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Del Norte County Board of Supervisors Show Solid Support


Public Property Due Process Rights

 At Tollowa & Kellogg  

With Supervisor McClure absent, Board comes out strong in a solid support 4 to 0 vote for due process in local "public land" use!


The Trip reports:

"County sides with OHVers on beaches"

Once again our LOR (Trip ) got it wrong!

Article @:

Also see "Riders press to use beach front" @:



With incendiary terms like: "the fight for … access", "an ally - the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors " Board members sided" and including Ms Sandra Jerabek's comment "That park is a war zone…" The LOR image is one of a John Wayne - WWII with marines hitting the beaches, guns blazing, bombs blowing & flames torching our beaches! Egads, it's "Iwo Jima" all over again!


No!, no!, no!; this is not a sequel to "We Were Expendable". We are not; repeat not, at war with Sandy J and her friends in Del Norte. No matter what Sandy J et al would have you believe, or no matter how our LOR would like to frame this debate as "us vs. them", the reality is vastly different and far more accurately described in Supervisor Gerry Hemmingson's words; "In support of public due process". Our community partner, the Blue Ribbon Coalition  and their rep Mr. Dennis Mayo, went on to underlined the true issue; the legitimate and fair consideration of our public resources within the process, ALL inclusive "FOR the public instead of FROM the public".


And now for the rest of the story:


That's it. It's all about - Public Due Process - first, second and third; along with inclusion, openness, transparency, accountability and the corollaries of fairness and legitimacy that stem from it! Early on our local government sought to skirt these and state parks just went ahead and ignored them altogether.


See Position Paper On Tolowa Dunes / Kellogg Beach Parks In Del Norte County

(click here)

Well it's been a long haul since, our last local election corrected the former and now we are seeking to correct the latter. We, the Community of Del Norte want to express our thanks to our Board of Supervisors and to the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) for their efforts toward this end. Yesterday, our petition, with critical support from the BRC, was fairly considered and duly acted on by our Board. So along with these actions, we now seek the same from State Parks. 

Parks' past treatment of the Community of Del Norte's entreatie`s for consideration & redress have been largely ignored and when on rare occasion, responded to, the response has been slow and showed disdain, arrogance and a lack of any serious consideration.

It is high time we change this. After all is said and done - they are just "civil servants". We ARE the CIVIL part of that equation and they ARE the SERVANT part. Soooo, what part of "SERVANT" is it they don't seem to understand? Let's reeducate 'em!




Closed Sand Dune Areas

Tolowa Dunes/Kellogg Beach


For More Information
(click above pic)

BRC's Don Amador, at beach now closed - without due process - to green sticker OHVs

Location:  2 miles north of Crescent City, CA



Managed By: 

California State Parks

Size:  5000 acres

Date of Closure:  2001

Type of Closure: Permanent?

Reason for Closure: 

In 1978, the State of California acquired an approximately 10,000-acre area north of Crescent City, initially called the Lake Earl Project Area. Approximately half of these acres are now managed as the Lake Earl Wildlife Area by California Department of Fish and Game, with the other 5,000 acres formally designated in 2001 as "Tolowa Dunes State Park." When the Tolowa Dunes State Park was formally designated in 2001, OHV use was made illegal. 

Other information: 

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors is hoping to cooperate with the DNC Fish and Game Commission and representatives from the California State Parks to develop a functional scenario where OHV users can have access to the beach along with pedestrians and fishermen.

The state failed to consider public input and solutions that county groups and officials wanted to craft for off-road vehicle riders when they closed the dunes to OHV use in 2001.

Off-road vehicle riders plan to seek access to the end of Kellogg Beach Road at Tolowa Dunes State Park, where they had long ridden until blocked by California Department of Parks and Recreation rules.

News Articles:

         County sides with OHVers on beaches - April 11, 2007

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.

Full story at link above...

         Riders press to use beach front - April 6, 2007

Off-road vehicle riders plan to seek access to the end of Kellogg Beach Road at Tolowa Dunes State Park, where they had long ridden until blocked by California Department of Parks and Recreation rules enacted more than a year ago.

The Del Norte County Fish and Game Advisory Commission has asked the county board of supervisors to take legal action, if needed.

"It is clear from state parks response that they have no consideration for the citizens of this county, or the rights to recreational access they have infringed on," commission member Frank Galea wrote in a letter he submitted at a Thursday night meeting.

Full story at link above...

         Off-highway vehicle use tops agenda - April 4, 2007

The Del Norte County Fish and Game Advisory Commission will discuss Kellogg Beach Road off-highway vehicle use on Thursday. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at the county board of supervisors chambers at 981 H St. 

