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Land Use Fees, Johnson Valley area, Includes Hammers

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by zcarczar, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Apple Valley California
    Found this on Pirate 4x4. THought I would spread it along.

    Contact: Mike Ahrens, OHV Program Coordinator, Barstow BLM
    (760) 252-6000

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCES RECREATION FEE DEMONSTRATION
    PROGRAM AT FOUR POPULAR OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE RIDING AREAS

    BARSTOW, CA (Aug. 4, 2003) - The Bureau of Land Management's
    (BLM) Barstow Field Office announced today that it will implement a
    Recreation Fee Demonstration Program for four popular desert
    off-highway vehicle riding areas effective Oct. 1, 2003, according to
    Mike Ahrens, off-highway vehicle coordinator for the Barstow BLM.
    Ahrens said the riding areas to be included in the recreation
    fee program are Dumont Dunes with 10,000 acres; Johnson Valley, the
    world's largest designated OHV area with 188,000 acres; Stoddard
    Valley with 53,000 acres, and El Mirage with 25,000 acres. The
    22,000-acre Rasor riding area will continue to be a free area.
    Nearly one-half million OHV enthusiasts visit these areas each year.
    "Clearly, this was not an easy decision for the Bureau," Ahrens
    said, "but with a projected shortfall of more than $2.5 million each
    year, we simply can't provide quality services for our visitors.
    Funding from the federal government and California OHV trust fund
    have continually decreased over the past decade, so these new fees
    will provide riding opportunities and services requested by our
    customers."
    Under the recreation fee program, visitors will be charged $20
    for a weekly pass or $60 for an annual pass for their primary
    vehicle. Ahrens said the pass would be accepted at all four OHV
    sites.
    "While we are still working out some of the collection method
    details," said Ahrens, "we can say we are planning off-site
    collection via the Internet and various vendor locations. Weekly
    passes purchased off-site will be discounted $5, passing along the
    reduced collection cost to the visitor. We will contract to have
    self-pay machines, handheld card readers and vendors at on-site
    entrance stations for those choosing to purchase weekly passes at the
    riding areas."
    Congress authorized the Department of Interior and its
    subordinate agencies such as the BLM to initiate the Recreation Fee
    Demonstration Program in 1996 in order to keep pace with the rising
    costs of managing recreation sites.
    "This recreation fee demo program stands out among all of our
    collection programs because all of the revenues are returned to the
    sites to improve the quality of visitor experience," Ahrens said.
    Some of the services to be provided by the additional funds will
    include increased law enforcement at El Mirage and Dumont Dunes and
    increased law enforcement staffing for special events at all of the
    sites. Additionally, the funding will provide for additional
    emergency medical technicians/park rangers at El Mirage, Dumont Dunes
    and special events as well as more maintenance personnel for
    maintaining OHV access roads, maintenance on the toilets, signing and
    kiosk repairs and litter removal.
    "Over the past several years, we have sought input from the
    public by holding open houses and public meetings to find out exactly
    what kind of opportunities they would like to have and what
    improvements are needed," said Ahrens. "So, we can say our customers
    have been very involved in determining how the money will be used."
    "The Bureau's management of this new recreation fee
    demonstration program can only succeed with participation and support
    of the off-highway vehicle community," Ahrens said. "The fee
    demonstration program provides the recreating public the opportunity
    to invest in local BLM facilities and our public lands."
    For more information on the Barstow BLM's recreation fee
    demonstration program, contact Mike Ahrens at (760) 252-6000 or email
    barstowohvfees@ca.blm.gov.
     

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