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Ontario Ridge Trail set to be reopened by next weekend

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 A popular hiking trail on the San Luis Obispo County Coast is set to be reopened to the public by next weekend.

The California Coastal Commission announced today that the Ontario Ridge Trail connecting Pismo Beach with Pirates Cove will have public access restored by the 17th. Land owners Robert and Judith McCarthy of Bakersfield have agreed to remove fencing and signs they had installed several months ago at the trail entrance.

"We are pleased that the McCarthys have followed the Commission's order to remove the fences and restore the historic public use of this property quickly and completely" said Commission Executive Director Charles Lester. "The public, including many local residents, are looking forward to returning to this fantastic stretch of coast."

Local Attorney Tarren Collins says the victory is a direct result of hard work by community members who made their wishes known to the state authorities;“I know that the Coastal Commission staff is overburdened with enforcement actions and I know that it takes people to care and let them know they care for them to be able to apply some resources. And I’m just tingling with excitement right now on how well this all works.”

Back in July the Coastal Commission had ordered the McCarthys to remove the fencing but required them to first prepare a plan for how that could be best completed to minimize harm to the environment.

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