MacKerricher State Park Haul Road Demolition Archive
Haul road on January 24, 2014 with asphalt removal complete and base rock exposed.
The WMAC appealed Coastal Development Permit (CDP#12-2012) for this planned project to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors in behalf of concerned local citizens. The appeal was denied August 26, 2013, but the Supervisors did alter the findings and conditions for the permit from those approved by the Coastal Permit Administrator. The County's staff report (8.3 mb download) can be reviewed for the justification. The WMAC submitted this analysis (8.2 mb download) to the BOS for their consideration. The analysis contains expert testimony, petitions, and other supporting information. A key allegation of the local appeal was that the Project in northern MacKerricher State Park was inconsistent with the Local Coastal Program, the Coastal Act, and the park's own 1995 General Plan (11 mb download). The certified LCP map shows the trail along the existing haul road and LCP policies specifically encouraged purchase of that private road for use as public access. The BOS decision was appealed by concerned citizens to the California Coastal Commission. However, that citizen appeal was found to raise no significant issue and the project moved forward under the local approval. The CCC appeal can be examined at this link: CCC Appeal (large 6 mb file).
Among other facts presented during the BOS appeal hearing, WMAC documented the significant adverse environmental impacts of European beachgrass removal acitivities State Parks has pursued since about 2000 without a permit or proper erosion control measures. IT was suggested that those activities violate County Code of Ordinances Section 20.492.015 which requires “the erosion rate shall not exceed the natural or existing level before development.” Those activities have resulted in substantial wind transport (erosion) of sand from the extreme erosion hazard zone of the fore dunes to inland areas, resulting in the burial of many special status plant communities, wetlands, and neighboring lands documented through comparisons of satellite imagery for the period 1998-2012. See this erosion analysis by for more details.
State Parks is also in the process of making a rule (regulation) that will permanently change access to state lands classified as cultural or natural preserves and wilderness areas. The comment deadline was August 15, 2013. WMAC comments on that proposed rule were provided to Alexandra.Stehl@parks.ca.gov and you may contact her at (916) 651-8713 for information about the status of the approval of that law. The apparent intent of the rule (and the MacKerricher Dune Rehabilitation Project) is to exclude as many peoiple as possible from visiting and enjoying public lands classified as Natural and Cultural Preserves. Trails which might be constructed to keep people out of sensitive areas will become difficult to approve if the rule change is approved. Since people cannot be excluded from public lands, this policy shift will encourage visitors to walk wherever thay please with no effort to control or prevent impacts. The WMAC questions whether that is good public policy.
WMAC 7-9-2012; WMAC 8-1-2012; WMAC 2-1-2013 ;WMAC 8-17-2013; MCC Comments; Other Comments
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