Court issues new ruling regarding Hollister Ranch, paving way for public access to the area’s beaches

Court issues new ruling regarding Hollister Ranch, paving way for public access to the area’s beaches

January 2022

It’s a win for big win for public access at Hollister Ranch thanks to the continued advocacy and collaborative work of the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance (GCTA.)  The GCTA is comprised of the following organizations: Coastwalk California Coastal Trail Association; Gaviota Coastal Conservancy; California Coastal Protection Network and Santa Barbara County Trails Alliance.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A new chapter was reached in the decades-long legal battle over Hollister Ranch and its 8-mile coastline. The public is one step closer to having access to the private enclave’s exclusive beaches.

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Action Alert!!  Please Share Widely! The HOLLISTER RANCH COASTAL ACCESS PROGRAM (HRCAP) will be reviewed on THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 by the  CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION!

Action Alert!! Please Share Widely! The HOLLISTER RANCH COASTAL ACCESS PROGRAM (HRCAP) will be reviewed on THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 by the CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION!

Dear Coastwalk/CCTA Members and Coastal Trail Advocates,

This California Coastal Commission meeting and Public Workshop to review the Hollister Ranch Coastal Acces Program in Santa Barbara County was postponed due to the Alisal Fire. This meeting has now been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 18. 

Please Click on the Link Below to access the Coastal Commission Agenda. 

https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2021/11

Public Comment (Elected/Public Officials, Groups and Individuals) for the Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program is now open. 

YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED AND YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! Please sign up to comment or send your comments today.

Speaker Instructions:
If you wish to speak at the Workshop, you must fill out a speaker slip no later than 8:30 AM on
Thursday November 18 (speaker slips may be submitted anytime, the speaker signup button is
active now).

Note: If you signed up to speak at the October Workshop – which was postponed – you must fill
out a new speaker slip for this November Workshop.

Please keep in mind that your time to speak will be limited. For individual speakers, your time
will be limited to 2 minutes, which may be further reduced to 1 minute depending upon the
number of speakers. If you wish to show a visual presentation that does not exceed 2 minutes and
is not more than 25 MB in size, it must be submitted by 5 PM Wednesday November 17, 2021.

Detailed speaker instructions are located here:
https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/assets/virtualhearing/FINAL_VIRTUAL%20_HEARING_PROCEDURES.pdf

Submittal of Written Materials:
To submit written materials, please email [email protected]
Note: If you previously emailed a comment letter for the October Workshop, your letter has
already been re-posted to the Agenda item. Please do not re-send your previous letter.
You can also submit materials by regular mail to the Coastal Commission at 725 Front Street,
Suite 300, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.  All mail received by 5 pm on Friday, November 12, 2021 will be distributed to the Commission.  Any materials received after this time will be placed in the file but will not be distributed to the
Commission. 

Coastwalk/CCTA and Coastal Advocates all agree that providing access to a trail through Hollister Ranch would further the Statewide vision of a continuous interconnected public trail system along the California Coast.

Coastwalk/CCTA and Coastal Advocates would also like to ensure that planning for a through trail supports safe pedestrian access AND is prioritized in the public access plan and that all solutions put forth reflect Californian’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and support efforts to lessen the impact of Climate Change.

As an individual your comments are an important part of the planning process, and it is critical that the California Coastal Commission receive input from the public in favor of opening public access of Hollister Ranch on the Gaviota Coast. Your input will make a difference.

Thank-you for supporting Coastwalk and the other environmental organizations who are members of the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance in their efforts to responsibly open this section of the Gaviota Coast to the public.

Sincerely,
Cea Higgins
Coastwalk Advocacy Coordinator

** Special thanks to Doug Kern, Executive Director of Gaviota Coastal Conservancy for this shared content.

****************************************************************************************************************************

The DRAFT Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program is now available. We are grateful to Senator Monique Limón for her courageous, strong leadership to bring us to this important moment. The California Coastal Commission needs to hear your voice on October 14, 2021, as it reviews the HRCAP. Your participation is urgently requested. The Commissioners need to hear from the public who have fought for fair and equitable coastal access at Hollister Ranch for 40 years!

