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Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office

  We need to enforce illegal off-road vehicle use in this area. Please grant funding to protect this area! Nancy Everest - 3/3/15

  As property owners of river bottom land, we have been the victims of vandalism, trespassers, illegal bonfires, all night traffic up and down the river, excessive trash, dumping of abandoned cars etc. The main issue is, “it’s against the law to have a motorized vehicle in the riverbed”. This includes ATVs, off road trucks , motorcycles, any type of vehicle. Not only are they breaking a federal law, they are trespassing on private properties. I’m so tired of the individuals that believe they are entitled to use the riverbed for they're personal recreational playground. I might add if farmland owners are under constant federal laws protecting critical habitat , the devastation of that habit also includes the riverbed. I ask, then why should off roaders be exempt. Yes certainly the sheriffs department should continue patroling the riverbed and the funding is necessary to continue patrol on The Santa Ynez River. Yours truly Debra Evans - 3/4/15

  This is a request that you please approve this grant. The issues as cited in the application are of considerable concern as well as the illegal fireworks being set off in the riverbed year round. Locals brag about their antics, posting taunting remarks regarding the fact that they can't be caught, and demanding their "rights" on numerous local Facebook pages. The Lompoc City Council by a 3-2 voted approved the lifting of the ban on "safe and sane" fireworks again in 2015. They are approved for use during specified hours on the Fourth of July only. By approving the "safe and sane", the council gave their tacit approval for illegal fireworks. Since lifting the ban, illegal fireworks have increased considerably with the city looking like a "war zone" for days. Both the Lompoc Fire Chief and Police Chief indicated the mix of using both "safe and sane" makes it next to impossible to catch them when the city is exploding everywhere and they have very limited manpower. These safety officials recommended the ban not be lifted in 2015 as they did the 2 previous years. The 'extreme' use of illegal fireworks starts long before and ends long after the 4th of July with many being set off in the river bed. Going into our 4th year of draught fireworks are of considerable concern to many residents regarding the increased potential for fires in and around the city. Lompoc experienced a serious fire in 2014 and we were very fortunate the plane carrying fire retardant had just returned from New Mexico and was on it's way to unload the retardant in the ocean as they could not land with their load at the Santa Maria airport where this plane is maintained. They dropped their load over the fire and it was an immense help in containing that fire which was heading downhill rapidly into the city with the wind whipping it around requiring homes to be evacuated all along the south side of the city. For this reason along with the other considerable reasons cited, I respectfully request your approval of this grant applied for by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department which will provide them with the means to better manage the illegal activities going on in this riverbed. Sincerely, Pamela Wall - 3/7/15

  I believe this is a beneficial application to enforce the off road violations in the Santa Ynez River area along the city side of Lompoc. Over the years, this has become a major problem with trespassing, erosion to the river banks and illegal dumping. As stated in the grant request, this area requires protection and without those protections - by enforcement authorities, further illegal activity will continue and more damage will occur to the areas along the river. Terry Hammons - 3/11/15

  I am very much in support of awarding a grant to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office for the enforcement of laws applicable to the Lompoc, CA Riverbed. I am a resident of Lompoc (14 yrs) and live within one block of the river within City limits and a City funded and maintained bicycle/walking path which is enjoyed by the whole community, but especially of course, our adjacent residential area. On the opposite side of the river is a City Park with short term RV parking BBQ areas, play areas, open field space, and a small lake with stocked fishing opportunities. The park receives ample usage. My residence is approximately one half mile from the City limits and unincorporated areas of the Santa Ynez River (SYR). There is a County maintained homeless shelter within this same approximate distance. The SYR is frequently used by OHV's 24/7. Often these vehicles are off loaded on residential streets in the local area. Sometimes vehicles are heard driving down the alley behind my home (to avoid easy detection and main roadways) on their way to gain access to the river bed. The embankment on our side of the river is very high and steep, approximately 30 ft. There are only a few adequate access points where the lack of foliage allows access. At these points there is signage noticing forbidden access and applicable codes. They are blocked by wooden fencing. Routinely the fencing is circumvented by OHV's which have blazed a passable vehicular path down to the river. The river bed is generally dry and only runs occasionally during the year from rain or released water from Lake Cachuma. There is therefor abundant foliage across the river at slightly higher elevations. OHV tracks are visible and plentiful year round all across the sandy river bed. Many birds and other wild life, including occasional coyotes and raccoons occupy the area. Owls can be seen and heard during the twilight hours when motorized activity is absent. Occasional egrets make their way inland from downstream nearer the ocean. Again when activity is low, which has been less frequent in the last year or two. Our local riparian habit is being adversely impacted by illegal OHV traffic. OHV riders are generally disrespectful of the public areas, roadways and neighborhoods when in transit to the river bed. When there is rain (not much lately of course) vehicles, including large four wheel trucks, in their zeal to go mudding, can be seen to have driven over roadway curbs and across grassy areas on their way to access the river. Local police are notified but nearly impotent without proper vehicles themselves to access off road areas. At least, I have not seen any police off road vehicles and am not aware that there are any. I believe you have been made aware of other illegal activity, ie.- dumping, fires and the like, surrounding the river bed and would be sincerely grateful should you decide to provide a grant to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff for the purpose of policing our valuable river bed area. Ps- The Los Padres National Forest is less than one hour from Lompoc and has extensive OHV opportunities. Pismo Beach is also approximately one hour from Lompoc. Thank you for your consideration. James Downey - 3/12/15

  The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation should not approve this grant. The money that is paid in to OHMVR is to take care of and provide riding areas! It should not be used for this type of enforcement. In a resent survey 84% of Lompoc residents approve of off road use of the river bed. Let the people that are complaining about it pay for enforcement. Mark Scott - 3/16/15

  Living one block away from the bike trail & river bed, I often hear the roar of engines of vehicles in the river bed. More than once motorized vehicles have come along the bike trail operated by young people who challenge you as if they have the right to do exactly what they wish to do with no consideration for others what-so-ever. They are like aliens! They wear down the river banks as they drive into the river bed. They also appear to challenge any law enforcement. Is this the way of today's youth? Al Thompson - 3/16/15

  WOW almost 100 grand to stop kids from riding dirt bikes. It's not like riding in the riverbed is new. Please use our OHV money for improving OHV areas not for more unneeded enforcement. Chris - 3/18/15