With a wealth of valuable cultural and ecological treasures, the base is recognized for leading the way in protecting and preserving its 42 miles of pristine coastline, 9,000 acres of sand dunes, 5,000 acres of wetlands, more than 1,600 irreplaceable prehistoric archaeological resources, 14 rock art sites, a National Historic Landmark, five Native American villages, a National Historic Trail, 42 Cold War-era complexes, and protecting and monitoring more than 17 different endangered or threatened species. The base is home to more than 850 plant species and various wildlife species, including 53 mammals, 315 birds, 17 reptiles and 10 amphibians.
Seasonal restrictions are in place for Surf, Wall and Minuteman beaches annually from March 1 to September 30 as part of the annual program to protect the threatened Western Snowy Plover and its nesting habitat under the Endangered Species Act.
During plover season, the general public can still find plenty of beach access available at a designated portion of Surf Beach at the end of Highway 246. Recreational beach access is also available at portions of Wall Beach and Minuteman Beach on base for the Vandenberg community. Beach restrictions include the prohibition of dogs, horses and kites.
Entry into any posted restricted areas counts as a violation and violation limits for Wall and Minuteman beaches are imposed. Violators can be fines up to $5,000 in federal court. Violators of the Endangered Species Act (e.g. crushing eggs or chicks) can face fines up to $50,000 in federal court and imprisonment for up to one year.
Open hours at Surf Beach are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Beach access at Wall and Minuteman is from sunrise to sunset.
To ensure continued access to these beaches, we ask that the community take care of our beaches and abide by the requirements so we can maintain recreational access for everyone. Continue to read and follow the rules on posted signage to avoid violations and beach closure.
The Snowy Plover (PDF)
Coyotes are active year round in our region at night and during the day. By nature, coyotes are fearful of humans. However, VSFB employees and guests need to observe some best practices to protect themselves, their families, pets, and property from coyotes.
Things that we can do as a community to deter animals:
If you do come into contact with a coyote, make loud sounds: honk vehicle horn, shine bright lights and for those who carry pepper spray or similar products, used them in a safe manner and/or throw rocks in the animal’s direction to deter it from coming closer.
Current Beach Status: Open without seasonal restrictions
(as of Sep. 27, 2021)
Surf Beach is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wall and Minuteman beaches open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Certain restrictions apply during the snowy plover nesting season (Mar-Sep). While visiting the beach, for everyone’s enjoyment, please remember to follow the beach rules listed below:
Lifeguards are not present at the beach, so remember to never swim alone and be cognizant of your surroundings for safety.
NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
NOTICES & LETTERS