Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel Update.
Future use of lands at Diablo Canyon after its planned foreclosure was the focus at
workshops on August 17 and 18. I participated in two presentations to the Engagement Panel.
The first presentation was with Kathy Longacre and Kathleen Phelps. Our push was for having the property (around 12,000 acres) be accessible by the public, with a coastal trail and inland trail, at least one
backcountry camp, and a drive-in campground including horse camping to be potentially located at Wild Cherry Canyon. We’d like to see the land added to Montana de Oro State Park (MDO), which would make MDO the crown jewel and the largest park in the State Parks system. This was also the first public presentation of the Trail Alliance of SLO
County, which was founded in 2016 by non-motorized trail user groups collaborating and advocating for trails. Member organizations include AHC, CCCMB, BCHC, SLOPOST, CMA, ECOSLO, Ride Nipomo, California Native Plants Society and SLO Trail Runners. The Trail Alliance was well received by the Engagement Panel members, who praised us for representing such a large and varied number of user groups. It was very fulfilling, as the three of us are co-founders of the Trail Alliance.
I also participated in CCCMB’s presentation along with Christie O’Hara. CCMB’s
presentation was focused on their expertise in building and maintaining trails throughout SLO County, and they pledged 15,000 hours for building trails on Diablo lands! Over the course of the two days, several of us listened to other presentations and the focus by
everyone was opening the land for public benefit, with protection for cultural resources,
wildlife and native plants.
The Engagement Panel will be taking all the public comments and submitting those
presentations and comments along with their summaries to the PUC by the end of the year.
However, this is still a very long process – the Panel will be meeting at least into 2019 if not longer. How the property could come into public ownership is the largest question: fully or partially donated by PG&E, or through bond measures, or through funding partners such as was done with the Land Conservancy and the purchase of the Pismo Preserve, and any combination.
On August 29 is the large public hearing at the SLO County Government Center
(1055 Monterey Street in SLO) discussing the land issues at Diablo Canyon. Whereas the workshops were intended for groups that had extensive presentations or needed longer than three minutes to speak, the hearing is for everybody else who wants to chime in regarding
future uses of the land. There’s a meet and greet/poster session at 6 and the meeting itself starts at 7 PM, most of which is set aside for public comment.
I also encourage you to consider taking one of more of the following actions:
Follow this link and write a quick word or two to express your opinion about the future use
(including conservation and public access) of the Diablo Lands, including Wild Cherry
-If you search for Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel, you’ll arrive at the following website. Partway down on the right, you’ll find a Contact Us section, including a link to the Public Comment Form. -https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/how-the-system-works/diablo-canyon-power -plant/diablo-canyon-power-plant/engagement-panel.page Public Submission Form ;
To stay engaged and updated, follow the Facebook page for Central Coast Conservation/Friends of Wild Cherry Canyon.
Since there will be some voices for very minimal or highly managed public access, I encourage you to make the case for a multi-use trail and camping, and discuss how it is has worked so successfully in this region.
Horse Camps at Santa Margarita Lake
I have followed up with County Park staff regarding potential horse camps at both the River Road trailhead and at the main entrance. I am waiting to hear back to see if we have potential thumbs up, meaning that the next step would be to submit a formal proposal. Slow process, but we keep chipping away.