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May Coastal Commission Meeting & Snowy Plovers in Crescent City

Snowy plover. Photo by Albert Herring / USFWS.
Snowy plover. Photo by Albert Herring / USFWS.

On May 8th, EPIC took to the California Coastal Commission meeting in Crescent City with our sister organization, the Friends of Del Norte, to deliver testimony on behalf of Charadrius nivosus, or snowy plovers — a federally threatened species that is in grave danger in Del Norte County.

The California Coastal Commission is a state agency within the California Natural Resources Agency with quasi-judicial control of land and public access along the California coastline. The Coastal Commission has twelve voting members (Commissioners), appointed equally by the Governor, the Senate Rules Committee, and the Speaker of the Assembly. The Coastal Commission plans and regulates the use of land and water in the coastal zone. Development activities generally require a coastal permit from either the Coastal Commission or the local government.

The Coastal Commission is important to us environmental advocates because it plays an important role in regulatory enforcement. EPIC and the Friends were at this Coastal Commission meeting to speak on behalf of the snowy plovers that reside on the beaches in Del Norte County. The issue at hand is that people are illegally riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on beaches where snowy plovers create their nests. The OHV activity takes place all the way from Point St. George through Tolowa Dunes State Park, the Pacific Shores Subdivision, Lake Earl Wildlife Area, and to the mouth of the Smith River.

We hope that testifying on behalf of these threatened birds and that our plea for the Coastal Commission to put pressure on State Parks and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to place signage, fencing and boulders to prevent illegal vehicle trespass helps facilitate some real change and better conditions for our beloved plovers.


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