NewsCovering Kern County


Coastal Commission tables decision on Oceano Dunes until 2020

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 13:48:27-04

FRESNO, Calif. — The California Coastal Committee will bring no changes to Oceano Dunes for now.

Proposed changes will be sent to the state and discussed again in the summer of 2020.

California Coastal Committee will bring no changes to Oceano Dunes for now. Proposed changes will be sent to the state and discussed again in summer of 2020.

Here is a list of the proposed changes that will be looked at before next summer:

  • Increase Predator Management.

Implement an improved predator management plan, including enclosures for trash and food waste, and BMPs for addressing predation of sensitive species (including by coyotes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, ravens, gulls, owls, and peregrine falcons).

  • Increase Operational Enforcement.

Increase enforcement of all vehicular use limits, all vehicular speed limits, and all other vehicular requirements, including through additional signs, rangers, and parameters for verifying that the number of vehicles in the Park does not exceed maximum allowances.

  • Add Fencing.

Install additional fencing in specific areas to better protect coastal resources (including fencing in the south Oso Flaco Lake area, fencing suitable for enhanced predator management, fencing to better define the southern exclosure, and fencing to ensure all vegetated dune areas are appropriately fenced off).

  • Enhance Public Outreach.

Institute a public outreach program to increase use of appropriate beach and dune areas by lower-income, youth, and tribal parties.

  • Eliminate the TRT and Implement Annual Reports.

Eliminate the Technical Review Team (TRT) and replace it with an annual reporting program that is processed through Executive Director review and approval.

  • Add Special Events Protocols.

Require a separate CDP for all special events that could result in adverse impacts to coastal resources, including music festivals, concerts, OHV events (e.g., Huckfest), and any other special events that propose an intensity of use beyond those specified in the CDP.

  • Prohibit Night Riding.

Prohibit vehicular and OHV activity during nighttime hours (i.e., from one-hour after sunset and to one-hour before sunrise).

  • Prohibit Arroyo Grande Creek Crossing.

Prohibit vehicular crossings of Arroyo Grande Creek when it flows (i.e., shut down all OHV and camping operations during this time) except for emergency vehicles, and monitor the creek to ensure that users are not allowed south of the Creek when it will soon connect to the ocean and to provide time for users south of the Creek to exit before it connects to the ocean.

  • Reduce Use Limits.

Reduce interim vehicular and OHV daily use limits to an amount proportionate to the acreage that has been removed from vehicular/OHV use (e.g., due to dust control requirements, other exclosures, etc.).

  • Eliminate Exceptions to Use Limits.

Eliminate the four exceptions that allow unlimited vehicular and OHV use on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving weekends.

  • Evaluate Entrance Modifications.

Evaluate changes that can be made to provide vehicular access into the Park in way that can reduce coastal resource impacts, particularly as such vehicular access relates to Arroyo Grande Creek crossings and more normal and typical beach uses north of the riding area.

  • Make Seasonal Exclosure Permanent.

Make the roughly 300-acre seasonal endangered species exclosure area permanent, and restore the area to enhance habitat.

  • Allow for Future Closures for Required Dust Control.

Allow perimeter fencing and/or vegetation and related development (e.g., monitoring equipment, etc.) for dust control purposes for all areas specified by the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District.
Thursday's meeting was called last month after four people died from ATV-related crashes at the popular coastal location.

Oceano Dunes, which draws roughly 2 million visitors a year, is the only oceanfront state park that allows vehicles on its sand.

This story is courtesy of ABC 30.