Deception And The Dunes

Additional Credits: Footage of government meetings courtesy of AGP Video

The Off-Highway Vehicular Division (OHV) of California State Parks and Recreation is using a beach to access its landlocked Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA).

Oso Flaco, to the south of the ODSVRA, was intended to be the entry to the ODSVRA, but it was not acceptable to the Coastal Commission. The OHV was given a certain time period to establish another entry but all entries are environmentally damaging.

The Deception and the Dunes documentary shows how the OHV purchased the ODSVRA and attempts to repair the damage off-roading does to it and the surrounding areas with our gasoline tax; how the OHV overestimated the amount of gasoline tax it supposedly should get by 50%; how the OHV is not containing the nuisance of off-highway vehicles and has spread out on to the beach and neighboring county land; how OHV is trying to make the beach entry be permanent with its studies that do not consider the negative impacts on the beach, marine mammals, other wildlife and the local communities; how OHV claims to be good for our economy without considering what it costs the community using first a study that claimed 200 million a year benefit to the county, then a more recent study that showed that claim to be exaggerated by over 50% (and an independent study showed the true amount to be fraction of either OHV study); and how the OHV does not report to the public the lawlessness in the ODSVRA, concealing that it is out of control with the number of deaths and injuries.

Danger Zone vs Safe Beach

Oceano is no different from any other beach town in that its most valuable asset is its beach. The same is true for Grover Beach and Pismo Beach. Vehicles driving on the beach prevent access to the beach by regular tourists, who do not want a Danger Zone. They want a Safe Beach.

The citizens of Pismo Beach banned vehicles from their beach. This documentary shows how Edith Schrader and the Beachwalkers turned a Danger Zone into a Safe Zone and Play Area for children. In 1979, the citizens of Pismo Beach voted overwhelmingly, by sixty eight percent, to get vehicles off its beach.

There were merchants and others who feared that the local economy would suffer if Pismo did not allow vehicles on its beach. They had no reason to fear, the economy improved significantly.

Grover Beach businesses on Grand Ave are changing. The types of businesses that support regular tourists are failing, and those who are automotive related are succeeding, especially atv rental and sales. Pismo has very few automotive related businesses, and is rather a tourist town. Pier Avenue in Oceano, on the other hand, is almost all automotive related. Both Oceano and Grover Beach recognize their greatest draw for regular tourists, who would support the local economy, is a safe beach. The tourists who shop, eat out, and pay bed tax to hotels and vacation rentals. do not find rows of atv rentals attractive. But mostly, the use of the beach by vehicles is dangerous. If we ban vehicles from Oceano Beach, our economy will improve, as Pismo's did.

This documentary is dedicated to the late Edith Schrader, a beachwalker, who would not stop until the vehicles were banned from Pismo Beach, and to the late Amanda Orme who would be alive today had she been on the beach in Pismo instead of Oceano.

The Deadly Dunes And The Dollar & Letters To The Editor

This 30 minute documentary includes:

Oceano Dunes, off-roaders, and ambulances; a map showing the destruction of the dunes by off-roaders in a buffer area that is a danger zone; a letter to the editor written by Rachel May, MD Arroyo Grande Community Hospital expressing concern for the number of accidents at the dunes and the lack of law enforcement; Andrew Zilke, Superintendent ODSVRA discussing two economic impact studies commissioned by OHV, the first one done in 1992; and the second, with CalPoly, starting around 2005 and just released.

The claim of 94 million from the first study in 1992 has been widely publicized by OHV who extrapolated from that claim an estimated 200 million positive impact on today's local economy. The second study, which pads the economic impact by including gasoline expenditures, claims 76 million; a Dean Runyan study showing the income to San Luis Obispo County in 1992 and 2005 from public campgrounds (all county and state, including the ODSVRA). The figures are only 17.5 and 23.5 million; a New Times Shredder article criticizing the second OHV study; Sherrie Brekke, RN, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center reading letters to the editor she has written about the tragic injuries in the dunes, questioning the economic impact of those injuries to taxpayers.

Tobias Brekke, Medical Student, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center commenting on the letters to the editor and the social and economic impacts of dune injuries; letters to the SLO Board of Supervisors from forty members of the Legislature (who quote the 200 million economic impact statistic) and the City of Pismo Beach urging the sale of La Grande Tract to OHV; and a list of companies and organizations who support Off Road Business Association (ORBA) which lobbies Sacramento for the multinational off-road industry.

Music by C.S. Elliott

Health Threatening PM 10 Downwind of ODSVRA (ed7/8/07) 02:46

Dune crust broken by millions of off-roaders who plunder the Oceano Dunes, causing airborne particulate matter and health risks to Nipomo residents. This video shows the plume.