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Keep the dunes closed to off-roaders


Upon learning that the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area (ODSVRA) will be closed until Oct. 1, dozens of off-roaders attended the California Coastal Commission (CCC) meeting on July 9. They argued that they are being denied enjoyment of the beach that they pay for with Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division money—their money, for their park and the conservation measures it needs. They argued that they are low-income families deserving cheap camping on the beach, that disabled people can't access the beach but in a vehicle.

In truth, people don't need to drive on the dunes and beach to enjoy them and have a good family time.

Without thousands of vehicles destroying the beach and dunes, we wouldn't need conservation measures. The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division receives 70 percent of its funds from the gasoline tax, which we all pay. State Parks has beach wheelchairs for special needs citizens. An electric vehicle, boardwalks to the wet sand, and a boardwalk through the dunes would allow special needs people to reach them. Middle income families (making more than $50,000 a year) participate in off-roading at higher rates (23 to 27 percent) than the lowest income class (12 percent).

Finally, an off-roader announced there are thousands of them who can storm the beach. She then asked whether thousands could be arrested. State Parks claimed that it reached out to Oceano for input and feedback on the management plan for the ODSVRA's future. When questioned by a commissioner for details, State Parks admitted it never reached out to Oceano.

Lucia Casalinuovo


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