Las Varas Press Release – Hearing Result

PRESS RELEASE

From:  Gaviota Coast Conservancy

Date:  September 2, 2015

Media contacts:         Ana Citrin, Esq., Law Office of Marc Chytilo, 570-4190

                                    Phil McKenna, Gaviota Coast Conservancy President, 682-0302

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUPERVISORS DENY LAS VARAS RANCH PROJECT

On Tuesday September 1, 2015 the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to deny the Las Varas Ranch Lot Line Adjustments, Subdivision, Conditional Use Permit, and Coastal Development Permits, underscoring the community’s interest in protecting the integrity and natural resources of a working Gaviota Coast ranch.  The County Planning Commission had recommended in April that the Board deny the Project.

The Las Varas Ranch Project proposed to reconfigure the existing lots on the 1800 acre agricultural Las Varas and Edward’s Ranches and create 2.5 to 5 acre residential “development envelopes” on each lot with driveways and water systems in order to maximize the land’s value for future residential development.  While proponents of the Project argued the lot reconfiguration would not increase development potential, County Staff confirmed at the hearing that the Project would shift residential development potential from the inland side of Highway 101 onto the much more sensitive and valuable coastal zone south of the Highway.  While the Project did not include the residential structures themselves, it was evident to many that the effect of the Project would be to pave the way for large lot luxury residential development and the gradual elimination of an otherwise productive and economically viable agricultural operation on the Gaviota Coast.

Las Varas Ranch has a significant history, including service as a prisoner of war camp during WW II, with a remnant of the camp’s water tower still visible from Highway 101.  The views across the Ranch’s pastoral lands are extraordinary, while the creeks, grasslands and coastline each have high natural resource values.  Conversion of Las Varas Ranch from agriculture to luxury residential estates would permanently change the face of this part of the Gaviota Coast.

Las Varas Ranch is one of the few remaining operational ranches on the Gaviota Coast that has not voluntarily protected its agricultural operation under the Williamson Act (which provides tax incentives to keep land in active agriculture) or through conservation easements.  The Project Description failed to include meaningful protections for future agriculture, proposing only weak CC&Rs with questionable enforceability.  The lack of protection for agriculture in a project that would clearly facilitate future luxury residential development on agricultural lands undermined the applicant and led to sharp criticism of the project.

Supervisor Doreen Farr led the Board’s deliberations by listing a host of reasons why she could not support the Project, ranging from her disagreement with the conclusions in the Environmental Impact Report, to the infeasibility of the proposed CC&Rs to protect the agricultural operation, to the inadequacy of measures to protect the Ranch’s sensitive historic, biological and aesthetic resources.  As suggested by the Planning Commission, the Supervisors recognized that the Project violated State and County policies protecting agricultural, biological and aesthetic resources.  With denial of the reconfiguration of the Ranch, the agricultural operation can continue as it has for decades and the threat of increased mansionization of the Gaviota Coast has been slowed.

“The Gaviota Coast Conservancy is committed to preserving the rural character of the Gaviota Coast,” explained GCC’s President Phil McKenna, who addressed the Supervisors along with more than a dozen other community members and groups concerned over the Project.  He continued: “this project was insidious, appearing nominal on its face, while in effect paving the way for development of this iconic Gaviota Coast ranch.  GCC met with the applicant years ago and hoped to be able to find a mutually acceptable solution that addressed their estate planning needs while permanently protecting the views and resources of the ranch, but regrettably that was unsuccessful.  GCC does not oppose all development, but in this case understood that the Project had the potential to substantially impact the Gaviota Coast and set an adverse precedent that could compromise other ranches.  We thank the Planning Commission, County Planning staff, and the Board of Supervisors for recognizing that this was the wrong project for these lands.”

Ana Citrin, GCC’s attorney who addressed the Board of Supervisors, noted “While the Project was denied, the landowner retains economically viable uses of the ranch, including some potential residential uses in addition to the on-going agricultural operation.  The County was well within its rights to reject this project in light of the numerous policy inconsistencies.  The County has a legitimate interest in protecting the Gaviota Coast’s important agricultural, historic and natural resources from ill-considered development, and the Board’s decision to deny this project was founded in both good policy and the law.”