         Lack of ORV access raised - March 2, 2007

More than a dozen people turned out at a Del Norte County Fish and Game Advisory Commission meeting Thursday night critical of either a lack of access to the shore off of Kellogg Beach Road for off-road vehicle riders or of the impact that the vehicles continue to cause.

Full story at link above...

Endangered or Threatened Species:

Maps & Aerial Photos:

         Tolowa Dunes - Google Maps

         Kellogg Rd. - Mapquest

         Location/Maps - CA State Parks

         Aerial Photos of Tolowa Dunes - California Coastal Records Project


         BlueRibbon Coalition

         CORVA Action Alert - 2006

         Tolowa Dunes Action Alert from BRC - 2006

         Open Beaches and Trails - Local group fighting for access

Other Photos:


See Don Amador's remarks.


ROAD APPLES: Dennis Mayo phoned last week from atop his horse, and as he rode around the arena, clippety-slow-clippety-clop, he amiably asked just where I got that horse doo-doo about the BlueRibbon Coalition's being "financially supported by major timber, petroleum and mining companies," as stated in last week's report on a wilderness pollsome are calling it a push pollsponsored by the BRC. His question echoed those raised by some of our letter writers in this week's paper.

"From a report the U.S. Public Interest Research Group did in 2000, called 'The Blue Ribbon Coalition: Protector of Recreation or Industry?'" I said.

"Naaay," whinnied the horse.

"I can guarantee that, locally, there ain't nobody [like that] givin' us money," said Mayo, who is a BRC representative here on the North Coast. "The stuff I do here is outta my pocket."

The U.S. PIRG report contained a weighty list of "corporate funders of the BlueRibbon Coalition," their names said to have been culled directly from issues of the BlueRibbon Coalition's magazine between 1991 and 1998. Among the more than 50 timber, petroleum and mining outfits listed were Boise Cascade Corp., Louisiana Pacific Corp., Battle Mountain Gold Co., Echo Bay Minerals Co., Meridian Gold, Chevron USA, Exxon Co. USA, Western States Petroleum Association and several western states' mining associations (including from Nevada, the third largest producer of gold in the world.)

Well, that was then. This is now, said BRC's Western Representative Don Amador last week, adding he didn't know where U.S. PIRG came up with some of those big names. "That list is old; it's out of date," Amador said, adding he "really wished" the BRC were funded by big corporations. "The lion's share of our money comes in small donations. We're a grassroots group. It's almost ludicrous to make those assumptions, when we get $100 from, even, the California Forestry Association. That's chump change compared to what big industry gives to green groups."

But what happened to the heavyweights? Well, said Amador, in the early days the BRC (founded in 1987) was associated with the Wise Use movement (that conservative backlash against environmental regulations). "And then, in the mid- to late-'90s, we changed our focus purposely to work on recreational access to public land," he said. The BRC's current membership list, predominated by off-road clubs and related shops, reflects that sharpened focus.

According to the BRC's website, it became a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation in 1999. Amador said members, who each pay $20 a year in dues, fuel the group (currently there are 12,000 individual members, he said, plus 1,100 businesses and organizations). But the dues fall far short of the BRC's total revenues, judging by figures in the BRC's tax reports posted on their website. "Our members donate double and triple [their dues] throughout the rest of the year," Amador said.

U.S. PIRG did not get back to us by press time.

Heidi Walters



For More Info
(click above pic)

Storm over North Coast rights

(We all knew this would cause some folks a lot of heartburn.  Ed and a number of folks in the Orick area deserve a lot of credit for continuing to battle for fishing and other access rights to RNP.   I remember the large event that Ed helped put together in 2001 to highlight the plight of the surf fishermen and other access interests  Good job ED!
News Release from 2001 Orick Event

A new federal law lets some surf fishermen drive onto the beaches at Redwood National Park, where many have long resented policies that restricted access.

By Julie Cart
Times Staff Writer

December 18, 2006

ORICK, CALIF. — Of all the storms to roil this wild North Coast, few have lasted as long as the human uproar over the presence of Redwood National Park, created in 1968 to preserve the world's last and largest stand of towering coastal redwood trees.

The 131,000-acre park has never been popular with many rural residents of Humboldt and Del Norte counties, who believe the federal buyout of timber company land put them out of work and crippled struggling communities. Over the years, residents say, strict park polices have continually restricted traditional activities, such as surf fishing and wood gathering.

Now local residents have struck back. A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) assures a handful of commercial fishermen here the right to drive trucks on beaches in the park — the first time federal legislation has allowed off-road vehicle use in a national park in the lower 48 states.

The law, signed by President Bush in October, reverses a park policy that was phasing out the activity. Now 17 fishermen have permits to drive on the beach, and the legislation bars more than that number from being issued.

