A tsunami of objections washed up against a state parks plan to charge access fees at many popular Sonoma Coast beaches yesterday. KRCB's Bruce Robinson was there to wade through them.
Sonoma County is far from the only portion of the California coast where the State Parks Department is pushing for access fees, notes Mike Frey, co-chair of the Sonoma Coast chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. But here, he adds, beach users would get less in return for their cash.
Few places on the northern California coast attract more visitors than Bodega Head, a readily accessible location for hiking, whale-watching, and other outdoor activities. But the high, steep headlands also hold many hazards, which can keep the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District busy on high-attendance weekends. And, observes Margaret Breyer, chair of the district's board of directors, it is the local community residents are shouldering the costs of those operations.
Even without the new fees, access to many facilities at the state's Sonoma Coast Beaches remains limited. Winter service reductions are also ineffect at Salt Point State Park and Fort Ross.