California

Coastal Commission sets ban on off-roading at Oceano Dunes

Off-roading at the Oceano Dunes will soon be a thing of the past. 

The California Coastal Commission decided by a unanimous vote to phase out off-road vehicles at the dunes over the following three years. 

“We applaud the California Coastal Commission’s long overdue action to phase out destructive off-road vehicle use at Oceano Dunes,” said Jeff Miller, a senior conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. 

“This reprieve for endangered wildlife and coastal dunes habitat will allow the non-motorized public to enjoy our beach and dunes as well as reduce greenhouse gas and dust pollution.” 

In addition to the three-year phase out, the commission pulled the plug on night-time recreational riding. However, people are still allowed to drive vehicles at night in camping areas. 

Also, the Pier Ave entrance will remain closed until July 1, 2022. 

Ultimately, the commission sided with environmental groups by finding that off-roading had adverse impacts on air quality and public health and led to damage to environmentally sensitive habitat areas. 

Meanwhile, off-roading advocates are eyeing a challenge when the ban is finalized.

“We are waiting on the final written decision from the California Coastal Commission, but we are prepared for the legal battle ahead,” the Friends of Oceano Dunes told followers on Facebook. “Are you willing to stand with us?”

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.