About The Gaviota Coast Conservancy:

The Gaviota Coast Conservancy is a tax exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the rural character of the Gaviota Coast and its unique natural, scenic, agricultural, recreational, and cultural resources.  GCC monitors all significant development on the Gaviota Coast, acting as a watchdog, reviewing EIRs, submitting comments, and filing appeals where necessary.  Working through partnerships with other land conservation organizations, local landowners, resource agencies, and government entities, the Conservancy is promoting long-term strategies to protect the Gaviota Coast from the urban development that threatens this region.

For more information,  visit http://gaviotacoastconservancy.org/.

Las Varas Ranch Hearing – Sept 1

UPDATE:  Las Varas is # 7 on the agenda of 8 items total, September 1st. The hearing can be viewed on Local SB Cox Channel 20, or streamed live here:

If you are able to come in the afternoon but cannot watch to see when the item will come up, you may TEXT 805-683-6631 to request a time estimate.  SEE BELOW FOR TALKING POINTS, information and emails.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Remember that big triple-hearing last month in front of the SB County Supes?  (Naples, Tajiguas Land Fill, and Las Varas Ranch?) The Las Varas Project was postponed and now it is upon us. Project developers would like to divide up a working ranch to make way for more development.  The County Planning Commission voted to reccomend the County Board of Supervisors Deny The Request. The hearing is September 1st, 2015. The following, prepared by the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, contains information and talking points. (Re-posted with permission.) Additional links at bottom of page.

If you cannot attend, Please send an email to the County Supervisors, they do listen!

GAVIOTA COAST ACTION ALERT!
Attend Hearing – Email Supervisors

WHAT:  Hearing at the Board of Supervisors on the Las Varas Ranch Project

WHEN:    Tuesday September 1, 2015 (time TBD)

WHERE:   Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, (105 E. Anapamu Street, 4th floor, Santa Barbara)

Details will be posted closer to the hearing on the Board of Supervisors webpage at https://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

LAS VARAS RANCH PROJECT OVERVIEW:

This proposed subdivision and lot line adjustment would divide up a working Gaviota Coast ranch that has been in agricultural production since the 1700’s, to maximize the land’s value for estate residential development.  The Project includes residential development envelopes on seven lots, ranging in size from 2.5 to 5 acres, and a private water system and roadway infrastructure to serve 14 homes (1 primary residence, and 1 guest house on each of the 7 lots).  The Project would intensify residential development potential in the coastal zone, by shifting one lot from the inland to the coastal side of Highway 101.  Two of the residential development envelopes are proposed on the coastal bluff, immediately above Edward’s Point and just down coast from El Capitan State Beach.  Easements for public trails offered by the Applicant are inappropriately located, and very unlikely to provide viable public access in the foreseeable future.

The County Planning Commission voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny the Las Varas Ranch Project because it is inconsistent with County policies protecting agricultural land, scenic views, and biological resources.  Please attend the 9/1 hearing and ask the Board of Supervisors to follow the Planning Commission’s recommendation and deny the Las Varas Ranch Project.

If you cannot attend the hearing, please email the Supervisors at sbcob@co.santa-barbara.ca.us.

Simple message to the Supervisors:

  • I/we urge the Board of Supervisors to follow the Planning Commission’s recommendation and deny the Las Varas Ranch Project.  The proposed fragmentation of a historic Gaviota Coast working ranch is inconsistent with County policies protecting agriculture, and with the community’s vision for the Gaviota Coast.  The project, including the residential development it facilitates, will degrade important public views and compromise sensitive resources.  Please uphold County policy and deny the Las Varas Ranch Project.

