Oceano opposes proposed dune regulations

October 28, 2011

The Oceano Community Services District voted 4-0 to send a letter to county air regulators opposing proposed rules that place fines on the state for not improving air quality at the dunes. [Tribune]

Board members voiced concerns over the effect the proposal could have on their community’s economy because the state’s Oceano Dunes off-road vehicle park brings millions of dollars to the community each year.

“This could be a disaster to what’s left of the economy in Oceano,” board member Mary Lucey said.

The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) created a study last year that shows a link between off-road vehicle use on the dunes and unhealthy air pollution levels downwind from the dunes on the Nipomo Mesa.

However, state officials and several local elected officials claim the study is inaccurate and should be invalidated. Board members of the APCD, comprised of members of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and representatives from the county’s seven cities, voted in favor of supporting the study.

“You need to not only be certain; you need to be damn certain of what you’re claiming,” Oceano board member Matthew Guerrero said in support of the board’s position. “And since there are questions in the air, I think this is appropriate.”


People have been riding on the dunes for decades, and last time I was out there it looked the same as day one. I am also a resident of the Nipomo Mesa and I definitely don’t have a dust problem. I am also tired of the selfish group forcing ridiculous changes to suit there beliefs. This is no different than a government forcing any belief on their people. I agree with a lot of the other comments, if you don’t like atv’s on the dunes, move to another place where they don’t exist. You have a lot more options than the atv’rs do.

Please respond to the APCD in opposition to this rule in full force and save our local economy. You know the environmentalist already have.

PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS in opposition of the Rule’s adoption electronically to info@slocleanair.org or by letter to: Rule 1001, Air Pollution Control District, 3433 Roberto Court, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.  Please act NOW. Time is short. The deadline is Nov. 2.


I am not sure it is accurate to say the SLO Air Pollution Control District Board voted in favor of supporting the study performed by the SLO APCD staff. After concerns were raised about the study’s accuracy the Board voted to “Receive and File” the report not adopt or accept the report. I am not aware that the SLO APCD Board has made any further vote to “Support” the study. In fact, significant additional study is underway. Others have previously pointed out this misconception about the SLO APCD Board “adopting” the study, but the misconception continues. Here is the video link of the SLO APCD Board receiving and filing the report:



Very good website, thanks.


Great. If OCSD is so danged hot to keep the off-roading, let THEM pay for the air pollution fines Nipomo Mesa residents are forced to pay.

OCSD has a big mouth when t hey are getting the benefit of the pollution for free, and another community has to pay for it.

They need to put up or shut up.


The State of California would be fined because it is a State Park, not the residents of Nipomo. Also, all the studies done since the faked SLO Air Pollution Control District study in question, including the air quality study at the two Nipomo Mesa schools closest to the dunes show normal air quality, i.e., the same as San Luis Obispo and better than Santa Maria. Here is a link to the story: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/07/22/1692542/schools-checked-for-dunes-dust.html


Forget about air quality.

Air quality is just one of the many negative outcomes that is hoped can definitively and scientifically demonstrate what we all know….that offroading on unique and sensitive beaches on the Central Coast is not compatible with the area or the other (would be) users of the resource.


Sorry Morpheus. This story is about air quality studies. You and your merry band of 1960’s era hippies have tried everything else to close the dunes down to off road riding in the last 25 years and now you have tried air quality. Why aren’t you happy hiking on the other 834.5 miles of California coastline? Why are you and your generation so selfish?


How much of the million dollars comes from ATV rentals and isn’t there a conflict of interest with the OSCD. If you have a ATV rental business I can understand why you want this to continue.


What is the conflict of interest you refer to? Is there a specific OSCD Board member you are referring to? You imply a conflict of interest, but don’t identify any specifics.

The Economic Impact report of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area that was completed by Dr. William Hendricks and his associates at Cal Poly a few years ago indicated the total economic impact to the 5 Cities area to be around $108 million a year. This is a very significant amount of money, so I would say money does play a part.