Click on the link below download a copy of The Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Draft Here:
https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2021/10/Th4/Th4-10-2021report.pdf

Discussion Points

1. The Commission should expeditiously approve and implement the HRCAP. The DRAFT HRCAP phases in and limits access to prevent damage to natural and cultural resources, and provides details on how to manage equitable access and protect private property rights. The DRAFT HRCAP provides for a reasonable managed access pilot program, allowing up to 100 people a day to access up to six Ranch beaches by land and could be expanded subject to the protection of natural and cultural resources.

2. The Commission and State Agencies should open responsible access to Hollister Ranch promptly. Hollister Ranch owners have benefitted by developing their parcels over many decades with the condition that the Hollister Ranch Owners’ Association (HROA) provides public access through the Ranch to the public beach areas. However, the public has been prevented from safely exercising, without undue burdens, their constitutional right to access the public beach areas at Hollister Ranch for over 40 years.

3. The coastal trail is an important element of the HRCAP. Currently, the California Coastal Trail (CCT) is limited to only 5 miles on the beach between Gaviota State Park and Point Sal Beach State Park. A Coastal Trail through the 11 miles of Hollister Ranch coastline would further the Statewide vision of a continuous interconnected public trail system along the entire California Coast. Coastwalk/CCTA would like to ensure that a thru-trail that supports pedestrian access is prioritized in the initial phases and throughout the public access plan. Your comments are vital to making the Coastal Trail a reality at Hollister Ranch.

 

 

COVID-19’s Climate Impact and the Repercussions We Must Face

COVID-19’s Climate Impact and the Repercussions We Must Face

THE FRANKLIN POST

FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL • 5405 SE WOODWARD STREET • PORTLAND, OREGON

At the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, the world rejoiced as the environment saw a glimpse of improvement. Dolphins swam in the rivers of Venice, air quality improved, water pollution decreased in many parts of the world, and birds and animals alike thrived in their newfound peace. Animals found a home in places previously inhabited by humans, and a world catered to people allowed space for nature and other species. “At the beginning, the world paused and the environment thrived,” Izabella Wayland-Vasquez, a Franklin high school alumni, says.

However, as the pandemic lasted far longer than many of us expected, we watched as something positive quickly shifted to a negative.

With the need for at-home accessibility, constant sanitation, an increase in use of single-use plastics, takeout, Amazon shopping and overall lack of structure and regulations for businesses, we find ourselves at a point that could possibly be detrimental for our earth. As people returned to some sense of normalcy, air and pollution levels bounced back to damaging levels, animals retreated to their safety nets, and water quality quickly reverted back to what it was before. The positive progress made during the lockdown had proven to be temporary. As the world opens back up, we are left with another set of issues that could be even worse for the environment.

Cea Higgins is an environmental activist and advocacy coordinator for Coastwalk California trail beach clean ups and is also their retired executive director. Coastwalk is a state-wide non-profit organization, and they advocate for a balance between experiencing the coast and having stewardship and respect for the nature there. “It’s hard not to be negative because [COVID-19] has not been a positive thing for the environment. At all,” she says.

Higgins has been doing coastal conservation for over 25 years, and she has been doing clean ups, “long before people were really aware of plastic pollution and its detrimental effects on the ocean.” She spends her days at the beach, leading expeditions, recruiting volunteers, working in the office, organizing events for students and adults, and designing campaigns to ensure that the beach is well taken care of. Many of her hours are unpaid.

When COVID-19 hit, beach clean ups and volunteer organizations were severely impacted. Since indoor spaces were off limits because of the pandemic, everyone flocked to the beach and nature preserves. With them, they brought their single use plastics, disposable masks, and other miscellaneous trash, leaving untouched natural spaces covered in debris and popular beaches far worse than before. “There’s lots and lots of trash, PPE, human waste, and then all the single use to-go dining stuff, and I’m finding it in super pristine environments that a lot of people didn’t visit,” Higgins says.