 

TALKING POINTS – LAS VARAS RANCH PROJECT:

  • The Las Varas Ranch Project is inconsistent with County policies protecting agricultural land:
    • The Project would facilitate the sale of individual lots to different owners, fragmenting the ownership of lands currently owned and managed as a single viable agricultural operation.
    • Individual lots are not agriculturally viable, and collective management of the ranching operation cannot effectively be enforced with CC&Rs as proposed.
    • Proposed development envelopes will enable spill-over of residential uses that will adversely impact the agricultural operation.
    • Locating future residential development in the midst of orchards and cattle pastures would introduce significant land use conflicts that will further impact the agricultural operation.
  • The Project is inconsistent with County policies protecting visual resources:
    • The Project intensifies residential development potential in the iconic viewshed and Rural Historic Landscape on Las Varas Ranch visible from Highway 101, and on the coastal bluff visible from the railroad, beach, and ocean.
    • Up to two-acres of contiguous residential development and additional structures including horse stables and agricultural employee dwellings will degrade scenic coastal views across these open and historically significant landscapes.
  • The Project is inconsistent with County biological resource protection policies:
    • New residential uses including introduced pets and equestrian use will adversely impact sensitive native plant communities and sensitive wildlife species including California red-legged frog, southwestern pond turtle, and many species of sensitive raptors and bats.
    • Future development of large rural estates including unlimited amounts of agriculturally related structures such as horse stables and greenhouses will fragment foraging areas, interrupt wildlife movement, and degrade native vegetation.
  • The Project is inconsistent with County cultural resource protection policies:
    • The Project site qualifies as a significant cultural resource with both a Rural Historic Landscape and significant archaeological resources including CA-SBA-80.
    • The Project intensifies development potential within the Rural Historic Landscape and in proximity to CA-SBA-80 in a manner inconsistent with County policy requiring the avoidance of development on significant historic and archaeological sites when possible.
    • Project infrastructure and future residential development will degrade the site’s significant cultural resources.

Additional Links:

Santa Barbara County Trails Council – Las Varas Ranch Project EIR Inadequate

Gaviota Action – Las Varas Project

Santa Barbara Planning Commission Overview

Saving the Gaviota Coast – Panel Discussion, October 13, 2015

Important Panel Discussion: Saving the Gaviota Coast 

October 13, 2015 @ Schott Center in Santa Barbara

Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast by Reeve Woolpert

One of the most important things you can do this year is attend this special one-off panel to learn about issues facing the Gaviota Coast. Protection of this precious public resource begins with becoming informed and educating others. Learn from the attorneys and experts who work daily to protect it.

Panelists will include:  Linda Krop, Chief Counsel of the Environmental Defense Center, Jesse Swanhuyser from the Law Office of Marc Chytilo, Reeve Woolpert, renown photographer of the Gaviota Coast, and Janet Koed, Volunteer Coordinator for Naples Coalition and Gaviota Coast Conservancy. Moderator is Cathie McCammon, Naples Coalition Board-member.

This CLL (Center for Lifelong Learning) class is October 13, 6:00 – 8:00, at Room 20 of the Schott enter located at Bath and Padre Streets and tuition is $16. Sign up at the Schott Center or on-line at https://thecll.org/ 

Here is the course title and description:

Santa Barbara Conflicts 1 – Protecting Gaviota Coast and Naples

“The peaceful and rural agricultural land of Gaviota Coast and Naples is threatened not only by oil – it’s also subject to devastation by creeping urbanization.  A panel will explore the ideas of groups dedicated to preserving protecting and enhancing these lands from disastrous oil spills and urban development.”

Photo: Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast by Reeve Woolpert

He’s Baa-ack! Supervisors Deny Transfer of Naples Development Agreement

Developer Matt Osgood sits next to Attorney Stanley Lamport, who is representing Standard Portfolio Asset Management.  The company asked that the Naples property be transferred to them on Tuesday, but county supervisors said they didn't have enough information to make a decision.

