Pt. Sal Access Suspended

A little over a year after access to Pt. Sal State Park-a secluded slice of pristine coastline ensconced within Vandenberg Air Force Base-was reopened to hikers through negotiations between Santa Barbara County and base command, the entrance road has again been closed by Vandenberg, this time as a security precaution. When the road was opened in April 2008, Vandenberg included the stipulation that it could close it for missile and satellite launches and security purposes.

We will let people know when there is clearance,” said Lieutenant Raymond Geoffroy, spokesperson for Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing. Joni Gray, the county supervisor instrumental in negotiating the right of way through the base last year, said she expects the road to open again in a couple of weeks. “It wasn’t a stonewalling thing like before. They’re seriously concerned about some threats they received,” she said. “It sounded to me like a North Korea thing.”

Gray said Vandenberg commanders have been cooperative and had assured her that if someone absolutely needs access, something can be worked out. For the time being, though, Vandenberg’s security forces will be patrolling the area and escorting trespassers off the base. Status updates can be monitored on the base’s Web site.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, June 10, according to Vandenberg’s website, Pt. Sal Access is now open. This information was verified with a call to their public affairs section, which indicated that a press release will be issued soon.

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