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Old 02-07-2002, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Zero Tolerance Declared for Imperial Sand Dunes

BLM News Release
For Immediate Release: February 5, 2002 CA-610-02-24
Contact: Stephen Razo 909-697-5217; Doran Sanchez, 909-697-5220

Zero Tolerance Declared for Imperial Sand Dunes

"Zero Tolerance" will be the law enforcement operating procedure at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area during the upcoming President's Day weekend. With increased emphasis on removing lawless behavior from the Dunes to protect public safety in the Dunes, federal, state, and local law
enforcement officials will aggressively deal with those who choose to ignore the rules and laws which could mean jail time for violators.

"There will be a significant increase in law enforcement at the Imperial Sand Dunes during President's Day weekend," states Greg Thomsen, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) El Centro Field Office Manager. "The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area rules, the California Off Highway Vehicle regulations and other applicable state and federal laws will be strictly enforced. Major
infractions of rules or laws could land you in a U.S. Border Patrol bus headed for jail," Thomsen added.

Law enforcement and support personnel from Imperial County, California Highway Patrol, National Park Service Special Event Team, U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of State Parks and Recreation, California Department of Forestry, and the U.S. Border Patrol, work with the BLM at the Dunes through a multi-agency Incident Command and Control System. The system
was successfully deployed during the New Year's and Martin Luther King holiday weekends and provided immediate capabilities to handle incidents quickly, providing an effective security net throughout the Dunes.

Additional law enforcement presence will allow officials to crack down on an array of potential violations throughout the Dunes. Aerial patrols by the Imperial County Sheriff's Office Aerial Squadron and the California Highway Patrol helicopter will seek speeders, reckless drivers, and any suspicious activity day or night with aerial flood lights. Speeds in excess of 15 mph
within 50 feet of a group of people or faster than it is safe for existing conditions will be strictly enforced. California Highway Patrol, BLM, and Imperial County law enforcement officials will be equipped with radar guns to monitor vehicle speed in camping areas and near group concentrations.

Imperial County Sheriff Harold Carter states, "The operator of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be arrested and transported to jail. Underage drinking will not be tolerated. Undercover officers will be on-hand to identify violators."

According to Bob Zimmer, BLM El Centro Chief Ranger, "pinch-points" will be set up at entrances to popular nighttime gatherings to cut down on illegal activities later in the evening.

The Imperial Dunes is one of the most heavily visited off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation areas in the country. However, an increasing number of law breakers have threatened the safety of visitors at the Dunes during the past two years. American Sand Association (ASA) President, Jerry Seaver, encourages the off-road community to "please remember that it is your responsibility to know the law. Let's focus on safety and be responsible."

"Public safety at the Imperial Dunes is a top priority," said BLM State Director Mike Pool. "Continued assistance from county, state and federal agencies help us make the Dunes a safer place for our visitors."

--- BLM ---
------------------------------------------------
BLM Public Service Announcement
NOT FOR PRINT RELEASE - DO NOT PRINT February 7, 2002CA-610-xxxx
Contact: Stephen Razo 909-697-5217; Doran Sanchez, 909-697-5220

AS THE PRESIDENT'S DAY WEEKEND FAST APPROACHES, STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS WOULD LIKE TO INFORM IMPERIAL SAND DUNES VISITORS THAT A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY WILL BE IN EFFECT.

RECENT INCREASES IN LAWLESSNESS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. DUNES RECREATION AREA RULES, CALIFORNIA OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE REGULATIONS AND OTHER APPLICABLE STATE
AND FEDERAL LAWS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED. VIOLATIONS COULD MEAN FINES AND JAIL TIME.

COME OUT AND ENJOY THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES.WITHIN THE LAW.
************************************************** *

Crowdog
www.crowley-offroad.com
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