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17 organizations write to oppose Oceano SVRA's draft Public Works Plan

| Suzy Johnson | Access Issues

The undersigned businesses, associations, and enthusiast groups are opposed to several provisions in the proposed Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA) Public Works Plan (PWP) that was released on December 30, 2020. If implemented as drafted, the proposed PWP would fundamentally change the operation of ODSVRA which has been open to off-highway vehicle (OHV) use for many decades.

The PWP’s most concerning proposals include:

  • Ending OHV/ATV rental concessions when their current contracts expire in 2022 which would disenfranchise tens of thousands of individuals who rely on the rentals to enjoy ODSVRA. Not everyone can afford to purchase their own OHV vehicle and forcing OHV enthusiasts to trailer their private vehicles would cause congestion, parking space issues, and increased traffic.
  • An immediate 42 percent reduction of OHV day-use limits, from the current 1,720 vehicles/day, down to 1,000/day. The Park has been able to adequately handle OHV activity under the current permit limits and reducing permits by 42 percent will negatively impact the revenue generated for CA Parks.
  • An Environmental Impact Review (EIR) alternative to consider phase-out of OHV recreation over five years (see Volume 3, Chapter 2, Alternatives) would fundamentally change the structure of ODSVRA, making it ineligible for OHV trust fund funding and causing CA Parks to cover the costs associated with operating the park as something other than an SVRA.
  • Conducting an “independently peer-reviewed carrying capacity study” to determine appropriate limits for beach camping and day-use by OHVs and street-legal vehicles appears to be another way to further limit access/use by OHVs in ODSVRA.
  • The conceptual purchase of the Phillips 66 refinery property and construction of new camping, OHV staging, and day-use facilities near the South Entrance raises many challenges, not the least of which is, how would the state purchase such expensive property? If acquired, how long would it take to clean up hazardous contamination on the site, and at what cost? In addition, the property is further from riding areas, would require road crossing, and is close to a residential area whose residents have already voiced strong objections to any OHV use.

Implementing these proposals would effectively end OHV access to ODSVRA, causing great financial deficit to CA Parks, result in lost revenue to the local community, and put several concessionaires out of business, forcing more people out of work at a time when the state is straining under the global COVID-19 pandemic and so many families are barely keeping food on the table.

We ask that CA Parks and the Coastal Commission not implement any of the provisions outlined above as part of the PWP.

American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)
AMA District 36 Legislative Action Office
AMA District 37
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA)
Arnie’s ATV
American Sand Association (ASA)
BJ’s ATV Rentals
California Off Road Vehicle Association (CORVA)
California Four Wheel Drive Association
Friends of Oceano Dunes
Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)
National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
Off-Road Business Association (ORBA)
Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA)
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)
Specialty Vehicle institute of America (SVIA)
Steve’s ATV Rentals

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