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Funding rejected for Southern California off-road dunes site

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by Bubba Ray Boudreaux, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    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
    recreation."

    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.
     
  2. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Location:
    Marietta GA
    I hate California
     
  3. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Location:
    Thornton, CO
    Damn Liberals...
     

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