It is just a matter of time before this totally incompatible use of the public resource is removed. I can’t wait for the Oceano Dunes to be available to the majority of Californians without the disruption caused by the minority. Will fewer people visit when offroading is disallowed?…yes. But you could probably get more visitors to Yosemite valley if you opened up the trails and Valley floor to motorcycles too.

I do love the offroader’s argument that we should keep the dunes open to OHVs, since it is the only beach where they are still allowed, while hundreds of miles of other beaches are reserved for motor-free activities. And why do you think this is? That’s right, because driving trucks, dune buggies and motorcycles on the beach is totally incompatible with the resource, and every other agency from Mexico to Canada has figured that out.

Just a matter of time friends.


Face it, Morpheus, you and your group of 1960’s era hippies are just plain selfish.

There are 840 miles of California Coastline. The state has seen fit to make 5.5 miles or 0.65 of one percent of the coastline available to off road riding. The other 99.35% or 834.5 miles of California Coastline is off limits to off road riding. The Oceano Dunes are 18 miles long and the State has set aside 12.5 miles for you and your friends to go play in and use as you wish.


Selfish? Don’t you think its time to boost the economy of Trona and Baker Ca? So if you want sand load up your junk and go to Dumont Dunes and If that dosent float your boat there’s always Glamis. Id also like to know what “economy” in Oceano their CSD is concerned about as there’s no real services to speak of for tourists other then one restaurant a couple liquor stores and the motel. I also believe you have your mileage figures off also, It not 18 miles to the Devils Slide which was the southern end of things decades ago, now there’s something like 3.5 miles of open shoreline and as little as 1100 acres to use with seasonal closures. 1100 Acres for 5000 people, that’s insanity, time to move on.


Yes rallyraid, it is time to boost the economy of Baker. If the 834.5 miles of California coastline not open to off road riding is not enough for you and your friends to hike on then by all means you should travel to Baker to go hiking. I am sure they would appreciate your business.


Right on cue.^

Although I wasn’t even alive in the 1960’s, I WILL be delighted when my friends and I can go play and use the dunes as we wish. Me, and the majority of all local residents and Californians who can enjoy the resource without excluding others…even you.


Right on cue ^ was referring to whatisup.

I didn’t quite expect to see the “840 miles of coastline” argument fight off the bat!


Nobody is being excluded, nobody, and you can use the dunes as you like currently less the drinking,speeding, entering closed areas, not running over Plovers and pissing off the locals, but so can 5000 others in a way to small area. What is the appeal of you and 4999 other riders shoved into 1100 acres? Is it because you get to show off your toy collections to others in hope their impressed, to get away from the 110 degree Valley Heat? fill us in?. I say grow a pair Emo boy, take that 4 wheeled slug of yours out to the desert and learn to ride like it was meant to be ridden LOL…


Me me me, I I I, me me me. You don’t speak for the majority of people.

You want to destroy the economy of the central coast, you want what is left of our businesses to dry up and that is very selfish of you. If you want to live in Guadalupe where there is little tourism and you can walk on the beach without cars then move there but please stop trying to make us like Guadalupe. The Five Cities depends on those dunes and the APCD study is deeply flawed.

If you drive a car to any vacation destination then you are a hypocrite.




Wow. Typoqueen. Whew. Great post!


There’s plenty in this county that feel the dunes should be closed, as far as the me.me,me how do we know you don’t own a business profiting off the dunes crowd?. Yes, I’ll admit Im a hypocrite, just like every other NIMBY in SLO county with a personal agenda of some sort, including you Typo. I own several vehicles,bikes etc and an a avid off road user every chance, I never use the dunes nor has it anything to do with vehicles, hippies or VW buses. Theres a time and place for everything, and vehicles trashing our local coastline isn’t one of them.


