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: