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State Parks' economic dunes study was debunked

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Your reporting on the upcoming SLO CAL/South County Chambers of Commerce economic study of the "indirect and induced" profits the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA) "brings to neighboring communities" mentioned the previous survey commissioned by State Parks, once brandished everywhere as proof that off-road activity at the Oceano Dunes is vital to the local economy ("Visit SLO CAL still plans to conduct Oceano Dunes economic impact study," March 25). In writing that "conservationists have criticized the report as biased and mathematically flawed," you maintain the both-sides-ism frame of different studies "criticized by one side and applauded by the other."

But the State Parks study has been criticized by conservationists because it has been debunked by economists, including Dr. Phil King, economics professor at San Francisco State University. Among multiple reasons why that State Parks report should not be taken seriously by anybody, Dr. King's review found that it "incorrectly assumes that should OHV recreation cease in the area, participants and spectators will not be replaced by other visitors, and therefore the report does not consider the potential impact of that substitution. It is my professional opinion that this key assumption is completely erroneous."

Memo to Visit SLO CAL: Don't make that mistake.

Andrew Christie

San Luis Obispo

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