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Commission considers ending off-roading on California dunes

July 12, 2019
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In this Saturday, June 29, 2019, photo, off-road riders drive in the OHV area of Oceano Dunes SVRA, in Oceano Calif. The California Coastal Commission has decided Thursday, July 11, 2019, not to make any immediate changes to the rules for off-road vehicle use at Oceano Dunes. Parks officials will also begin providing quarterly updates on what's happening at the Dunes. (Laura Dickinson/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)
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In this Saturday, June 29, 2019, photo, off-road riders drive in the OHV area of Oceano Dunes SVRA, in Oceano Calif. The California Coastal Commission has decided Thursday, July 11, 2019, not to make any immediate changes to the rules for off-road vehicle use at Oceano Dunes. Parks officials will also begin providing quarterly updates on what's happening at the Dunes. (Laura Dickinson/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — The California Coastal Commission is considering a plan to phase out off-road vehicles at the Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve on the central coast.

Hundreds of people turned out Thursday for the public comment portion of the commission’s meeting in San Luis Obispo.

Commissioners will eventually vote on a staff recommendation calling for an end to off-roading because of concerns over the destruction of habitat for endangered species and effects to downwind communities, where air quality is a danger to public health.

Off-roaders say they have as much of a right to recreate on public lands as anyone else.

Oceano Dunes, which draws roughly 2 million visitors a year, is the only oceanfront state park that allows vehicles on its sand.

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