This is a CA State Park. It is an off road recreational park for the use of ALL people, not just those that live in the County. How would you like it if the people who live by Yosemite told you to get lost because you don’t live near the park or they didn’t like the fact you were making hiking trails into the back country? You admit you are an avid off road user. If that is true you know darn well that some environmentalists want your off road use eliminated even if it is just hiking in what they consider the wrong spot. At least you admit you are quite the NIMBY hypocrite, but you don’t listen to your own words. Very strange.


State park,National park or private, it makes no difference taking into consideration the total negative impact from the dune OHV use. I’ll be the first to admit after 40+ years of public land use a significant portion of the OHV community as well as other use groups has nobody but themselves to blame for the numerous land closures in Ca and other states and yes, throw in the” just because” we don’t want you here bunch which is an entirely different battle fro public land users there’s little open public land available for motor vehicle use. The dunes are mismanaged, over crowded, and operating with one thing in mind, Money, which seems to be the only good reason as of lately the pro users can come up with to prevent closure. We put a price tag on everything it seems and what comes in the way of impacts from that price paid are secondary or ignored completely which in itself is hypocritical as we all scream were environmentally conscious. Take offense all you want but compare a picture of the dunes 25 years ago and what it looks like now which is a wasteland littered with mini dumps of bottles,trash, burned out fire rings bal,bla,bla and there’s no excuse for it. Would I expect the Yosemite locals or for that matter folks who actually clean up after themselves after they use our public lands to feel the same way, damn right I would.


I don’t see all that mess that you’re referring to out there. It’s more congested as they powers that be keep taking OHV acreage away, it keeps getting smaller. To many of us, the people that live here, yes, it is about money but to the people that go there it’s about families vacationing, spending time together, it’s about older people or disabled people that can only get to the ocean by driving down there, its about the fishermen that drive down there with gear, it’s about the horses that ride on the beach. To them it’s not about the money. I would rather see OHV than homes, at least the dunes can be fixed from the OHVs.

Yes we need to scream about the environment but by closing that beach to OHV we’re not helping the environment, they will simply go someplace else so the same amount of CO2 is being discharged, the same amount of fossil fuels are being used. If we really care about the environment then we need to push to get vehicles not just those on the dunes but all vehicles off of fossil fuels. We need to push to get these car manufacturers to find alternatives to fossil fuels. But segregating one segment of the population because we don’t enjoy the same form of recreation is selfish IMO. Don’t get me wrong, there should be places that are forever wilderness or kept pristine but there should be room for everyone.


You will be happy to know that a company in Santa Cruz has started production of all electric dirt bikes. Zero Motorcycles (zero emissions) manufactures both street and dirt bikes. All electric ATVs are sure to follow.

The company was founded by Neal Saiki, former NASA Engineer and Cal Poly graduate!


And there’s plenty in this county that don’t feel it should be closed. My business doesn’t specifically depend on the dunes but it is a trickle down thing, if we lose the tourism from the dunes it will hurt everyone that lives here. Why is it okay to drive through Yosemite, have you driven on HWY 1 that goes through Malibu? Did you know that Disneyland was built on a wetlands, have you been there? How about driving up the coast HWY, that’s very damaging to our coastline.

There’s nothing wrong with being a NYMBY and I never said that there was something wrong with that. We are supposed to care about where we live.

Just because you don’t use the dunes doesn’t mean that the people that do are doing something wrong. If this were miles and miles of OHV use then I’d say you’re right, it’s too much but it is just a little area. I’m a lib but I’m not a hypocrite. I’ve camped at Yellowstone, it took a lot of fossil fuels to get there and my motor home was on roads that were built on pristine acreage. One of my favorite places to camp is Yosemite. There’s way too many cars there, there are sidewalks and buildings built on some of the most pristine beautiful property in the country. One of the main people against this that really started all this owns a home built ON not next to the dunes (permanent damage to those dunes BTW). That same person flew to Cambodia. That plane used approx 40,000 gallons of fossil fuels. Live by the sword or die by the sword. If you drive on or travel anywhere to go on vacations or just to take family trips then you are a hypocrite if you say that you are worried about the environment. I’m for doing what we can to help the environment but I’m not going to say one thing and then do another.