The controversial provision was a last-minute addition to Thompson's Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, which set aside 273,000 acres of Northern California as wilderness. Thompson said the provision, inserted by outgoing Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Tracy), was part of compromises necessary to get a wilderness bill through the Republican-controlled Congress.

But although the bill affords the highest level of protection for federal land in five Northern California counties, officials say the fishing provision could set a troubling precedent at Redwood National Park, as well as at the three state parks that are co-managed by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The issue is a flashpoint in a region where many people harbor deep distrust of the federal government.

When the park service closed Freshwater Spit in 2003, a wide spot on Highway 101 being used as a camping site for recreational vehicles in the park, there were organized protests with pickets marching along the highway. After death threats were made against park rangers and a pipe bomb was found in an outhouse, officials called in a park service SWAT team to restore order.

Residents of towns near the parks in rural Humboldt and Del Norte counties complain that the tourism boom promised by the National Park Service never materialized.

In part because of its remoteness, visitation at Redwood last year was 394,000, making it one of California's least visited national parks. Yosemite, the most visited, had 3.3 million visitors in 2005.

For most of the last century, fishermen have driven onto beaches, moved up and down the wet sand to find fish and fill their nets, and then loaded their catches of smelt onto their truck beds.

To Gene Logan, a fisherman in Orick, the park service has dismantled this town's traditional way of life, first by eliminating logging and later by phasing out fishing permits.

"I've been out there fishing since I was a kid and went with my dad," said Logan, 35. "We have bent over backward trying to connect with the park. They are ruthless. Park rangers hassle us, treat us like we are bad guys. They keep taking and taking. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you see the way you are treated."

But state and federal park officials say they have only been following the law in phasing out trucks on the beach. And now they say they are unsure how this new law squares with existing regulations. The wording is vague, park officials say, and the provision applies to only two of the three beaches that surf fishermen use.

Also, because the beaches specified in Section 10 of the bill are in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park — state property within the national park — the federal law has the unusual effect of legislating use of state land.

"Section 10 provides very little clarity. It could have given us more direction," said Rick Nolan, Redwood's chief of interpretation for the National Park Service. "But that's part of our political world. Riders get attached to things. Do they always turn into the best legislation? Maybe not."

Andy Ringgold, a former Redwood National Park superintendent, was more blunt. "The text of Section 10 is just garbage; it's horrible," he said. Ringgold established the program to phase out vehicles on the beaches. He retired in 2003. "The first thing that strikes you is that the secretary of the Interior has no jurisdiction over state beaches. That's for starters."

Thompson, who says he has long championed the rights of fishermen in the area, said that when Pombo — the outgoing chairman of the House Resources Committee — insisted on the open beach amendment there were vigorous negotiations and some trade-offs. But he added: "In the end, we came up with a darn good bill."

Both state and national park officials say their respective agencies have yet to determine how to proceed or how the law may affect a park that cost taxpayers $1 billion to acquire.

"We are between a rock and hard place," said Bruce Lynn, superintendent for Prairie Creek Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods and Jedediah Smith Redwoods state parks. "This was rushed in rather quickly without a lot of thought and attention. We really have to think, 'Is this something we want to abide by?' "

(to  see email exchange between Open Beaches & Trails and Bruce Lynn on this issue - click here)

Before Thompson's bill passed, officials were reducing the traffic through a permit system designed to phase out beach access through attrition. Park officials estimated there were about 100 fishermen on the beaches before implementation of the permit system in 2000. Only 17 have applied for permit renewals this year, and locals say only six or seven make a living from the work. The season begins in April.

The commercial catch also is declining. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, 574,000 pounds of night smelt were landed at the Redwood beaches in 2000, compared with 168,614 pounds last year. Park service records estimate the total annual commercial value of the recent catch at $71,000.

But, even as they acknowledge the dwindling catch, locals say they are fighting for a right that has been theirs since before the state parks were established in the 1920s. And, they say, they are making a stand against federal bullying and endless regulations.

"I'm out there making an honest living with honest sweat running down my nose," said fisherman Norm Carr, who helped organize the Save Orick Committee. Carr said he is fed up with park service rules that don't seem to make sense. "I'm tired of it."

Ed Salsedo, a fisherman who has organized local opposition to various park initiatives, said he and a group of friends foiled the national and state parks' effort to close the beaches. "They thought we were dumb fishermen," Salsedo said, adding that he contacted Pombo's office asking the congressman to intercede on the fishermen's behalf.

Officials acknowledge that by removing the trucks, they are hamstringing fishermen, but they say beach traffic is incompatible with the language in the stated purpose of the park: to celebrate the wild and unspoiled coastal landscape. Lynn and other park officials say visitors have complained about vehicles on the beach.

