Sunday, November 1, 2020



Using our many years of political experience combined with input from nationally respected political operatives, the Recreation HQ’s Decision Desk is planning to call the election on Tuesday evening before our supporters call it a night.   We know this is a critical election and want to provide this service to you as part of our belief that “all land-use decisions are political decisions” --- that will impact your ability to recreate on designated roads, trails, and areas.  You have a right to know.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Jody Phillips talks about Collaboration at OR Dunes NRA

The Oceano Dunes Access Alliance (ODAA) believes the newly released 7 minute video from Save the Riders Dunes and  can and should be reviewed by government agencies tasked with managing the Oceano Dunes SVRA for high quality OHV recreation and related conservation needs.

Dozer Removing Artificial Man-Made Foredunes


On November 14, 2019, ODAA members read our comment letter into the record during public testimony at the APCD Hearing Board Petition Related to Existing Stipulated Order of Abatement 17-01.

1952 Open Sand vs. 2006 Loss of Open Sand

ODAA continues to urge APCD, State Parks, OHV Commission, and Coastal Commission to review the mistakes (e.g. construction of man-made foredune structures and ill-advised vegetation projects) made  at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area by government agencies and other stakeholders in a misguided effort to “help” the dunes.

Today, OHV, conservation groups, and agencies are working together to manage the Oregon Dunes for future generations.  Part of that new effort is to restore (e.g. remove) man-made foredune structures and invasive vegetation.  

ODAA believes that collaboration not closure is the best model to follow for future OHV and other outdoor recreation activities at Oceano Dunes SVRA.

ODAA thanks you in advance for reviewing this video and for your ongoing support of managed high quality OHV recreation and camping opportunities at Oceano Dunes SVRA.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE - Protect Access to Public Lands

VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE – Protect Access to Public Lands

Since OHV recreation is a very popular family activity for those who serve or have served in the military, I think one way to honor that service on Veterans Day is for those of us who have advocacy roles to continue fighting for their freedom to enjoy access to public lands.

Ocean-based sand recreation on the West Coast is a precious commodity and is enjoyed by many military families.  Two of the most popular ocean sand OHV areas are Oceano Dunes SVRA in California and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA). 

About 10 years ago, the Forest Service that operates the ODNRA was developing a travel plan that included onerous closure-oriented management prescriptions based mostly on political science vs. sound science.

When Congress created the ODNRA in the early 1970s it was a 40,000 acre prehistoric dune complex that was largely open sand with very little vegetation.  Almost immediately, the agency and other stakeholders planted invasive plant species to control moving sand and dust caused by large wind events.

Those efforts over many years converted that large open sand structure into an unnatural forested landscape that was detrimental to critical species such as the western snowy plover and eliminated
about 90% of the open sand OHV recreation opportunities that existed at the time of its congressional designation.

Fortunately, the OHV recreation community got engaged and is working with the Forest Service and conservation groups to employ effective science-based management practices that enhance the OHV recreation experience and improves wildlife habitat.

Testimony presented at the recent CA OHV Commission hearing on Oceano Dunes SVRA has day-lighted  the fact that most, if not all, of the Park’s dust mitigation measures are arbitrary and also based largely on political science instead of sound science. 

That reality means the greater OHV community at Oceano must continue to challenge the ongoing efforts of regulators to close most, or all, of the park to OHV recreation.

Today, let’s recommit ourselves to protect and preserve our freedoms to access Oceano SVRA and other public lands in a responsible manner for current and future generations.

Sunday, July 21, 2019


DON’T BE A TRAIL TROLL – Engaging in trail trolling is unprofessional, unethical, distractive, and often confuses OHVers who want to understand an issue but are getting mixed messages from the troll.

Social media is a great way to communicate with the trail community on important issues or to find out more info on events and activities.  Sharing that information is also a good thing and helps get the word out.

However, trolling to create the impression that you are, or have been, substantively engaged - such as submitting timely formal written comments or attending related ongoing meetings – when you or the organization you represent have not been engaged in any meaningful way does a great disservice to OHV recreation advocacy.

Resist the temptation to be a trail troll but rather select the topic you are interested in and invest the time, effort, and fiscal resources to be robustly engaged in the issue so that your comments reflect well on you or your organization.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

OPINION - Dust Hoax Should Invalidate Agreements at Oceano Dunes SVRA

By Don Amador
July 10, 2019


After attending and/or reviewing video and other documents obtained over the years from various public meetings related to “toxic dust ” supposedly created by OHV use at Oceano Dunes SVRA, I have a deep concern that Coastal Commission Staff have perpetuated and promoted a myth created by the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District (APCD) that the air in Nipomo Mesa contains dangerous amounts of crystalline silica dust.

Crystalline silica dust is an acute inhalation health risk. It can cause silicosis and lung cancer and so is regulated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) based on exposure during an 8 hour work day.

