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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The greenies on the OHMVR commission are now denying funds to operations & maintenance at Glamis. The vote was 4-3.

The OHMVR Workshop will be on Saturday, Jan. 24. This is an important meeting.


Statement regarding CA OHV Commission's denial of BLM grant request for Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, Imperial County, California, January 23, 2003

Background: BLM requested $1.4 million in grant funds for the Imperial Sand Dunes. These grant funds have been provided by the state for many years to match federal appropriations for this area, comprising about 160,000 acres. In December 2002, the commission granted $292,000 to assist with the dramatically increasing law enforcement costs at the Dunes for peak holiday weekends, when visitation can sometimes exceed 200,000 people. At that time, the commission deferred a vote on the additional funds ($1.1 million in operations and maintenance funds) until today's meeting. Annually, more than 3 million people visit the Dunes, considered a world-class recreation area.

Today's 4-3 vote was attributed by some commission members to BLM' not yet completing the update of the 1987 Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) that is currently underway. The update was needed to address increasing visitor use and protection of listed species, including the threatened Peirson' milkvetch. BLM published a draft in March of 2002 and is currently reviewing the 10,000 comments received and consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in preparation of the final plan, which should be completed sometime this spring or early summer.

BLM Statement:

"We are very disappointed in the commission's action today. BLM has always considered OHV recreation in California to be a partnership between the federal and state governments, with BLM supplying the land and recreation opportunities, and the state assisting us in funding through the grant program.

The denial of $1.1 million in grant funds will have a significant impact on the Dunes and the more than 3 million people who visit the Dunes annually. These funds were to be used for visitor services, including sanitation facilities, trash removal, environmental monitoring and countless other activities.

BLM is diligently working the Recreation Area Management Plan for the Dunes and we have been delayed only due to the large volume of public comments and the complexity of trying to balance the intensive public use with the need for environmental protection, particularly threatened wildlife and plant species.

We hope that when the plan is completed in the late spring or early summer, the commission will revisit today's action and reinforce the long partnership BLM has had with California in providing recreation opportunities to the public.

If the funds are not restored, BLM would not rule out other options for the Dunes, including raising fees, reducing services, moving funds from other recreation areas in the desert, or other cost-cutting measures. Such measures would be regrettable, as much progress has been made recently to provide services to the families that have historically enjoyed this area."


2,839 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Funding rejected for Southern California off-road dunes site
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - A state commission on Thursday rejected $1.1 million for
operating far southeastern California's Imperial Sand Dunes
Recreation Area, which draws 200,000 or more often rowdy off-road
enthusiasts and party-seekers on holiday weekends.

Denial of the funds "will have a significant impact" on the dunes and
the more than 3 million people who visit there annually, said the
federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the site. The money
was to be used for visitor services including sanitation, trash
removal and environmental monitoring.

The BLM said it may have to raise fees, cut services, or divert money
from other desert recreation areas.

Thursday's decision was criticized by off-road advocates but praised
by environmental groups that say the Algodones area's popularity
threatens the desert habitat.

The decision comes a month after the same state panel approved the
entire $292,000 law enforcement budget the BLM sought for the site.
The BLM has increased patrols and citations over recent holidays for
frequent violations involving public nudity, riding in open truckbeds
and organized parties.

Over Thanksgiving 2001, activities culminated in a fatal shooting,
several stabbings and more than 150 injuries, though a slightly
smaller crowd was relatively more subdued last year.

"It looks like public services are going to suffer and recreation is
going to be impacted by this," said Don Amador, western
representative of the Blue Ribbon Coalition, an off-road group. "It
doesn't bode well for management of our public lands for off-road

Under the Bush administration, however, the BLM is expected to
release this spring or summer new rules opening 49,000 previously
closed acres of the desert to a number of off-roaders with permits.
The new land management plan includes no provision limiting the
overall number of visitors to the dunes.

Motorists can now freely roam 68,000 acres, or 106 square miles.

Daniel R. Patterson, desert ecologist with the Center for Biological
Diversity in Idyllwild, said a new environmental majority on the
Off-Highway Motorized Vehicle Commission was concerned about the
plan. The BLM's request was rejected on a 4-3 vote.

The same panel last fall rejected a U.S. Forest Service request for
$400,000 for winter recreation programs in the Lake Tahoe Basin and
along California 88 both east and west of the Kirkwood ski resort and
Carson Pass.


BLM Imperial Dunes News:

Imperial Dunes online guide:
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