Doggedly enjoying the beach


    At this date there is only one public beach in Malibu (Sycamore State Beach), and a portion of a second beach, which allow citizens to visit the coast with their dogs. Leo Carrillo State Beach offers the western-most cutoff beach to dogs on leashes. Last month that section of the beach was further restricted. The park service, by its own admission, posted no signs and made no public announcements stating this new restriction. Yet in December they began selectively and randomly registering dog owner’s license numbers into their database and issuing warnings for a regulation which was not at all posted.

    The California State Park system’s restrictions are getting so out of hand that there is barely anywhere left where the hundreds of thousands of tax-paying Southern California citizens who are guardians of dogs can enjoy their coast. Every day as I drive along PCH in Malibu, and every weekend when I go to any one of Malibu’s many beaches which do not allow dogs, I see countless dog owners out on the beach with their dogs. I often observe more people with dogs than without, even at beaches which do not allow dogs. There is obviously a great need and demand for public beaches which allow dogs in Malibu. And in the meantime, the park service needs to begin to fairly and honestly patrol the beaches and issue warnings.

    I urge all of the thousands of dog owners in Malibu and, for that matter, all dog owners who would like to visit state beaches with their dogs, to write to the Sector Superintendent, Mr. Hayden Sohm, at 39996 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265. Please register your voice with the State Parks System. So many of you already expressed your desire to enjoy the beach with your dogs by your actions; you will soon be receiving warnings and fines if you haven’t already. Nothing will change if you don’t express to the California State Parks System that you have a right to enjoy Malibu’s beaches, as all citizens do.

    Valerie A. Thorp