Developer Matt Osgood sits next to Attorney Stanley Lamport, who is representing Standard Portfolio Asset Management. The company asked that the Naples property be transferred to them on Tuesday, but county supervisors said they didn’t have enough information to make a decision. Photo: Lara Cooper/Noozhawk Noozhawk article

A VERY brief summary of the Naples Project in current form:

The Santa Barbara Ranch/Naples housing project, overwhelmingly opposed by the public, seemingly lost its decade-plus long battle to come to fruition, when developer Matt Osgood went into foreclosure in 2010 on the property. In the intervening years, would-be developers looked at the project and backed away, when they realized the project was not a good financial idea and faced extreme opposition from the community. However, a new owner, somewhat of an enigma, David Liu of Standard Portfolios, closed on the property in December of 2014 and has retained previous owner Matt Osgood on his team of project leaders. Not much information can be found on Mr. Liu or his business entities, despite multiple hearings in front of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

As a result of yesterdays hearing, those who would see the Gaviota Coast protected from development may celebrate the fact that Santa Barbara County Supervisors will look closely at applications submitted for their review. However, lest they believe this is a victory, Standard Portfolios may re-apply at any time. Attorneys representing interests opposed to the development asked for the supervisors to consider rescinding the development agreement altogether. They believe the project as narrowly approved in 2008 is no longer viable due to considerable changes in circumstance, the greatest of which may be the obvious lack of ability to provide water for such a development. Many agree it is time for Naples in that form to be put to rest once and for all. Supervisor Doreen Farr stated that rescindment was not the purpose of the hearing at present, only the issue of transferrence of development rights.

For now, this may be nothing more than “saving face” on the part of our supervisors. As soon as the developers feel it is economically prudent, they will be back with enough financial information to get a yes vote from the Board. The giant has awakened: the project is has a revived pulse. Naples is seething out there in its hideous form, waiting for the right time to fully resurface. There are many more rounds ahead in this fight to stop the urbanization of Gaviota.

Read the Statement  by the Naples Coalition July 8, 2015:

On Tuesday July 7, 2015 the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 (Supervisor Lavagnino being absent) to withhold its consent to transferring an agreement governing the inland portion of the proposed Naples development on the Gaviota Coast to Standard Portfolios.  Standard Portfolios acquired the property after lenders foreclosed on its previous owner, Matt Osgood. The Board determined that the new owners of Santa Barbara Ranch, Standard Portfolios, had not submitted sufficient information as required to demonstrate that they have the financial ability and reputation to carry out the obligations it proposed to assume.

Planning and Development Director Glenn Russell previously denied the transfer request, because Standard Portfolios did not submit any information regarding their financial ability or reputation.  The glossy document Standard Portfolios submitted to the County to support its appeal of Director Russell’s denial did not impress the Board.  Supervisor Farr suggested that it read more like a “marketing brochure” than an application to transfer important contractual obligations.  Three Supervisors expressed concerns that the document provided only generalized information that lacked authentication from third parties. Supervisor Carbajal described Standard Portfolios as the very definition of an “enigma”.

The Board made clear that the focus of its inquiry is squarely on Standard Portfolios itself, not its development team which could be changed at any time as Supervisor Farr explained.  “The Board clearly wants to know more information about this company, its structure, principals, financial resources, and past development experience.  David Liu cannot effectively carry this project forward in absentia” stated Naples Coalition attorney Ana Citrin.

“Today we applaud the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for recognizing that Standard Portfolios did not demonstrate that it had the reputation and financial resources to fulfill the obligations of the transfer agreement,” said EDC Staff Attorney Nicole Di Camillo. “Along with our client, the Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider, and the other dedicated community organizations which have worked for decades to protect Naples, we see this as an important victory for our communities and our coastline.”

Ultimately the Board made clear that it required specific, independently verifiable information establishing Standard Portfolios’ financial ability and reputation to perform the obligations it proposes to assume under the Development Agreement.  “Today the Board set high standards for any and all review of this project.  The community spoke clearly and we are grateful for the leadership that the current Board demonstrated,” stated Naples Coalition board member Phil McKenna.

“The community response has been really impressive” opined Naples Coalition President Greg Helms.  “Not one public comment in support of the transfer, continuing the public’s overwhelming opposition.”

