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Snowy plover violations lead to temporary closure of Vandenberg AFB's Minuteman Beach

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Posted at 6:13 PM, Jul 20, 2020

Minuteman Beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base is temporarily closed due to increased snowy plover violations.

Base officials say the closure, which took effect Monday, will allow them to research and implement more safeguards to protect snowy plover nesting areas.

"Wing leadership knows how important beach access is to the base community," said Col Anthony Mastalir, commander, 30th Space Wing in a statement to KSBY News. "Especially during this time when we are restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic and we must follow the federally mandated guidelines to protect the Snowy Plover, so the hope is that the base community members will follow the guidelines, stay out of the areas that are designated for Plover Nesting and keep the violations down so the beach can reopen in the coming days."

Restrictions are enforced yearly from March 1 through Sept. 30 at Wall, Minuteman and Surf beaches on base property during the federally-listed plover nesting season.

Officials say the current and temporarily closure is designed to prevent a full closure of Minuteman Beach for the remainder of the nesting season.

The beach, which is only accessibly to those on the base, will re-open once additional safeguards have been put into place.

Surf Beach remains open.