The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced last spring that locations previously identified as closed for off-highway vehicle (OHV) use will change in the fall of 2014.
A court decision forced the BLM to implement the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP), allowing for increased OHV riding opportunities in the recreation area and for better protection of natural resource values such as the Peirson’s milkvetch.
Implementation of the Imperial Sand Dunes RAMP required the BLM to educate and outreach with new maps and signs to direct riders to more open areas. Some areas remain closed to the public to protect critical habitat for Peirson’s milkvetch.
Charla Teeters United Desert Gateway CEO said, “The dunes unofficially open October 1st, with the official opening Halloween weekend at the end of October.”
Teeters said that United Gateway had been busy working on many projects including the Centennial Anniversary of Plank Road. They will also have a booth at the upcoming Sand Sport Super Show up in Orange County.
Teeters also reminded aficionados of the dunes that the annual Clean-up Day was coming in January 17, 2015. The dunes will attract over 100,000 visitors over the winter holidays, and tens of thousands during regular weekends.
The BLM sought assistance from local partners to help to prepare for the upcoming 2014-2015 season and requested that visitors continue to respect all existing regulatory signs until they are changed.
“Visitors to the Imperial Sand Dunes have patiently waited for implementation of the new RAMP, and we are very excited that new riding opportunities are just around the corner,” said El Centro Field Manager Thomas Zale. “I appreciate the cooperative spirit of our dunes visitors and will be working hard with staff and partners to get ready for great times next season in America’s Great Outdoors!”
The RAMP Record of Decision was issued in June 2013 and provides guidance of management to over 160,000 acres in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area and over 50,000 acres of public lands in the surrounding area.
The Record of Decision is located at the following website: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/ca/pdf/elcentro/planning/2010.Par.89984.File.dat/isdra_rod-ramp_final.pdf.