Well-Known Member
Off Roaders won a very significant victory yesterday when the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to reject their staff's recommendation to impose additional closures and requirements on the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA) operating permit for one year.

So lets celebrate our victory, but we are not out of the woods yet. The environmental extremists have also gone to court to close down ODSVRA and again the Friends of Oceano Dunes (FOD), with DPR are opposing the environmental extremists. Court cases cost money, so please help out FOD. For info, their website is

<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>


Well-Known Member
Beach to Stay Open to Off-Roaders
> Parks: Coastal panel says rules for Oceano Dunes won't change until
>a study is done. An at-risk bird is at issue.
>The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday agreed to keep open
>the only beach in Southern and Central California where off-road
>vehicles can race along the water's edge, despite objections from
>environmentalists that the traffic threatens the survival of an
>endangered shorebird.
>Before adopting any more restrictions, the commission will wait for
>a panel of advisors to study the dunes near Pismo Beach and
>recommend how to better separate dune buggies and off-road bikes
>from the western snowy plover that nests on the beach.
>"The commission decided to go with the status quo," said Chairwoman
>Sara Wan. "We decided to give it a couple of more years and see if
>it can work." The commission's decision comes as the Oceano Dunes
>State Recreation Area, formerly called Pismo Dunes, is preparing for
>the Memorial Day invasion of dirt bikes, sand rails, Jeeps and
>trucks that congregate there every three-day weekend.
>Last year, 47,500 people showed up for the long weekend that kicks
>off the summer, and state park rangers expect a similar showing.
>Off-roaders from throughout California prefer the magnificent
>seaside dunes in the summer, when other popular off-road
>destinations in the desert get too hot.
>Under the Coastal Commission's permit, the state beach limits
>traffic to 4,300 vehicles a day. But the limit is lifted for the
>weekends attached to Memorial and Labor days, July 4 and
>Last November, the Sierra Club sued the California Department of
>Parks and Recreation on grounds that by permitting the beach
>traffic, state officials are causing the deaths of federally
>protected species and destroying their habitat.
>In addition to the snowy plover, Oceano Dunes is home to another
>endangered shorebird, the least tern. A creek that off-road vehicles
>must cross to get to the beach has been known to harbor endangered
>steelhead trout.
>"It's a shameful embarrassment for the state to allow the imminent
>extinction of the snowy plover," said Mark Massara, director of the
>Sierra Club's coastal program. "Our actions may be too late, but we
>couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't try."
>This week, the Pacific Legal Foundation and a group of off-road
>enthusiasts called Friends of the Oceano Dunes sued the U.S. Fish
>and Wildlife Service, arguing that it illegally designated the dunes
>and miles of other coastal areas as "critical habitat" for the
>plovers by failing to consider economic impacts.
>"We want to force the government to adhere to Congress' intent, and
>the intent was to consider the effect on people," said Russell
>Brooks, attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation.
>The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that designating the
>area as plover habitat did not result in any economic impact, he
>But his clients maintain that if the beach is closed, it will result
>in the loss of $110 million to the area's economy contributed by the
>more than 1 million off-road enthusiasts who visit San Luis Obispo
>County every year.
>"The handwriting is pretty well on the wall for the final order
>shutting down the beach and the dunes," Brooks said.
>The suit was filed this week, in advance of the Coastal Commission's
>annual review of the permit for off-road vehicles to use the beach.
>Busloads of off-roaders packed the commission hearing in Santa Rosa,
>drawn by e-mail alerts saying the commission would place more of the
>beach off limits or close it to vehicles altogether.
>Although the commission has the power to do so, such an action was
>not on the agenda.
>Instead, the board kept the same restrictions as last year, which
>limits off-road vehicles to about a third of the 3,500-acre state
>Fewer than 1,000 plovers, a once-abundant shorebird, remain in
>California. A biologist found nests of 33 pairs in 2001 at Oceano
>Dunes, one of the few nesting grounds in the state not lost to

<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>


Well-Known Member
one for us, but many more battles to come.