About The Naples Coalition:

The Naples Coalition is a Santa Barbara County, CA-based public benefit corporation with representation by local non-profit groups including the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County, Gaviota Coast Conservancy, League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara County, Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club, Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, Santa Barbara Chapter of the Audubon Society and Santa Barbara Community Action Network. The Naples Coalition is dedicated to the preservation of the rural character of the Naples property on the Gaviota coast.  For more information, visit http://www.savenaples.org.

About the Environmental Defense Center:

The Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit law firm, that protects and enhances the local environment through education, advocacy, and legal action and works primarily within Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Since 1977, EDC has empowered community based organizations to advance environmental protection. Program areas include protecting coast and ocean resources, open spaces and wildlife, and human and environmental health. Learn more about EDC at www.EnvironmentalDefenseCenter.org.

About Surfrider Foundation:

Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.  The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was founded in 1990 to protect local beaches, coastal areas, and water quality.  One of Surfrider Foundation’s priority campaigns is to protect the Gaviota Coast, including Naples.  Learn more about the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation at https://santabarbara.surfrider.org/.

For additional history, at the bottom of yesterday’s Noozhawk article, a list of previous, related articles can be found.

Hearing Results July 7, 2015. SB County Board of Supervisors.

Today, three items pertaining to the Gaviota Coast were on the agenda to be heard by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors:

1. The Tajiguas Landfill: supervisors needed more information before voting to use public funding to expand industrial activities at Tajiguas Landfill, and to extend the landfill’s lifetime. A yes vote here would be unfortunate, as the Tajiguas landfill is slated for timely closure and had not originally been envisioned for expansion of the proposed nature. There seem to be no alternatives for managing solid waste in our area, however, so unless we as a culture can use less, waste less, recycle more and innovate better ways to dispose of our waste, we are stuck with increasing industrialization of our precious coastal region.

2. The Las Varas Ranch project item was continued to Sept 1. The County Planning Commission voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny the Las Varas Ranch Project because it is inconsistent with County policies protecting agricultural land, scenic views, and biological resources.

3. Transfer of Development Agreement for Santa Barbara Ranch/Naples was denied. The financial information provided by the applicant was insufficient. The applicant, Standard Portfolios’ request was denied in the first place for this reason, and they appealed without providing adequate information a second time. However, they may re-apply. The vote was 3-1 (Adam dissenting) with Lavagnino absent.

CALL TO ACTION: TRIPLE Hearing July 7 Santa Barbara – Send emails, call, attend

The Gaviota Coast faces multiple threats of development. In a rare convergence, three projects will be heard on the same day by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, July 7, 2015. One project, Naples, which has been fought by concerned citizens and a coalition of environmental groups since before 2000, was recently purchased by an overseas investor looking to revive the project. We need to show him how strong the opposition is: we’re still here and we will never give up. Click here for information about the Naples Coalition. See photo below:

urbanlimit_REVISED

Other topics include lot reassessment which can only have one purpose: greater residential development potential for agricultural land and further industrialization of the Gaviota Coast by expanding the Tajiguas land fill. Please write or call supervisors, or better yet, attend this important hearing. For SB County Board of Supervisor’s names, emails an contact information, go here: http://www.countyofsb.org/bos/ Written comments for the Board may also be submitted electronically to: sbcob@co.santabarbara.ca.us

GAVIOTA COAST ACTION ALERT!

