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PUBLIC MEETINGS SCHEDULED FOR REVISED IMPERIAL DUNES RECREATION PLAN

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), El Centro Field Office, has scheduled three public meetings concerning the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreations Area (ISDRA) revised Recreation Management Plan (RAMP) and new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). These are preliminary scoping meetings.

Written comments will be considered in forming the new RAMP. These meetings will be informal. No speakers are scheduled. Several BLM staff members will be available to hear what you would like considered in the revised EIS and RAMP. Your comments will carry weight ONLY if in writing.

Other groups that disagree with our desires will also have this same opportunity.

This will be your opportunity to tell BLM what you would like to see at the ISDRA. The RAMP is the road map for the future of the dunes. So, this is your chance to provide your ideas about raven proof dumpsters, vendor procedures and availability, corridors through the critical habitat to the open central dunes, Comp Hill curfew, etc. Your comments will carry weight ONLY if in writing.

The following is an abbreviated list of topics that the ASA Board has endorsed. ASA will develop more comprehensive comments that will be submitted in writing to BLM by the May 31, 2008 deadline. It is recommended that you stress the following items at the public meetings.

If you are unable to attend one of the meetings listed below, you can mail your comments in. Comments should be sent to:

Erin R. Dreyfuss
Planning and Environmental Coordinator
BLM El Centro Field Office
1661 South 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243.

The deadline is May 31, 2008. Your comments will carry weight ONLY if in writing.

Suggested Comments:

Business Plan and Vending
The new RAMP and supporting Business Plan should address the limitations on the vendors at the dunes, as it does not make sense at this time. The best way to protect the private business interest is to make sure the vendors at the Dunes don't have an advantage over private businesses at the dunes. A re-evaluation of vending at the Dunes is needed.

Camping Facilities
Increased availability of hardened camping facilities should be constructed in the areas between the existing Gecko road and the Coachella canal to allow additional camping areas in the Gecko road area. Add additional hard surface camping pads at locations along Gecko road. Easy access to camping should be mechanically maintained in the Mammoth wash area as well as wash road south of highway 78.

Trash Containers
Consider a program to remove the trash containers provided at the ISDRA. If all users could be convinced to take their trash home then considerable cost savings could be realized by not having to pay for trash service. Provide additional outreach programs to encourage visitors to take their trash home. Establish visitor service priorities to provide BLM guidance when resources (human and financial) are limited. i.e., law enforcement and medical aid takes precedent over trash collection.

Adaptive Management Area
In the previous RAMP there was an Adaptive Management Area (AMA) designated to protect plants and animals. As this area experienced little use before the temporary administrative closures were implemented, it is unlikely that these perceived threats would materialize. This AMA proposal will require a large effort to manage and enforce the rules for admittance. A better approach would be to set monitoring areas to monitor the status of any plant or animal that is thought to be threatened. Using that approach would allow the BLM and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to have controlled areas to compare to open areas in the same vicinity. Access corridors through Peirson's milk vetch (PMV) Critical Habitat (CH) and the microphyll woodland area are mandatory for safety, resource protection and public access.

BLM Sponsored ATV Training
ATV safety training that is well published should occur throughout in the ISDRA on a routine schedule.

User Fees
Beyond appropriated and grant funding, we believe user fees should be kept to an absolute minimum required, and be in full compliance with existing law.

Best Available Data
The new RAMP provides an opportunity to update the recreation plan with the best available recreation use, biological, and visitation data. Today, we have more current and better information that will be critical for decision making.

Fee Compliance
There is a management need to work towards full 100% compliance in collecting entrance fees for all ISDRA users.

The above are only suggestions. Please add/delete/change any items that are important to you.

Your comments will carry weight ONLY if in writing. Please take the time to present them either in person or US mail.

Tuesday, April 22nd (6pm to 8pm)
Handlery Hotel
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 398-8333

Wednesday, April 23rd (6pm 70 8pm)
Mountain Preserve Reception and Conference Center
1431 E. Dunlap Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85020
(602) 943 - 2656

Thursday, April 24th (6pm to 8pm)
Imperial Irrigation District William R. Condit Meeting Room
1285 Broadway
El Centro, CA 92243
(760) 339-9422

Please DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Please direct questions or comments to: [email protected]

Thank you,

The American Sand Association
Unite, Inform, and Mobilize

American Sand Association
Phone: (888) 540-7263
Fax: (951) 242-1332
URL: American Sand Association
 
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