California Coastal Commission Votes to Ban Off-Roading at Oceano Dunes

Despite fierce opposition from the SEMA Action Network (SAN) and other industry groups, the California Coastal Commission unanimously voted to abolish off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to California’s Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) during a special hearing on March 18th. Making matters worse, the Commission voted to speed up the timetable for ending OHV access—from five years to three years.

The fight to protect OHV access to Oceano Dunes is far from over. The SAN and the OHV community is currently reviewing its options to address the Commission action, which include filing a lawsuit.

The California Government can’t even agree on whose decision it is to allow OHV access at Oceano Dunes. The Coastal Commission believes the decision is theirs and have been trying for years to limit OHV access. The SAN has fought them every step of the way. On the other hand, the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks), which manages the area in collaboration with the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, believe they have the ultimate say. State Parks is currently reviewing public comments to its proposed Public Works Plan (PWP) for long-range management of the SVRA to include continued OHV access.

Oceano Dunes SVRA encompasses nearly 3,600 acres along the Pacific Ocean near San Luis Obispo, of which OHV use is now limited to 1,500 acres or less. Oceano Dunes became a state OHV park in 1974 and is the only such park on California’s coast. It has been enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts from across the country for decades and generates millions of dollars for the local economy.

Thank you to all who contacted the Coastal Commission on this important issue!  Stay tuned for further updates.