Conservation April 2012
The City of Grover Beach is moving ahead with a portion of the West Grand Avenue Master Plan with approval of a hotel-resort complex west of Highway 1 and north of Grand Avenue. This is an area currently used for parking and for equestrian staging for those using both the beach and the dunes seaward of the Oceano Campground.
While the Hotel is on land that has been thoroughly trashed, we are concerned that traffic will be displaced onto dune vegetation on the State Park side of Grand Avenue.
CNPS is also reviewing the Draft Nipomo Community Park Master Plan. The preferred plan has way too much building, including a community center that should not be displacing open space. An alternative plan is preferable, but both the alternatives involve conversion of coastal dune scrub into sports fields. While it is true that dune scrub in the park is being inundated by veldt grass, no mention is made of its general rarity, nor is any attention given to veldt grass control in the park. The EIR preparers seem to want to avoid maritime chaparral, but want to mitigate losses within the park. There are also substantial losses of oaks within the park, which becomes quite an issue when you see the ongoing devastation of oaks at the new freeway interchange.
BLM is now requiring permits for field trips with more than five cars, or more than 25 people, and permit costs can be as much as $100. I will be working on getting a blanket MOU with BLM to exempt CNPS field trips from fees, which also apply to educational institutions such as Cal Poly. I believe permits are not altogether a bad idea as they allow BLM to track use for management purposes, but find the steepness of the fees to be outrageous. I believe everything can be negotiated to the benefit of both BLM and CNPS. Don’t blame CPNM staff for this . . . it is part of a broader policy implementation.
− David Chipping