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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.

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

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

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.

andquot;If someone wants to pick up the ball and run with it ... I support it whole-heartedly,andquot; 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.

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

Reach Nicholas Grube at ngrube@triplicate.com.

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