WHAT: Hearing at the Board of Supervisors covering three Gaviota Coast projects : the
Las Varas Ranch Project, Santa Barbara Ranch/Naples Development Agreement Transfer,
and funding for the Resource Recovery Project at Tajiguas Landfill

WHEN: Tuesday July 7, 2015 (time TBD, likely to start at approximately 10:30AM* see times below)

WHERE: Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara
Details will be posted* closer to the hearing on the Board of Supervisors webpage at
https://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx . [* The hearing agenda has been published as of this posting. Tajiguas is item A25 at approximately 10:30, BOS is requesting a continuance to Sept 1 for Las Varas, item 6, and item 7 is Santa Barbara Ranch/Naples Development transfer. It is difficult to estimate the time it will take to get to items 6 & 7. If you need to know specific times, the hearing will be televised LIVE on Cox Santa Barbara Channel 20 and streamed live here, where you can watch to figure out how quickly it’s going: http://www.countyofsb.org/broadcast.sbc]

SANTA BARBARA RANCH / NAPLES DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT TRANSFER:
The former Naples developer Matt Osgood is back, this time backed by apartment developer Standard Portfolios and foreign capital. Standard Portfolios, which acquired the Santa Barbara Ranch (SBR) property from First Bank in January, is requesting that the Board consent to a Transfer Agreement by which First Bank’s rights and obligations under the Inland Development Agreement are transferred to Standard Portfolios. At the hearing the Board must consider whether the prospective developer has the financial ability and reputation to assume the responsibilities associated with the development agreement and project approvals.

The Santa Barbara Ranch Project is the wrong project for this exceptional coastal property. Please ask
the Board of Supervisors to deny the transfer request, terminate the Inland Development Agreement and take the necessary steps to ensure that the developer pursues a different project.

RESOURCE RECOVERY PROJECT AT TAJIGUAS LANDFILL FUNDING:
The Board will receive a report from Staff on proposed expansion of solid waste activities at Tajiguas Landfill, and give direction regarding the use of public funding for the proposed Resource Recovery Project (RRP). The RRP proposes to both expand the industrial facilities at Tajiguas Landfill, and extend the landfill’s lifetime. New industrial facilities including a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Anaerobic Digester (AD) are very costly and their economic viability is uncertain. Until now, a private company (Mustang) has borne the financial risks associated with the Project.

The Gaviota Coast should be protected against further industrialization. Tell the Board of Supervisors to NOT use public funding to expand and extend use of the Tajiguas Landfill.

LAS VARAS RANCH PROJECT: (Possible continuance to Sept 1, 2015)
This proposed subdivision and lot line adjustment would divide up a working Gaviota Coast ranch that has been in agricultural production since the 1700’s, to maximize the land’s value for estate residential development. The Project includes residential development envelopes on seven lots, ranging in size from 2.5 to 5 acres, and a private water system and roadway infrastructure to serve 14 homes (1 primary residence, and 1 guest house on each of the 7 lots). The Project would intensify residential development potential in the coastal zone, by shifting one lot from the inland to the coastal side of Highway 101. Two of the residential development envelopes are proposed on the coastal bluff, immediately above Edward’s Point and just down coast from El Capitan State Beach. Easements for public trails offered by the Applicant are inappropriately located, and very unlikely to provide viable public access in the foreseeable future.

The County Planning Commission voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny the Las Varas Ranch Project because it is inconsistent with County policies protecting agricultural land, scenic views, and biological resources. Please ask the Board of Supervisors to follow the Planning Commission’s recommendation and deny the Las Varas Ranch Project.

Thank you to Jim Hines of the Sierra Club, Los Padres Chapter for the information on the three projects.

Rebels With a Cause (Film) + More Opportunities This Weekend!

RebelsPOSTER_med-final

The award-winning film, “Rebels With a Cause,” was a hit with the full-capacity crowd at Faulkner Gallery in the Santa Barbara Public Library last night. The film documents a decades-long struggle by a few determined citizens who were responsible for the creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore, a 71,028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. The vast, natural sanctuary is north of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, and was the target of developers for decades. This is one documentary with a happy ending: Point Reyes National Seashore today remains in its natural state and can be enjoyed by everyone; the public is welcome.

Cheers went through the crowd on several occasions during the film, most notably when Doug Ferguson (lawyer) recounted  Huey Johnson’s (Co-Founder Trust for Public Land) response to Gulf Oil lawyers who laughed at their opposition, “those guys are going to run out of money. We’re not worried about them,” they said. Huey responded, “there’s something you don’t understand. They’re unpaid and they’re crazy. They will go the distance.”

