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Riverbank 3

In this 2016 file photo, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputy John McCarthy, left, and Senior Deputy Bobby Fortier ride all-terrain vehicles as they patrol the Santa Ynez riverbed area just outside Lompoc.


For the fourth straight year, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has applied for a state grant — this time for nearly $220,000 — that will be used to provide increased patrolling and enforcement in areas where off-road vehicles are being used illegally.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that it has received an increased number of complaints about people riding all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, primarily in the Santa Ynez riverbed and surrounding areas bordering the city of Lompoc. The illegal activity is damaging private property and the environment, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which noted that ATV riding in the riverbed also violates several state and county ordinances.

To combat the issue, the Sheriff's Office has applied for a $219,477 grant through the California Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMV) Division's 2017-18 grant program. The grant funding will be used to purchase a Sheriff's ATV, or quad, along with other safety and rescue equipment, as well as to pay for additional patrol shifts in the riverbed, the Sheriff’s Office wrote in the application.

A preliminary application for the grant funding was submitted to the state Feb. 27. As part of the multistep application process, members of the public can view the application online and submit comments through April 2. The final application is due May 7.

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To view and/or comment on the application, visit It can be found by clicking on the "Grants" tab and then on the "On-Line Grants Application" button and following the directions in the toolbar on the left part of the page.

The Sheriff's Office was successful in its three previous applications for the grant funds.

This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at