In a time when volunteers were needed most, there were the fewest. Large group gatherings were restricted, so fundraising and recruiting volunteers was near impossible. “It’s been extremely difficult to substitute funding that we would normally get from these types of events… how do we make that shift?” says Higgins.

On top of that, in a time when people were afraid that the virus would spread over surfaces, picking up trash was the last thing anyone wanted to do. Even people who weren’t affiliated with an organization and simply cleaned up the beaches as their gift to the ocean were no longer comfortable risking their health to pick up litter.

With a lack of resources and excess trash, we are faced with a huge issue on the beaches and in natural preserves. “I haven’t seen this much trash on the beach in over 30 years,” Higgins states.

Last year, the United States spent nearly 11 billion dollars on cleaning up trash and debris across the U.S, which is ten times more than spent on trash disposal. An estimated 207 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) items were littered on US roadways and waterways alone in early fall 2020. There is an increasing demand for PPE, which contributes to a significant amount of waste. In a poll of 104 people, 79% of them said that they consume more plastic now since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

An excess amount of single use plastics and waste is just one problem we now face because of the pandemic. According to satellite data, in April 2020 alone, 64 percent more land was cleared than the same month the previous year which was the biggest year of deforestation in more than a decade. In 2020, deforestation rates increased by 9.5% from the previous year.

Keeping these forests alive is essential in the fight against climate change. Deforestation affects everything, whether it be the air we all breathe, temperature, thousands upon millions of habitats, or the water in our rivers. Megan Whisnand, the AP Environmental Science and Climate Justice teacher at Franklin says, “Forests are just so important. They clean the air, they clean the water. And you can just experience that by walking into a forest, it just feels cooler and calmer.” Forests create a sanctuary for everyone, whether it be animals or humans, or over 391,000 species of plants that the woods are home to.

Due to decreased monitoring and deregulation of businesses during the lockdown, our already large deforestation problem has grown and will continue to skyrocket unless businesses and organizations alike are monitored. “There’s a balance between individual responsibility, but then also the responsibility of our government, or the responsibility of these big corporations,” Whisnand states.

Just as we began to see progression in the fight against climate change, the pandemic seems to have pushed us back years. However, as we return back to a sense of normalcy in a post-pandemic world, we hold the keys to our future. Finally, the world seems ready to embrace real change, and as knowledge about the climate crisis is increasingly more supported and encouraged, we make space for progress. Although bleak, there is a sense of consciousness that people now understand in regards to the planet. Higgins says, “I think where the hope lies, is in the awareness. And I think people understand that it is critical. I see more and more people who want to be part of the solution.”

https://fhspost.com/covid-19s-climate-impact-and-the-repercussions-we-must-face/

Action Alert!!  Please Share Widely! The HOLLISTER RANCH COASTAL ACCESS PROGRAM (HRCAP) will be reviewed    on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2021 by the  CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION!

Action Alert!! Please Share Widely! The HOLLISTER RANCH COASTAL ACCESS PROGRAM (HRCAP) will be reviewed on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2021 by the CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION!

Dear Coastwalk/CCTA Members and Coastal Trail Advocates,

The comment period for Hollister Ranch Coastal Access (HRCAP) on the Gaviota Coast is now open. YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED AND YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

Please write the California Coastal Commission or offer personal comments at the online meeting on Thursday, October 14. (Please review the information on the next page on how to submit comments or speak at the hearing.)

It can be assumed that dozens of individuals from Hollister Ranch have registered to speak against opening public access to Hollister Ranch and the Gaviota Coast.

Coastwalk/CCTA and Coastal Advocates all agree that providing access to a trail through Hollister Ranch would further the Statewide vision of a continuous interconnected public trail system along the California Coast.

Coastwalk/CCTA and Coastal Advocates would also like to ensure that planning for a through trail supports safe pedestrian access AND is prioritized in the public access plan and that all solutions put forth reflect Californian’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and support efforts to lessen the impact of Climate Change.

As an individual your comments are an important part of the planning process, and it is critical that the California Coastal Commission receive input from the public in favor of opening public access of Hollister Ranch on the Gaviota Coast.