Park officials also point out they have a legal obligation to protect nesting Western snowy plovers, a threatened species. Trucks can be hazardous to the plover nests, which the golf ball-sized bird often site in ruts left by tires.

Yet officials acknowledge that there is no evidence that surf fishermen have ever harmed the birds or other wildlife.

"We don't have any good data that we have collected from those beaches that show that vehicle use specifically has been damaging to these beaches. And we have never collected any data that shows there's any harm to critters out there," said Terry Hofstra, chief of resources at Redwood National Park.



For More Info On Parks Access Rights
(click above pic)


Wilderness Designation Trade-Offs Faulted


Don Amador, BRC, sends us the following FYI - for the complete article  click here. Even though several of these Wilderness Bills are far from perfect, the Thompson Bill did include a number of access protections including codifying motorized and mechanized use on a significant amount of recreation routes and protected 27 commercial surfishing permits/access in and to Redwood National Park (The Park had worked hard to destroy this important mainstay on the Northcoast).  I want to thank my special friend - Dennis Mayo - at Open Beaches and Trails for his hard work on HR233.  If you want to see a local story on this battle go to: 

Don Amador
Western Representative
BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc.
555 Honey Lane
Oakley, CA 94561
925.625.6287 Office
925.625.5309 FAX
925.783.1834 Cell
For our land Use Gateway Page - click here.


Wilderness Designation Trade-Offs Faulted
Environmentalists Say Bills to Protect a Million Acres Come With Too High a Price
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 24, 2006; A03
"One pending bill would protect a 273,000-acre stretch of California's northern coast to preserve steelhead and salmon habitat -- but it would also guarantee that off-road vehicles could use an area nearby. "


Redwood National & State Parks Have Nailed Down Their New Supers

With the hiring of Steve Chaney, a 52-year-old superintendent from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado, the National Park Service dropped the other shoe for the Del Norte park system.


Steve Chaney, along with Bruce Lynn will take over the supervising of the Redwood National and State parks, respectively.


Steve, a 30 year veteran park boy, worked to expand the Colorado park from 58,000 to 150,000 acres and bossed thirty people with a budget of $2M in his previous position - this sorta gives us an idea of how well he'll fit in here.


Our LOR (the Trip in it's 09/25 edition) writes: "Kind of a new and exciting frontier to me," Chaney said of the Redwoods post, noting the partnership between state and federal government. "That's kind of an exciting and different partnership in the park system, period." Funny, he didn't think - ahhh to mention a three-way partnership; them and us - the public!


Well these two will be taking Bill Priece and Marilyn Murphy's place. While I'm not that familiar with Bill, I'm very familiar with our warm feelings for Marilyn. Mmmmm, I believe we should, at least, afford 'em the same "special deference" we gave her.




Yes Indeedy We Have A New Super For The Top Spot At The Redwoods & National State Parks

Bruce Lynn, 54, will assume the position of superintendent in early October of this year.


Lynn started his parks career in 1978 as a maintenance worker and six years ago became a superintendent at Clear Lake. Shortly afterwards he became the superintendent over 5 separate parks at Cascades.


Lynn got a bachelor's degree in "natural resources" with the idea of stepping into a role of state park ranger. Yup he sure did!


How in our future will Ranger Bruce interface with us? Well - perhaps there is a clue in a recent quote offered our LOR; "When you talk about redwood forests, that's the way the forests are supposed to be - primeval forests" Mmmm, by this could our boy Bruce be showing a strong bias? Stay tuned!






Did You Know?
Federal Agencies Are Subject
The Data Quality Act (DQA) is an attempt by Congress to ensure that federal agencies use and disseminate accurate information. The DQA requires federal agencies to issue information quality guidelines ensuring the quality, utility, objectivity and integrity of information that they disseminate and provide mechanisms for affected persons to correct such information. It is important for natural resources and environmental attorneys to be aware of this law in the event that a client has an interest in filing a petition with an agency to challenge the quality of information it has used or disseminated. ...
On February 22, 2002, the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) published the final version of its Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies (Guidelines). ...
For our land Use Gateway Page - click here.
For More Info On HR23 The Wilderness Bill
(click pic)


New Wilderness Bills Come with Recreation Access Protections


If you want to see the federal document (HR233) go to:

On Wednesday 19 July 06 The Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act Was Voted Out Of The US House Resources Committee



House approves wilderness bills for California, Oregon, Idaho


( US House measure HR 233, "Wilderness Bill)


(for more info click here)


For our land Use Gateway Page - click here.


DRAFT Of National Park Rules Want To Return To The "Good Old Bad Days" Of The Misuse Of Non Use


We thank Don Amador for the timely information contained in the WAPO (Washington Post) article below.

For our land Use Gateway Page - click here.


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