Pismo, Oceano Dunes SVRA - CORVA News


Staff member
this is out of their Newsletter

Lyndi Love-Haning
The fight to keep the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA) open has been going on for decades. Secret meetings, numerous lawsuits, political corruption combined with a suspicious cast of characters have defined this constantly evolving drama. The ongoing saga would be the perfect plot for a fictional drama.

Unfortunately, this is a reality that we, as off-roaders, can no longer sit back and watch. Closure of the dunes, or portions of the dunes is not good manage- ment and this situation is in dire need to be managed. As fellow off-roaders, this issue must be near and dear to everyone’s hearts and minds!

This is the current battle: ODSVRA vs. a handful of rich and retired residents living in a new million-dollar subdivision on a mesa downwind of Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes SVRA. These ‘red shirts literally wear red shirts to represent the color of the air alert
on the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District (APCD) website when there is a bad air quality day. The red shirts’ main claim is that OHV activity has destroyed vegetation that existed in 1930 and furthermore claim vehicles break up fine crust that forms on the dunes, resulting in the park being more emissive than other areas. The red shirts say that increased emissivity results in particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM10) steadily blowing into their homes and lungs, causing pulmonary issues.

There are many flaws with this theory, but here are the main problems:
• After millions of tax dollars spent and a decade of studies, the actual percentage of emissions caused by OHV activity has not been identified.
• Off -shore sources of emissions have been identified but largely ignored. This calls into question whether the OHV park is a major source of emissions or simply a path between offshore sources and the Mesa.
• The data being used to create emissions modeling is from 2013 and has not been updated with information collected over the past 5 years. The model has also not been tested or validated as appropriate to use in this manner
• Most complaints come from residents living in homes surrounded by agricultural fields, ongoing construction, dirt roads and open sand sheets. In fact, the Specific Plan and Environmental Impact report for the master planned community at issue warned that ongoing construction activities would cause significant air quality issues to residents.
• Most of the people complaining of health issues related to air quality have moved to the area within the last 10 years and have no proof that what they are experiencing is not related to pre-existing conditions.
• The red shirts initially complained of crystalline silica, a small particulate matter that causes lung cancer. Crystalline silica was tested for on many separate occasions by the APCD and State Parks. The samples were tested in accordance to OSHA standards and were all found to not exceed limits. The red shirts quickly changed their complaint to any particulate matter smaller than 10 microns.


General Menace
Staff member
Pismo is an iconic Mid State bastion of fun for off road enthusiasts.

Part of the problem in rallying folks around this is likely the geography of where they come from to play on the dunes. There are not like the red shirts that are there everyday.


Staff member
Some more really good stuff...

The Fight for Oceano Dunes

Over the past year, since the July 2019 California Coastal Commission meeting in San Luis Obispo (SLO), we have seen many changes to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA). None of which have been good for the future of the ODSVRA, or had any positive impact for OHV and beach camping. For those who are not yet aware of just how big of a threat we are facing to the lively hood and future of off-road recreation in California, it’s time to start paying very close attention to the events that are unfolding. It’s time for everyone to get involved and join us in this fight!

The recent “transformation” of State Parks, which is merging the OHV program and the larger State Parks together has thus far been a total failure. Look no further than what is happening at Oceano Dunes. Look at the gross misuse of our OHV Trust Fund dollars being wasted on ridiculous programs to shut down OHV, camping and public access to the Park. Ever since the larger State Parks has taken control of running our California OHV Program and the SVRAs, we have seen nothing but poor management and a lack of OHV representation of how our SVRAs need to be run. For over 3 years now, State Parks has yet to even appoint a Supervisor to run the Oceano Dunes SVRA. The California Coastal Commission (CCC) is working around the clock, alongside the special interest funded bureaucrats and developers, to shut down the ODSVRA. Meanwhile Parks has no one locally in charge of running and defending the Park against the CCC’s overreach of power to shut it down. The local ODSVRA people are working hard, but the overbearing Sacramento elite are determined to shut At the December 2019 Air Pollution Control District (APCD) Hearing in SLO, the APCD ordered the closure of 48 acres of prime beach camping, which would begin late December 2019. Just prior to the sold out Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the CCC issued an early emergency closure of the 48 acres “foredunes” area for “instrumentation” that was never installed. This closure reduced the available camping area at ODSVRA by more than 50%. By the CCC pushing forward this emergency closure ahead of schedule, Parks failed to meet the requirements of the Stipulated Order of Abatement and CEQA, to properly model and survey these closures. In other words, these areas shouldn’t have been closed, yet State Parks continues to show no back bone to stand up to the elites.

Almost immediately following, Parks began implementing many new projects to shut us down, all of which being paid for using the OHV Trust Fund. They began by spreading hay bales all over the 48 acres, then installing surveillance equipment to monitor for rodent activity at the foredunes. Well, there were no rodents, and guess where all the hay has gone? Due to these closures not being properly modeled, the high tides have been reaching well within the fence lines and pulling the hay into the ocean. Even better, the remaining hay is being blown out of the closures and going airborne towards the surround residential areas. Does this sound like a well thought out plan? Well...no it doesn’t. They aren’t worried about it though, because they didn’t pay for it, they’ve used your OHV dollars for everything. More recently, Parks has been installing miles of non-biodegradable orange fencing at the dunes, per the SOA (Stipulated Order of Abatement). Plastic fencing which has already become buried by the sand and reclaimed to the dunes. For those who don’t know about the SOA, it was an agreement made between State Parks and the APCD, and probably one of the worst deals of all time. The SOA essentially gave the APCD a blank check and free reign to begin having Parks install as many fences and closures as they see fit, with no explanation. The APCD claim it is all necessary to meet a dust particulate reduction as dictated by their SAG (Scientific Advisory Group), and based upon all of SAGs false perpetuated junk science. In reality, everything the SAG, APCD and CCC are saying and doing, is whatever best fits into their biased anti OHV narrative to remove OHV from the Park. It is all just smoke and mirrors...and OHV is paying for all of it.

Recently, the Scripps Institute has conducted its own independent research study, and has submitted their report to State Parks and the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Commissioners. The Scripps report has shed a breath of fresh air and some much needed new light on the subject of natural saltation, dust particulates and air quality from in and around the ODSVRA. In other words, it is all natural and not caused by OHV! The claims from the APCD and SAG are inaccurate and unfounded, and the Scripps study just proved it. With the gates to ODSVRA now closed due to the recent Covid 19 restrictions, the surrounding local economy has been devastated. The tourism which bringing revenue into the community has come to a screeching halt. Nearly all of the retail stores, restaurants, hotels, rental companies and other small businesses from the area, are just struggling to stay afloat and find a way to make ends meet. Sadly, many of these businesses will not survive. This paints the perfect picture of what the local economic impact to the surrounding communities would look like with closure of Oceano Dunes SVRA. We cannot let this happy to our families, businesses and community.

It is time for each and every one of us to get involved, stand up and have our voices heard. What is happening to Oceano has set a very dangerous precedent, and your local SVRA or riding area could be next.

Please go to https://www.oceanodunes.org, and join us in our fight! Help us save Oceano Dunes SVRA!
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Staff member
Upcoming Meetings
Date: January 13-14, 2021
Time: 9:00am


Date: January 27, 2021
Time: 9:00am

Date: TBD second or third week of February
Time: TBD


Well-known member
Who was there first? Pismo Dunes riding area or those rich people who want to shit it down?


New member
Among other SoCal playgrounds, we spent many weekends at Pismo in the 70s. We'd always camp at the end of Oso Flaco Lake Rd. First time I got on a Husqvarna was there.