"Those who risk nothing are nothing."


Well-Known Member
Here is an update on this! One down...god knows how many to go =-)

Oceano Dunes remains open, thanks to Davis Administration and off-road activists
Oceano Dunes will remain open this summer and for years to come, thanks to a major victory over the environmental extremists — a victory that came with strong support from the administration of administration of Governor Gray Davis.

"The extremists suffered an embarrassing defeat early this month when the California Coastal Commission refused to impose new arbitrary and unreasonable restrictions on the off-road community," said Pete Conaty, executive director of the California League of Off Road Voters. "This effort was part of the extremists' long-term strategy: to close down all off-road recreation in California."

"This victory highlights the need for off-roaders to get involved in the political process," Conaty said. "We could not have prevailed without the assistance not only of the Davis Administration but of 40 members of the Legislature. We gained that support through our continuous advocacy both in the administration and the Legislature."

"The staff of the California Coastal Commission wanted to impose more restrictions and closures at Oceano Dunes — all part of the environmental extremists' continuing effort to close the dunes completely to off-road recreation," Conaty said. "The commission, however, voted unanimously to keep Oceano Dunes open with no additional restrictions."

"This was a hard-won victory," he said. "As we all know, the coastal commission is no friend no off roaders. It took hard work by many people, the Friends of Oceano Dunes, Jim and Joel Suty, the Pacific Legal Foundation and, especially, the Davis administration and Dave Widell, deputy director of the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division."

"A key element in the victory was a letter to Governor Davis and the commission signed by 40 members of the Legislature, both Democrats and Republicans," Conaty said. "Terry McHale and I worked together to get the signatures, which total one-third of the Legislature."

"This is not the first time Governor Davis has stepped up to the plate on behalf of the off-road community. Recently he appointed Robert Chavez, an avid off-roader, to the OHMVR Commission," he said. "Mr. Chavez has raced off road and participated in the Barstow to Las Vegas event. He joins two other off-road advocates appointed to the OHMVR Commission by Governor Davis: Daphne Greene, a professional off-road instructor and Sheriff Michael Prizmich of Amador County.

Mr. Chavez, 43, of Encino, has a 30-year background in off-highway motor sports and more than 15 years of experience in real estate. He began riding a mini-bike at the age of 7 and has progressed to riding motorcycles in a variety of off road events in California, Nevada and Mexico. Mr. Chavez has enjoyed a successful motorcycle career competing in such events as “Barstow to Vegas” and Adelanto Grand Prix.” He continues to enjoy his sport through trails and desert riding. In 1998, Mr. Chavez became President of The Staubach Company, where he still works. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California.

"Unfortunately, appointments to the OHMVR Commission by liberal leaders of the Legislature leave the environmental extremists with a four to three majority on the commission," Conaty said. "But the pro-off roaders, with the backing of the Davis Administration were still able to defeat the extremists' effort to close Oceano Dunes.

"The Davis administration strongly opposed the attempt by the notoriously biased staff of the Coastal Commission to push its extremist propaganda and close more of Oceano Dunes to the off-road community. Fortunately we had David Widell of the OHMVR division leading the charge on behalf not just off off-roaders but of all Californians who believe that public lands should be open to the public.

"Thanks to the support of the administration, the annual permit was approved at a Coastal Commission meeting early this month -- with none of the additional restrictions imposed by the commission staff."

"As we know all too well, this is not the end of the war," Conaty said. "The environmental zealots never give up. Right now they are pursuing a lawsuit to close Oceano Dunes, and you can be sure they will continue to try to manipulate the regulatory process to take away more and more of our rights, to close more and more public lands to the public. And much this will come in the form of guerrilla warfare waged by extremists who have burrowed deep into the state bureaucracy over the past decades.

"CLORV and other off-road organizations will continue to battle the extremist. We will work with the Davis administration and the Legislature to protect the rights of the off-road community — and of all Californians — to enjoy the Golden State's beautiful natural heritage."

<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>