Actions you can take that will make a difference:
• Sign up to speak at the hearing on Thursday, October 14 at the California Coastal Commission’s online meeting
• Send an email with your comments
• Submit comments via U.S. mail
Please review the information on the next page on how to submit comments and participate in this very important process. Your input will make a difference.
Thank-you for supporting Coastwalk and the other environmental organizations who are members of the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance in their efforts to responsibly open this section of the Gaviota Coast to the public.

Sincerely,
Cea Higgins
Coastwalk Advocacy Coordinator

** Special thanks to Doug Kern, Executive Director of Gaviota Coastal Conservancy for this shared content.

****************************************************************************************************************************

The DRAFT Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program is now available. We are grateful to Senator Monique Limón for her courageous, strong leadership to bring us to this important moment. The California Coastal Commission needs to hear your voice on October 14, 2021, as it reviews the HRCAP. Your participation is urgently requested. The Commissioners need to hear from the public who have fought for fair and equitable coastal access at Hollister Ranch for 40 years!

Click on the link below download a copy of The Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Draft Here:
https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2021/10/Th4/Th4-10-2021report.pdf

Discussion Points

1. The Commission should expeditiously approve and implement the HRCAP. The DRAFT HRCAP phases in and limits access to prevent damage to natural and cultural resources, and provides details on how to manage equitable access and protect private property rights. The DRAFT HRCAP provides for a reasonable managed access pilot program, allowing up to 100 people a day to access up to six Ranch beaches by land and could be expanded subject to the protection of natural and cultural resources.

2. The Commission and State Agencies should open responsible access to Hollister Ranch promptly. Hollister Ranch owners have benefitted by developing their parcels over many decades with the condition that the Hollister Ranch Owners’ Association (HROA) provides public access through the Ranch to the public beach areas. However, the public has been prevented from safely exercising, without undue burdens, their constitutional right to access the public beach areas at Hollister Ranch for over 40 years.

3. The coastal trail is an important element of the HRCAP. Currently, the California Coastal Trail (CCT) is limited to only 5 miles on the beach between Gaviota State Park and Point Sal Beach State Park. A Coastal Trail through the 11 miles of Hollister Ranch coastline would further the Statewide vision of a continuous interconnected public trail system along the entire California Coast. Coastwalk/CCTA would like to ensure that a thru-trail that supports pedestrian access is prioritized in the initial phases and throughout the public access plan. Your comments are vital to making the Coastal Trail a reality at Hollister Ranch.

You can either speak at the hearing or submit written comments.

To speak during the Public Comment Period of the California Coastal Commission:

Speaker Instructions:
If you wish to speak to the Coastal Commission, you must fill out a speaker slip no later than 8:30 AM on Thursday, October 14 (speaker slips may be submitted the day before, which will streamline this process). We recommend signing up now for your opportunity to speak.

Please keep in mind that your time to speak will be limited, generally from 2 to 3 minutes, as determined by the Chair of the Coastal Commission. If you wish to show a 2-to-3 minute visual presentation that does not exceed 25 MB in size, it must be submitted by 5 PM Wednesday, October 13. Detailed instructions are located here:

https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/assets/virtual- hearing/FINAL_VIRTUAL%20_HEARING_PROCEDURES.pdf

Submit Written Comments:

To submit written materials, please email [email protected]

You can also submit materials by regular mail to the Coastal Commission at 725 Front Street, Suite 300, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. All mail received by 5 pm on Friday, October 8 will be distributed to the Commission. Any materials received after this time will be placed in the file but will not be distributed to the Commission.

 

Thank-You Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteers & Participants

Thank-You Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteers & Participants

THANK-YOU to the volunteers who came out in the rain to Shell Beach on Saturday, September 18 for Coastal Cleanup Day! And a super big thank-you to all the  Coastal Cleanup Day participants for showing up on such a soggy day to Protect Your Happy Place! Sign up for year-round cleanups with the Coastwalk Cleanup Crew. Check out our resource pages for information on how to safely perform cleanups and learn about the Cleanswell app. and how to record the marine debris you remove from the Coast!