Those familiar with the south coast’s multi-decade struggle to preserve the Gaviota Coast, the Naples property in particular, can expect to find inspiration and ideas from this story; “if you care enough and you get passionate enough, you can change your world, whatever that is. It might be a small world, but if it’s worth changing, then it can be done by a few people.” -Gary Giacomini (Marin County Supervisor 1972-1996, quoted from the film.)

Crowd at

Crowd at “Rebels With a Cause” 05/28/15

The film is directed by Nancy Kelly. For more information: http://rebelsdocumentary.org/. The film may be purchased on DVD or streamed, here (also click for trailer): http://rebelsdocumentary.org/buy/home/.

Present also were the event’s organizers, Santa Barbara Permaculture Network as well as representatives from the Naples Coalition, the League of Women Voters, the Environmental Defense Center among others.

More opportunities, FREE TO THE PUBLIC, are happening this weekend! Ask questions, hear from our representatives or get involved:

COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE OIL SPILL RESPONSE takes place Saturday, May 30 2015 11:00-2:00 at Elk’s Lodge, 150 N Kellog Avenue in Goleta.

STAND IN THE SAND COMMUNITY RALLY with elected leaders, will meet on SUNDAY May 31, 2015 at 1:00 at the De La Guerra Plaza in front of Santa Barbara City Hall. From there, the rally will walk down State Street and end up at the Beach to create a “human boom”. Organized by Stand in the Sand and sponsered by the Sierra Club. Event parners: 1% for the Planet, Community Environmental Council (CEC), Environmental Defense Center, Sprout Up, UCSB EAB, Santa Barbara Bowl, Lucidity Festivals,Naples Coalition, Heal the Ocean, 350 Santa Barbara, Ocean Conservancy, World Business Academy, Gaviota Coast Conservancy,Explore Ecology, and Food and Water Watch.

Volunteer clean up activities continue. Sign up here: https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov/Spill-Archive/Refugio-Incident/Volunteer.

Please report oiled wildlife by calling 1-877-823-6926

LATEST VOLUNTEER INFO: Volunteers Accepted for Refugio Oil Spill!

BREAKING:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CA DFW) Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) is now accepting volunteers to help with the Refugio Oil Spill! Training times are scheduled May 25 & 28, Beach Clean up May 27, 30, 31 – see below!

Go to this website to get a Volunteer Application Form: https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov/Spill-Archive/Refugio-Incident/Volunteer

How to submit form:

1. Open form in pdf reader

2. Complete form and then press “Save form” button

Volunteer Registration Form

3. Attach the form to an email from your email program, and send to:

spillvolunteer@wildlife.ca.gov

Memorial Day at Haskell's Beach - Bacara Resort #RefugioOilSpill

Memorial Day at Haskell’s Beach – Bacara Resort #RefugioOilSpill

Only registered volunteers will be contacted about required training, task assignments and reporting locations. This is to ensure safety and security for all volunteers.

Currently, the following trainings have been scheduled. You must be preregistered in order to participate.

Hazard Safety Communication Training:

Monday: May 25 at 1 – 5 pm (100 slots open)
Thursday: May 28: 8 – 12 noon; 1 – 5 pm (100 slots open for each session)

Beach Cleanup:

Wednesday: May 27: 1 – 5 pm.
Saturday: May 30: 8 – 12 noon and 1 – 5 pm
Sunday: May 31: 8 – 12 noon and 1 – 5 pm

ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEER INFO :

The Santa Barbara Chapter of Audubon needs volunteer docents to protect Snowy Plovers at Coal Oil Point Reserve, where the spill has reached. It is nesting season. Volunteers will not be cleaning oiled animals. Contact Jessica Nielsen, Conservation Specialist at COPR, to volunteer:  copr.conservation@lifesci.ucsb.edu or (760) 822-8406.

