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Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on January 7th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 45

CANARY: We want more!

By The Canary

Give someone an inch and they’ll take four more inches. Or in the case of Lompoc: Give a city the beach access they want and they’ll take a few more little things. 


The Canary

OK. Maybe it’s not the perfect metaphor, but I can’t be on my tippy talons every week. I might be slightly hungover from my New Year’s party with the bald eagles. They were flying high—a little too high if you ask me—off their remarkable recovery from needing protection under the Endangered Species Act! Yes, they’ve been celebrating every year since 2007. And yes, it is absolutely getting old, but they throw one hell of a party, so sue me. 

Anyway. Snowy plovers haven’t quite recovered in the same way as the bald eagle. I think maybe the eagle’s status as a national symbol of the United States might have given them a wing up. But also, plovers screw up public beach acess. WTF plovers? 

Lompoc area beachcombers have been stifled by the plovers perilous plight because they apparently don’t know how to follow the rules of breeding season. It’s just too hard for some people, so Vandenberg Air Force Base has shut down beach access over the last several summers due to derelict day-walkers who can’t seem to keep their feet on the right kind of sand—the kind without the potential for being precious plover habitat. They ruined it for everyone else!

When those peeping little plovers came up against the California Coastal Commission’s responsibility to maintain public access to the coast—thanks to a strongly worded letter from the city of Lompoc and outcry from the city’s top elected official (Mayor Jenelle Osborne) during a public hearing—plovers came out on the losing end. 

Public access for the win! City, one. Plovers, none. 

And now, the city wants more access. The power of the ask has gone to its head. This is madness, I tell you. Absolute madness. 

Lompoc now wants people to be allowed to go fishing from the beach! You know what stopped that? Establishing the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve in 2007. Damn environmentalists. They ruin everything! Well, I’m sure the reserve mostly targeted commercial fishing, because humans have a tendency to use and abuse until the resource is pretty much gone. 

The city is asking the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow fishing on a half-mile of the protected coastline as a low-cost/no-cost recreational alternative (and also for some people who would need the protein as a low-cost/no-cost way of sustaining themselves). Oh my heavens. What will they think of next? 

Well, I’ll tell you. The city also would like people to be able to safely put their non-motorized water craft in the Santa Ynez River estuary. Geez, people. How dare you? Another low-cost/no-cost recreational opportunity? 

One thing’s for sure, the city of Lompoc is finally coming together. It can’t get its ducks in a row on the budget, but when it comes to getting Big Government off the backs of the little people, they’ve certainly got it figured out. 

The canary is ready to recreate. Send comments to canary@santamarisun.com.








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