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Save Oso Flaco

Dear State Parks, California Coastal commissioners, and staff

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The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge website says: "Did you know? There are at least 26 imperiled plants and 118 imperiled animals that can be found on the refuge and surrounding dune habitats."

Save Lupinus nipomensis (Nipomo mesa lupine)!

Keep out of the Phillips 66 Refinery buffer area! This is the very, very rare dune scrub habitat, and home of the very, very, very rare and federally endangered Lupinus nipomensis.

To even consider any development in this area is outrageous! This plant has such a narrow band of land it exists on, that few people have seen this plant. I care deeply about endangered species and this plant!

Clearly, your documents (the Oceano Dunes public works plan) state a need for profit due to an expected loss of revenue. However, conservation is also your mission! As a steward of California state land, the future and current residents of California (and the world) expect endangered species to be preserved, not developed on top of.

As I mentioned in my comments from the meeting on Dec. 10, 2019, that I attended, do not develop the Oso Flaco Lake natural area!

I say no to all proposals in Volume 1, Appendix A1—the Oso Flaco improvement project (initial and future).

I say no to all proposals in Volume 1, Appendix A8—the Phillips 66/Southern entrance project (conceptual).

As I wrote to you last year, I urge you to donate the 800-acre Oso Flaco Lake natural area to become part of the existing Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge located to the immediate south.

The land was studied to be included in the refuge should the landowners (State Parks) agree to do so.

I, again, urge State Parks to donate the 800-acre Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area to be part of the national wildlife refuge.

The conservation plan documents the history of the preservation of these lands, including the Phillips 66 Refinery buffer (formerly the Tosco Refinery buffer).

A national wildlife refuge does not have profit as one of its primary goals. Conservation of very productive habitat is one of the goals of a national wildlife refuge. This includes endangered and threatened species.

Do the right thing and put plovers over profits! Conserve water—no new wells in the Oso Flaco Lake natural area. Clean the water runoff from the farm fields instead. Install a bio-filter to remove nitrates such as was done for the Santa Maria River in Santa Maria.

No new OHV, no new campground, no new water wells, no new electricity.

The plants, animals, and nature lovers don't need dogs scaring the animals, dog waste pollution, increased traffic, increased oil drips from vehicles, increased litter and micro-trash from campers, noise from campers, noise from RVs and campers, noise from new OHVs, noise from the new proposed shooting range, and a general increase in intensity of use on one of the most rare and unique ecosystems on earth!

I disagree that the plans comply with the California Coastal Act or the Local Coastal Program. The Oso Flaco Lake area is specifically mentioned in the San Luis Obispo County law as being a SRA— Sensitive Resource Area—and thus it simply needs a separate permit before development can occur.

The way State Parks has pushed this plan, and the way the public input meetings were conducted and where they were held, shows a clear bias toward the OHV industry and users, for profit, and not for the environment.

It reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons, "Marge vs. the Monorail."

State Parks and planners hope to barge in and shove this idea on a supposedly naïve and uninformed public. I'm not falling for it.

Stop the madness and tell the state of California, State Parks, to donate the 800-acre Oso Flaco Lake natural area to the existing Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge!

P.S. Your entrance fee profits go into the state fund, not to help the community of Oceano. The profits are not yours; they are from the exploitation of bio-diverse habitat for motorized recreation. Δ

Leif Behrmann is from Oceano. Write a response for publication and email it to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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