Just so it’s clear, I have never favored closing the dunes to riding and camping, and still don’t. Reducing dust pollution has never been an either/or scenario.
If State Parks/OHV had ever shown a willingness to work with the County, we could have, years ago, agreed on a true, practical solution to reduce the dust below the heath damaging levels, while reconfiguring the park. No great controversy needed. No years-long battle and millions in wasted tax-payer money.
Because I have been to the ODSVRA on many occasions, especially holiday weekends, I know how many families are out there camping, and many of those people wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to enjoy our coast, so I am very concerned about that, and will always have that in the forefront of all decisions. The California coast belongs to everyone.
That said, every elected official’s first and most important duty is to protect health, safety, and welfare its citizens. That’s sacred.
The denialism and delay and political sabotage by the State Parks/OHV and its supporters on the APCD Board are to blame for this ongoing, seemingly endless struggle. Those who enjoy the recreation area and those who’s business success depend on it, have been used as pawns, with all political appeals being ones of fear and anger. Everyone deserves better.
Download a PDF of Adam Hill’s statement about the Oceano Dunes.