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You might be a redneck if ... 

... There's nothing better to do than dig a long trench at the Oceano Dunes and watch the oblivious drive their motorcycles, ATVs, and trucks into it.

On Friday, Nov. 25, somewhat of a showdown occurred when park rangers told a group of 15 people that they couldn't dig trenches near Competition Hill for just that purpose. After the crowd refused to move along, the rangers called for backup.

"When the rangers go in and say, 'Okay folks, time to move on out,' well, they're not moving; they're not getting in their vehicles and leaving, and that act alone is a defiant one. So we're not going to press the issue when it's not safe to press the issue or it would cause a bigger problem," said Rey Monge, deputy California State Parks and Recreation Department district superintendent. "So we just upped the ante on the them."

Eighteen additional law-enforcement officials arrived at the scene, and the trench-diggers agreed to fill in the ditches and leave. No arrests were made, no citations were given, and no injuries were reported.

Monge said park rangers routinely close the park by driving through the dunes and telling people via a PA system that it's time to move along.

"It's not a problem; that's how we advise people that it's eleven o'clock, and time to move on out," he said.

The Saturday night after the standoff, Monge recruited help from the sheriff's department as a precautionary measure.

"They moved on with no incident on Friday night and Saturday night, once they saw the show of force."

 

-J.P.

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