The OHV isn’t hurting our area, the OHV supports our lifestyle, I don’t want to live in Guadalupe, nothing against Guadalupe but it’s not what I choose. If the study was complete or if it accurately demonstrated that it was causing lung and other health issues then I might have a problem with the OHV but it doesn’t. I could go on about the study but this is long enough.

IherpedAndThenI Derped

What damage? please enlighten me… are the dunes disappearing and i missed it??? They sure seem as big as ever last time I was out that way.

Oh wow you own several vehicles! You must now be a proverbial sage on environmental policy and coastal health of the dunes. I submit to your clearly FAR SUPERIOR knowledge on this subject….

IherpedAndThenI Derped

Aimed at RallyRaid for reference


Incompatible use of public resource? You are aware, of course, that vehicles have been driving on those dunes since their invention? Review those old early 1900 photos and you will clearly see vehicles on that very beach. Incompatible with people who purchased residences near those dunes? So because they chose to build/buy near the dunes they now have the right to close the beach/dunes to vehicular use? I don’t think so.

You don’t like it…move. Driving on that beach was there long before your house was.


Let me get this right… the Oceano CSD is worried that stopping the ongoing polluting of air is not a good choice for the local economy. The Los Osos CSD? They fall all over themselves to stop the purported pollution of ground water at a cost of $200 million (and growing) to the working class and retired residents of Los Osos. Has anyone considered what the serew is going to do the “economy” in Los Osos? It’s a double standard. Very sad.

Kevin Rice

No, you don’t have it right…

It’s about the bad air study. Nothing will be solved if you go after the wrong thing.

SLO County received “A” ratings by the Lung Association for “dust” and an “F” for ozone:

The American Lung Association State of the Air 2011 report:


SLO County grades/ranking:

F – High Ozone Days (rank #11 most polluted out of 277 metropolitan areas)

A – Particulate Pollution – 24 hour (rank #1 cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for 24-hour particle pollution)

A – Particulate Pollution – annual

Further, the air district manipulates air data:



Good on the OCSD. They are absolutely correct in their assertion that closing the dunes to off-roading would kill what’s left of Oceano’s economy. I would hope that the rest of the five cities get on board, since they would also be profoundly affected as well.


Sometimes i despair for the future of our earth.

To sacrifice a fragile ecosystem for short-term monetary gain is pennies wise and pound foolish…or as my mother used to call it, the “I-got-mine-wno-cares-about-you” mentality.

This is the mentality that has degraded so much of our planet, and echoes the ecological devastation did in Hawaii when Europeans saw it, wanted what it had, and so plundered it, destroying so much of the environment, and literally wiping out the native population almost to the point of extinction.

I don’t think having our local beaches and our cities should have to be treated like Baja, where the most obnoxious offroaders like to go because they can tear things up, act like ***holes, get polluted at the bars and restaurants, insult the locals, and then puke on the streets…and no residents will say a word because they need the turista dollars.

Finally, I think it is self-serving, selfish, and presumptions for OCSD to tell us we need to continue to suffer these weekly invasions by the wallowing RVs and their trailers full of ego-props, who take over a local area that all people should be able to safely enjoy.


What was the ecological devastation done in Hawaii?


How about Yosemite, have you been there Mary? Why is it okay to have other parks that we drive our cars on but not this one? If this wasn’t such a small little slice then I would agree but this is just one little area and it pales in comparison to the size of other state and national parks.


Selfish is trying to stop something that was ongoing BEFORE you chose to live there.


Well said, danika!

IherpedAndThenI Derped

You bitch about this, while they rape the rain forest in south America, east Asia, and ALL over mainland Asia / Africa… GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT !

Sounds like someone just has the “not in my backyard” mentality if you ask me….