However, airborne particulate matter—dust/blowing sand—encountered in a commercial, residential or rural environment is not hazardous like silica dust though it is still regulated by federal and state air quality agencies. These regulations are based on PM10 dust concentrations averaged over a 24-hour period and assume the dust does not include particles of acute toxicity, such as crystalline silica.

For more than 10 years, the APCD has made unsubstantiated claims that PM10 detected on the Mesa contains toxic amounts of crystalline silica dust. Further, the APCD said the silica dust was from OHV use at the SVRA. These claims were presented in various APCD reports and correspondence, and stated by APCD representatives at public meetings. The claims were then repeated and amplified by public officials, agencies, members of the public, and the local press.

At a March 21, 2018 meeting of the APCD’s Hearing Board, APCD’s Larry Allen was forced to concede publicly that crystalline silica in dust on the Nipomo Mesa was not an issue. He stated, “Well, you know it’s a red herring…it has no bearing whatsoever.”

It is a falsehood that the air of Nipomo Mesa contains hazardous amounts of crystalline silica dust. It is just one of many falsehoods and misleading statements made by the APCD in its quest to malign a state park and legal OHV recreation.

The APCD toxic dust hoax should rightfully invalidate the stipulated order of abatement and other management decisions that were based on a lie.    

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Monday, July 8, 2019

OPINION - Oceano "Dust" is Fragrant Elixir

Don Amador on Beach on Humboldt Bay
BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area

By Don Amador
July 8, 2019

Oceano “Dust” is Fragrant Elixir

As somebody who grew up on the North Coast of California, I remember visiting many non-motorized state and county parks to enjoy walking on the beach and having a picnic with family and friends.   Enjoying the fresh ocean breeze and dealing with blowing sand aka “dust” into the food was just part of the experience and something that I treasure.

8.5M Dollar Beach Front Home for Sale
Malibu, CA

Up and down the CA coast, movie stars and business tycoons often spend a lot of money purchasing homes that are near or on the beach where they too can enjoy those same coastal dust experiences. 

As many of us in the OHV community prepare to attend the July 11 California Coastal Commission (CCC) hearing in San Luis Obispo, I ask why the CCC staff’s “dust control” mitigation proposals are largely focused on installation of barriers, planting of vegetation to cover dunes, and severe restriction and eventual elimination of OHV recreation at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA)?

Burn Piles from ODNRA Restoration Project

As we have seen at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA), all of those aforementioned treatments have resulted in conversion of a prehistoric 40,000 acre open dune structure to an artificially manipulated area that is 90% overgrown with a dense vegetative dune mat that extends to the waveslope.


While the Forest Service and the ODNRA collaborative try and restore the open dune structure via vegetation removal projects including use of prescribed fire to reduce vegetation behind the foredunes and bulldozing of high foredunes to encourage Western snowy plover habitat, it appears the CCC is poised to make the same dune mismanagement decisions their Oregon counterparts made in the 1970s.


 Let’s hope cool heads prevail so that high quality OHV recreation remains an important use at Oceano Dunes SVRA and that it is not replaced with multimillion dollar homes where owners pay good money to inhale the same ocean dust that is regarded by many as a fragrant elixir more valuable than gold.

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Don Amador was born and raised in Eureka, CA.  Don currently lives in Oakley, CA where he works on various land-use, recreation, and resource management issues.  He may be reached via email at:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019




ACTIONS REQUIRED – Send Letters STAT and Attend July 3 Hearing in Sacramento

As most of you know, the Recreation HQ does not post alerts unless there is a critical issue that requires action on your part.  Well today it is issuing its first CODE RED action alert in 2019 because anti-OHV interests have adopted and implemented a highly effective trifecta of litigation, legislation, and regulation to not only block opening of the acquisition property at Carnegie SVRA but to close 20% or more of the current riding area at the unit.  Those efforts are not just limited to Carnegie SVRA, but include a proposal by Coastal Commission staff to close all of Oceano Dunes SVRA to OHV use. In addition, those closure efforts are or will also include Prairie City SVRA and Ocotillo Wells SVRA. 

Many of you have already sent in letters to the legislature as SB 767 journeyed through the CA Senate and now is on its way through the CA Assembly.  As the political temperature of this bill heats up, it is now time, if possible, to attend a July 3 hearing for SB 767 before the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 at the State Capitol.  Wear your club’s shirt or jersey.  Your attendance will make a strong visual statement about your support for OHV recreation at Carnegie SVRA and elsewhere.

Today as the bill makes its way through the CA Assembly we are asking you send to send a letter to your state representative stating your opposition to SB 767 and include a short personal note about why OHV at Carnegie SVRA and OHV recreation in general is important to you and your family.

You have answered the call before as we have fought similar battles for the right to enjoy responsible OHV recreation on public lands in California.  And now, once again, we are asking you to answer the call to fight back.

Let’s remember on this 4th of July that FREEDOM is not FREE and requires constant vigil.  

The Recreation HQ looks forward to standing with you at the July 3 hearing in support of family-oriented OHV access to public lands. Thanks for your support of responsible OHV recreation on public lands for current and future generations.

Don Amador
The Recreation HQ