues I worked with to save this region are now gone. But I will not stop my opposition to these thoughtless, inappropriate, environmentally destructive, and expensive proposals. So, I say "NO!" One thousand times "No!" to this moronic obsession with wrecking Oso Flaco Lake.

I urge you to support my views with emails to the Oceano Dunes SVRA and other appropriate organizations. It's not too late to win another one for Oso Flaco Lake.

Mick Bondello

Dunes Task Force of 1980 member

Arroyo Grande

Add a comment