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Letters to the Editor: Sorry off-roaders, you don’t get to destroy Oceano Dunes because it’s fun

People drive at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.
People drive at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, the only California state park where vehicles may be driven on the beach.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The preservation of Oceano Dunes and Oso Flaco Lake in San Luis Obispo County will protect two of our most precious coastal resources where we can experience the quiet, watch the birds and walk lightly. (“Off-road vehicles to be banned at Oceano Dunes within three years,” March 19)

I’m sorry for those whose only form of enjoyment of these natural environments requires machines, noise and pollution. But at some point, we have to recognize that this way of life is unsustainable.

I applaud the decision of the California Coastal Commission to face down the opposition and ban off-roading at Oceano Dunes, and I am hopeful that the decision will stand.

Michele Padron, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: I’m clutching my head over this: How did the destructive users of off-road vehicles on sensitive beach habitat ever score a name for their organization like “Friends of Oceano Dunes”?

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I am disgusted.

Lisa Edmondson, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I find it humorous that Michael Heim of Apple Valley, who was quoted in your article, says that at the Oceano Dunes, “families can fly kites over the waves, find amazing sand dollars under their toes and watch the sun go down beside a campfire.”

When I walk the beach at the dunes, the only sand dollars and mussels I seem to find are the ones that off-roaders like Heim have run over and destroyed. I find myself picking up pieces of dead sand dollars and mussels.

Unfortunately, these weekend road warriors have absolutely no respect for the community, the ecosystem and Mother Nature. So, here’s an idea for them: Stay home and destroy your own backyard.

Martin Manigone, Arroyo Grande


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