YOUR ACTION NEEDED NOW! - To Protect Oso Flaco Lake and Oceano Dunes

[Photos: Jeff Miller]

The MCAS Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the CA Coastal Commission’s staff recommendations to phase-out off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity at the Oceano Dunes over a 5-year phase out period.

Now it is your turn – to tell the Coastal Commission how you feel!

Tell the Coastal Commission we have waited long enough for CA State Parks to produce an environmentally acceptable management plan for the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA).

The Oceano Dunes, part of the larger Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex, is the largest such intact coastal dunes system in the world and a federally designated Natural Landmark.

OHV are not compatible with the protection of a fragile coastal dunes complex, threatened species, and environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA).  For these reasons, and more, OHV must be phased out at the Oceano Dunes in favor of low-impact recreational uses.

For the Coastal Commission March 18, 2021 meeting, State Parks has produced a draft management plan that “doubles down” on OHV expansion.

At the March 18th hearing, the Coastal Commission will consider requiring a phase-out of off-roading at the dunes, and can amend the management plan to favor different types of recreational use – like car-camping on the beach in less sensitive areas, and hike-in/bike-in low impact camping.  Off-road enthusiasts will continue to be able to ride at 8 other State Parks that allow vehicular recreation, as well at nearly 70 other public OHV areas in CA.  

This Coastal Commission staff recommendation will not close Oceano Dunes to public use.



Send your message to the Coastal Commission urging them to implement the recommendations of their staff to ensure sustainable management at the Oceano Dunes.  Send your email to:

(For additional information on the Oceano Dunes see the Coastal Commission’s Oceano Dunes webpage at:

Here is an example email to send, (feel free to use and add your own personalized message).


Subject:  Protect the Oceano Dunes

Dear Chairman Padilla and Commissioners,

Please support and implement your staff’s recommendations for the Oceano Dunes, and amend the State Park’s Coastal Development Permit to bar night riding and driving across Arroyo Grande Creek, close the Pier Ave. vehicle access, preserve the snowy plover exclosures, and leave the Oso Flaco Lake area as it is.  Above all, start the clock on the phase-out of OHV activity.

The Oceano Dunes will continue to offer unique experiences such as car camping on the beach, along with walking, birding, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking the dunes; the kind of activities that characterize the healthy economies of every other beachfront community in California - with the exception of Oceano.

Please dispense with the fears and economic arguments against doing this, which were rebutted during the park’s closure to vehicles from March to October of last year.  Tourism continued, and supported the local economy, as it does the length of California’s coast.

The residents of Oceano who try to walk on their own beach, with OHV activity, do so with great risk.  And they are watching the coastal dunes complex – their defense against rising sea levels – being eroded away.

The unhealthy air, from foredunes denuded of vegetation by off-road vehicle activity, continues to stretch from Nipomo to Guadalupe.  

All of this is an environmental injustice.  You know this, and you know State Parks is not fixing the problem and has not heeded your directive to come up with a plan to adequately protect the environmentally sensitive habitat.  It is past time to hold them accountable now.





And, tell CA State Parks how you feel about their “improvement” plan for the Oso Flaco Natural Area.

Let State Parks know that this is no improvement plan at all.  It would be a disaster for Oso Flaco, as it would bring in up to 200 RV campsites, 100 drive-in tent campsites, an off-road riding trail adjacent to the north end of the lake, and much, much more development.

The proposal could cause least terns to abandon use of Oso Flaco for foraging, and may drive many other bird and wildlife species away from the lake and surrounding area.  It would completely alter what is now the top birding spot in SLO County.

The State Park proposal for Oso Flaco Lake is contrary to the CA Coastal Act and Local Coastal Programs – which protect prime agricultural land, and environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA).


Submit your comments now by email to:

VIDEO for FEB 15th Community Program

Presenter Matt Allshouse with Peregrin Falcon

YouTube Video 

Also, here are the links sent by Matt Allshouse on Conservation Ranching:

Here is a link to the developing ACR California website.
An exciting new conservation ranching bill “SB 322”:
Our current operators and local products.  
Markegard Family GrassFed
Morris Grassfed  
Stemple Creek Ranch
Yolo Land and Cattle

Virtual COMMUNITY PROGRAM - MAR 15th - Birds of SLO, 2020, Part I

Dave Lawrence - BRPE

MCAS March Zoom Community Program

Birds of SLO, 2020, Part 1

Program Coordinated and Presented by David Keeling

With music by RD Clark and Jack Collins

Monday, March 15th, 7:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting  Meeting ID: 850 1320 5771 Passcode: MorroCoast

2020 was a remarkable year for birding in SLO, with a number of rare vagrants. It could be called the year of the grebe; with a breeding plumage Horned Grebe and a Red-necked Grebe, and the breeding Clark’s and Western Grebes at Santa Margarita Lake.

Tom Slater - WTSP

Birds of SLO – 2020 Part 1, the Zoom Edition, is a two-part slide show featuring outstanding images of over 200 species of birds taken during the first half of last year by seventeen of the finest nature photographers in San Luis Obispo County, with a special section highlighting the grebes. The photos are amazing and their impact is heightened by the live piano accompaniment  provided by Oliver Glynn. If you enjoy birds and birding, you’ll enjoy the evening. It will be great entertainment and motivation to get out and bird more often in our county.

Alice Cahill - SEOW

All MCAS Zoom Community Programs are free and open to the public. As always, all ages are welcome.

For more info, email or leave voicemail msg at 805-772-1991.


To VIEW PDF, click READ MORE. Then move cursor over the PDF displayed below and click the "Pop-out" icon in the top-right corner.

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Virtual Community Program - Feb 15th - Conservation Ranching California

Full Title: “Climate Smart Solutions for Grassland Birds: Conservation Ranching California”

February 15, 2021, 7:00-8:30

Zoom info at bottom.

Summary: “Grassland bird conservation is inextricably linked to management practices on millions of acres of rangelands, the vast majority of which are privately owned. Significant grassland habitat enhancement can only be achieved through cooperative approaches that work with ranchers that live and work on these lands. Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Program uses an innovative, market-based approach to connect conservation-conscious consumers to ranchers who employ bird-friendly management practices in raising their livestock. The program addresses loss in ecosystem function and health through the conservation of focal bird species and the habitat they depend upon. It incentivizes bird-friendly livestock management practices, emphasizing regenerative grazing approaches that improve soil health, diversify habitat structure, and ensure environmental sustainability that benefits pollinators and other grassland wildlife.”


Bio: Matt Allshouse came to Audubon California from Wyoming and has been the Conservation Ranching Program Manager for the state since September 2019. As a rangeland ecologist, he has 13 years of experience associated with land policy, management, and science. Previously, Matt served as Ranch Manager for Antelope Springs Land and Cattle in Wyoming, as a Biologist for the Peregrine Fund in Belize and Guatemala directing conservation field research, and as Ecologist with the consulting firm Trihydro Corporation focusing on restoration ecology. Matt holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources, and Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from University of Wyoming.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 850 1320 5771
Passcode: MorroCoast



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Carrizo Plain Christmas Bird Count results are in...

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