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network has an online Volunteer Form that you may fill out: http://www.sbwcn.org/volunteer-application.html

If you see an oiled animal call the OWCN Response Hotline at 877 UCD-OWCN (823-6926), and provide the animal’s location, date and time last seen, and your contact information.

CAFWD OSPR Hotline (800) 228-4544. UPDATE: CADFW OSPR Now accepting volunteers on their Cal Spill Watch page (see above for submission instructions). Additionally, Here is their brochure for information on volunteering: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=21872&inline=true

CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife One-Stop Page for updates: https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov/

Cal Spill Watch OSPR Twitter page: https://twitter.com/calspillwatch

There are other ways to help that are not directly related to cleanup and the handling of oiled animals. The following local organizations may respond to the Refugio spill in upcoming days in different ways, and/or need volunteers, donations and support on an on-going basis. UPDATE: New organizations added below:

The Environmental Defense Center: http://www.environmentaldefensecenter.org/volunteer/

The Gaviota Coast Conservancy: http://www.gaviotacoastconservancy.org/volunteer

Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara Chapter: https://santabarbara.surfrider.org/getinvolved/

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society: http://www.oceanfutures.org/

The Community Environmental Council: http://www.cecsb.org/index.php

There are many others.

Stand in the Sand is organizing a peaceful demonstration for Sunday, May 31. Their facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stand-in-the-Sand/133997346612506

350 Santa Barbara also organizes peaceful press conferences and demonstrations such as yesterday’s gathering at the Sunken Garden: https://www.facebook.com/350SB?fref=ts

The “Friends of the Gaviota Coast” facebook page endeavors to unify and update related news and information of the kind you see in this post. Join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/58985441251/

Refugio Oil Spill Volunteer Information

IMG_0964 blog 01

LATEST VOLUNTEER INFO :

The Santa Barbara Chapter of Audubon needs volunteer docents to protect Snowy Plovers at Coal Oil Point Reserve, where the spill has reached. It is nesting season. Volunteers will not be cleaning oiled animals. Contact Jessica Nielsen, Conservation Specialist at COPR, to volunteer:  copr.conservation@lifesci.ucsb.edu or (760) 822-8406.

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network has an online Volunteer Form that you may fill out: http://www.sbwcn.org/volunteer-application.html

If you see an oiled animal call the OWCN Response Hotline at 877 UCD-OWCN (823-6926), and provide the animal’s location, date and time last seen, and your contact information.

The government has emergency response agencies with trained volunteers. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CA DFW) Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) states that they are not training for the Refugio spill, but theirs is the hotline that would-be volunteers have been told to call: (800) 228-4544. UPDATE: The CADFW OSPR Cal Spill Watch page now has a volunteer registration form which can be filled out online: https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov/Spill-Archive/Refugio-Incident/Volunteer?sf9474160=1

As their website states, the best way to help oiled animals is to become a trained volunteer before a spill occurs. Here is the brochure for information on how to become a volunteer in the future: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=21872&inline=true

CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife One-Stop Page for updates: https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov/

Cal Spill Watch OSPR Twitter page: https://twitter.com/calspillwatch

There are other ways to help that are not directly related to cleanup and the handling of oiled animals. The following local organizations may respond to the Refugio spill in upcoming days in different ways, and/or need volunteers, donations and support on an on-going basis:

The Environmental Defense Center: http://www.environmentaldefensecenter.org/volunteer/

The Gaviota Coast Conservancy: http://www.gaviotacoastconservancy.org/volunteer

Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara Chapter: https://santabarbara.surfrider.org/getinvolved/

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society: http://www.oceanfutures.org/

There are many others.

Stand in the Sand is organizing a peaceful demonstration for Sunday, May 31. Their facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stand-in-the-Sand/133997346612506

350 Santa Barbara also organizes peaceful press conferences and demonstrations such as yesterday’s gathering at the Sunken Garden: https://www.facebook.com/350SB?fref=ts

The “Friends of the Gaviota Coast” facebook page endeavors to unify and update related news and information of the kind you see in this post. Join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/58985441251/