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County sides with OHVers on beaches

By Nicholas Grube

Triplicate staff writer

In the fight for off-highway vehicle access to Kellogg Beach Road in Tolowa Dunes State Park, recreationers gained an ally – the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.

Board members sided with an off-road recreationer advocacy group, Blue Ribbon Coalition, and offered to donate county time to the group's cause in allowing off-highway vehicle access to the beach in front of the dunes.

"I'd just like to see us help in any way that we can," District Four Supervisor Gerry Hem-mingsen said. "In support of public due process, I think we should support, with staff, the Blue Ribbon Coalition."

The Blue Ribbon Coalition's motto is: "Preserving our FOR the public instead of FROM the public."

About a year ago, Tolowa Dunes and Kellogg Beach were protected by California Depart-ment of Parks and Recreation rules that restrict access to off-highway vehicles. The county claims it did not have a seat at the table, or due process, in determining these restrictions, thus the reason for partnering with the coalition.

"If someone wants to pick up the ball and run with it ... I support it whole-heartedly," District Five Supervisor Dave Finigan said.

However, some voiced concern over having the Blue Ribbon Coalition represent the county and the implications of vehicles on the fragile dune ecology.

"That park is a war zone right now ... I know people want to ride in the sand," said Crescent City resident Sandra Jerabek. "I think the balanced thing to do here is represent all of the taxpayers in the community. "Presently there are very few places in that park that I can take a group of people and not see vehicle tracks."

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