THE -PREss -DEMQCRAT
\ ~. :; , Spa,rls • . ". • ' ! .. ....
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7, ~ 968-PAGE 37
By ...• .• •
P. D. Sports Editor
An Issue Which
We don't have to be a private detective to know
what the missus and the children have been up
. to whiLe we slave oy.er, a hot typewriter · here at
. the office.
Straw scattered around the garage the other
night tipped us off to the fact that they'd been on a
hayride at the Russian River.
Another time, we found sand from the beach
on top of the dashboard of the car of all places.
Our usually charming personality failed us that
particular time. But, looking back, it was worth
'it finding the sand there to know they had a chance
tq go to the beach, 'Of, mor·e aectirately, to the
>oce-an, and as long as the kids keep the stuff out
of the gas tank, w·e won't holler too much. '
IT 'JUST OCCURED to us our family isn't alone
in the neighborhood in enjoying the coast. Walt
Glark 'across the street frequently goes scuba-div-
ing at the coast when he's not managing his pros-pering
Wes Brown right next door takes his clan to the '
coast for a hike around the sand dunes.
The third neighbor is Chuck Hinkle. A m·ember
of the Sono;ma County Reef Runners, Chuck lives
for skin-diving forays to the coast, and today' s ~
essay was prompted by a r·ecent visit one evening
from Hinkle. Hinkle wanted to g·et us to do our
"homew'ork" on the tug of war involving the pub- ~
lic's right to access to the California-coastline, and
private .....:d.. ~velopm~nt which, is.~eaUng the people .
off from the ocean tidelands.
\ So far, we've been remiss in our duty. ~
IN At INUTSHELL, this is the situation Chuck
wanted told on these pages: (
The issue is that of public aceess through Sea .
Ranch lands in the northwe·stern coastal area.
State law says the public owns all land on the '
California coast below the mean high tide.
'The' fact that the "public owns all land" doesn't
necessarily mean it can get to the land~
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors t~is
spring ' approved a zoning change to permit construction
of the Sea Ranch development, but turned
down sports.men's and conservationists' pleas that
access "corridors" be made available.
THE SPORTSMEN\ and cdnservationists haven't
given up. They banded together under the
acronym, COAAST--:-Californians Organized to Acquire
Access to State Tidelands-and are ·circulating
a petition which if they get the necessary 6,000
signatures will get an initiative placed on the No-vember
The initiative would create a county ordinance
giving officials power to acquire a series of corridors
along the Sonoma County coast for public
access to the tidelands.
We say we've been remiss in bringing the matter
to your attention because COAAST has only eight
days left to get the necessary signatures and get the
SEA RANCH has been described as a well-Plan- !i
ned, conservation-oriented second-home develop- .
:ment along the coast., It's subdiv~der, Oceanic Prop- ;
erties, gave the .Sonoma County a 100-acr'e plot at 1
the mouth of the Gualala River in r·eturn for the
assurance the county wouldn't run access corridors
through. They also argue that historically
the public never had access across private ranch
lands and that public use now would result in violation
of privacy ·essential if Sea Ranch is to succeed.
COAAST underscores the argument that, as subdivisions
grow, public beach use grows five times
as fast as the population and that 'enjoying bea·ch
:areas may in the future be a luxury for the id!e
'rich in many cases.
· One fellow we just talked with recalls it took I
years before national parks were made accessible
, and, if access roads were de,emed necessary for
the national parks, why·not the coast.
_ Besides,he J;eflected, there is "Something basically
wrong with the idea" some one can tell another
person he can't enjoy what's rightfully his.
THAT'S THE MATTER as it stands today. We
just toss your way what few facts we can get in ,
this little space. There'll be more later. The Clarks,
Browns, Hinkles-even you-have too much at
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