Malibu Charters Bus for Next Week’s Coastal Commission Meeting
• Council Member Urges Large Turnout to Oppose Approval of Plan to Allow Overnight Camping
BY ANNE SOBLE
BY ANNE SOBLE
Concern that some Malibuites’ fears about public safety and wildfire danger will be translated by environmental and recreation groups as ploys to close public lands in the community to outsiders has led to an effort to encourage local residents to attend next week’s California Coastal Commission meeting and voice support for a ban on overnight camping in high fire areas.
Spearheading the effort is City Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich, who almost singlehandedly turned her council colleagues around on the camping issue after three wildfires hit Malibu in 2007.
In an email, Conley Ulich said, “Malibu residents have an opportunity to participate and help keep Malibu safe from overnight campfire dangers by attending and voicing their concerns at the meeting of the California Coastal Commission on June 10, at the Marina Del Rey Hotel.”
She announced that the City of Malibu has chartered a bus that will leave City Hall next Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. Space is reportedly limited and those interested in taking the bus are asked to call 310-456-CITY to make reservations.
Conley Ulich said the “areas under consideration for overnight camping—Ramirez, Escondido and Corral Canyons—are ripe with fuel and are simply tinder boxes, which could become the site of Malibu’s next fire disaster if overnight camping is allowed.”
The council member added, “The next disaster may result in the loss of life and property and could certainly cost millions of dollars in firefighting efforts when our resources are already stretched beyond our limits.”
To counter anticipated charges of elitism, Conley Ulich said, “Malibu hosts over 16 million visitors each year. The citizens of Malibu are responsible custodians who want to preserve and protect the natural beauty of our coast.”
The council member equated the threat from overnight camping with the “environmental hazards posed by a proposed LNG facility off our coast.” She said, “We are grateful that the Coastal Commission acted as stewards of our environment then. We pray that they will continue to be responsible custodians and vote to deny dangerous overnight camping.”