Letters to the Editor

Readers condemn State Parks’ plan to develop Oso Flaco for OHV use

File photo of Oso Flaco Lake boardwalk in southernmost San Luis Obispo County.
File photo of Oso Flaco Lake boardwalk in southernmost San Luis Obispo County. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

‘Disastrous idea’

California State Parks has proposed a new, southern dune buggy entrance to the Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Area at Oso Flaco Lake.

This is a disastrous idea. It undermines the multi-decade efforts of The Nature Conservancy, the SLO Land Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others in creating the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve, which protects thousands of acres of rare and pristine dunes hosting a multitude of flora and fauna, including the rare snowy plover, least tern and western pond turtle. Oso Flaco Lake is an integral part of the preserve, and State Park’s proposal would not only impair the region’s ecosystem, it also would seriously detract from the fishing and hiking experience there, convert 120 acres of agricultural land and add an off-highway vehicle staging area for increased motorized access to the OHV park.

Visit Oso Flaco Lake and see for yourself why this beautiful area is worth preserving. For more information, see www.oceanodunespwp.com and get your name on the mailing list — please get involved and help prevent this ecological calamity.

Kara A. Woodruff, San Luis Obispo

Bad plan is recycled

Forty years ago I worked with the Dunes Task Force of the local Sierra Club seeking to limit the expansion of the Pismo Beach SVRA into the sensitive habitats surrounding Oso Flaco Lake. We cited the Local Coastal Plan and studies by the California Department of Fish and Game that recognized the Oso Flaco Lake region as the most sensitive and valuable ecological region in California.

We took the director of State Parks on a tour through the area and presented The First Annual Day of the Dunes program, which extolled the virtues of saving the natural resources of the area from further off-road vehicle (ORV) destruction. By 1980, the SVRA shelved its plans.

Fast forward to 2019. Pismo SVRA has proposed similar plans to those we stalled almost 40 years ago. Nothing has changed. Oso Flaco Lake is still the most sensitive and valuable natural habitat in California. ORVs are still as destructive as previously noted.

I oppose the planned destruction involved in both of the “concepts” for ORV expansion, access, and camping at Oso Flaco Lake. Please join me in opposing their efforts by accessing the Pismo SVRA survey at www.oceanodunespwp.com/en/about by March 5.

Michael C. Bondello, Arroyo Grande

Let us enjoy Oso Flaco

My family has been enjoying the pristine quiet of Oso Flaco for decades. I hope we will be able to continue to do so.

Allene Villa (Letters, Sunday, March 3) references the Pismo State Beach and Oceano SVRA Public Works Plan and she hopes development at Oso Flaco will improve and potentially close the Pier Avenue access to the beach vehicle area.

Among the many changes proposed for the pedestrian-friendly entrance to Oso Flaco are a 225- space campground, a “kids’ practice track” and a staging area for up to 250 off-highway vehicles. To accomplish this, the Plan intends to “widen and Improve Oso Flaco Road to allow for large RV access and increased traffic.”

It is not reasonable to think that “improvements” at Oso Flaco will lessen impacts on Pier Avenue; the pie will not be divided into smaller, distributed pieces, but will simply be made larger.

Should Pier Avenue access close, that traffic will presumably distribute between Grand Avenue and Oso Flaco; this will vastly increase the disturbance to this gorgeous, peaceful area.

We should all be able to enjoy the beauty that is Oso Flaco without the impacts that this development would bring.

Steve McGrath, Cambria

Preserve Oso Flaco

Oso Flaco should remain as it is. The willow-lined entrance road should be preserved for future generations because more and more parks will continue to be more manicured, and we humans need more natural environments to experience.

This space is aesthetically pleasing to us and it provides a good birding experience for both the fall and spring migrations as well as for permanent bird species. The proposed concepts are abhorrent to the birding community, as well they should be.

Of course, the boardwalk across the lake provides a spectacular birding and wildlife experience and it deserves to be preserved at all costs. Under no circumstance should you allow any OHV activity anywhere near there. If you must develop some of that space in the distant future, I believe it should be limited to tent camping.

Sue Thole, Grover Beach

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