Latest: No decision on off-roading ban at California dunes
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a recommendation to ban off-roading on central California dunes (all times local):
The California Coastal Commission has decided not to make any immediate changes to the rules for off-road vehicle use at Oceano Dunes.
KSBY-TV reports commissioners decided Thursday to allow the state to develop a new plan and return in a year with a set of permanent guidelines.
Parks officials will also begin providing quarterly updates on what’s happening at the Dunes.
The decision came following about seven hours of public comment.
Supporters of restrictions say off-road vehicles cause environmental damage and contribute to poor air quality.
Opponents of the ban say it would hurt businesses in the area.
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.