Yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a letter in support of the proposed 241 toll road extension in South Orange County. The letter was issued just two weeks before a critical vote by the California Coastal Commission to determine if the proposed extension violates the California Coastal Act. A staff report prepared by the CCC concludes that it does.
"We are absolutely taken aback by this," said Surfrider Foundation CEO Jim Moriarty. "For the Governor to take this unprecedented step of interfering with the workings of an independent and non-political commission, an entity which was established by California voters and whose sole responsibility is to decide the future of California's coasts and beaches based on law and fact, is entirely inappropriate."
The disappointing announcement comes just six days after the California Governor unveiled his plans to close forty-eight California State Parks, allow for the early release of prisoners from state correctional facilities, and raise Department of Motor Vehicle fees.
"We had hoped that Governor Schwarzenegger was insincere in his threat to close state parks and beaches," says Moriarty. "It now appears that he is absolutely intent on sacrificing our state park system and natural resources for his political objectives."
The California State Parks Department has maintained that they may be forced to abandon nearly sixty percent of San Onofre State Beach Park, including the popular San Mateo Creek Campground, should the proposed extension to the 241 toll road be completed.
Governor Schwarzenegger's failure to support San Onofre State Beach Park by endorsing the 241 toll road extension is in direct contrast to the efforts of his Republican predecessors, President Richard M. Nixon and then-Governor Ronald Reagan, both of whom worked to establish San Onofre State Beach as a part of their legacy; hoping that it would exist as a resource to be used and enjoyed by future generations.
The Surfrider Foundation activists and other opponents to the planned toll road will be gathering in Oceanside, California on February 6th for a planned rally outside the California Coastal Commission hearing. All members of the public are invited to attend. Please go to the Save Trestles website for more information.
Save Trestles: Former Surfing magazine publisher and environmental activist Bob Mignogna displays the wisdom of former Governor of California and President of the United States Ronald Reagan, a Republican, in the light of current California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger's support of a toll road through the San Onofre State Park watershed and the Trestles area surfing environment in northern San Diego County. Photo: Drew Kampion
Check out the Oceans Waves Beaches blogspot for updates on this story.