Before everybody gets all upset at the CBD, there is basis for their recent letter:
Read the first post in this link:
Read the first post in this link:
The message this sends is that we need to police ourselves, because the greenies are right there watching when we do something wrong...I received this today from Daniel Patterson as an FYI. The CBD had spotters at the ISDRA on TG weekend. This is just one of their reports to him. They are taking incursions into the closures very seriously. An ASA mass-email is in the works and follows the report.
NOTES on the DUNES
Saturday, Nov 27, 2004
1. Fifteen Desert Survivors hiked into the dunes from near Ogilby on Ogilby Road on Saturday, November 27, 2004. We hiked four miles into the Central Closure Area from east to west.
2. A large contingent of RVs and trucks were parked right at the Closure Area's eastern boundary, forming a large camping zone within one or two hundred feet of the boundary
3. The closure signs were intact where we crossed the boundary, the requisite distance apart.
4. Signs were in view at the boundary in many distances less than 100 feet from the RVs and other camping vehicles. We observed more than one hundred quads and motorbikes drive right past the signs in the two 20-minute periods during which we were close to the boundary.
5. We observed more than two hundred vehicles driving within the Closure Area during the six hours of our hike halfway across it. Most of these were within 1 1/2 miles of the eastern boundary, though we saw wheel tracks throughout the sector that we hiked. We observed four quads at the crest of the high dunes four miles into the Closure Area.
6. We observed many instances of crushed plants that had been deliberately run over. Some of these were in the low spots in between dune crests where plants take advantage of unusual moisture. Wheel tracks were not limited to the crests of loose dune sand.
7. We were not formally challenged by any dune riders. However in several instances squads of dune riders drove close to us, showing off riding techniques and deliberately running over plants. On only a few occasions were overt attempts made to avoid us or to go in the opposite direction.
8. We observed several overflights of airplanes cruising the perimeter of the Closure Area while we were near the east boundary, but saw no law enforcement vehicles patrolling the boundary or seeking to prevent entry into the Closure. A call to the dispatcher at Cahuilla Ranger Station elicited a promise to send law enforcement out after we demanded a response, but we saw no evidence of a followup and we were not contacted further by the Ranger Station about what we had reported.
9. Our conclusion was that the law on this day was not being enforced and that large numbers of riders were in violation for not honoring the closure. The BLM has also made a mistake in allowing ORV enthusiasts to camp at the boundary where entry into the Closure Area is easy. ORVs should be restricted to the open areas near Glamis and other high-use areas, and kept away from the vicinity of the Closure Areas. The east boundary should also have a campground host with the ability to call in law enforcement and with the expertise and courage to explain the law and its consequences. This campground host should be paid out of Green Sticker money that is collected as a result of State Law designed to regulate ORVs.
For further information on our findings, contact me. I took numerous photographcs (slides) and GPS readings of locations of resource damage.
Here is the ASA mass email that will go out shortly - it is self-explanatory and sends a clear message that the CBD is looking for a reason.
Dear Fellow Sand Enthusiast,
Recently, the ASA received a copy of an email to Linda Hansen. Linda is the BLM’s Desert District Manager and the email is from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) – the party responsible for the lawsuit that closed 49,000 acres of the Imperial Sand Dunes.
Below is the email the CBD sent to Ms. Hansen:
From: Daniel R. Patterson [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 10:04 AM
To: '[email protected]'
Subject: RE: Algodones Dunes
Many closed dunes habitat areas were badly damaged this weekend by illegal off-roading. BLM and other law enforcement were not effective at protecting habitat. It is clear BLM has not made protection of closed habitat areas a priority.
What specifically will BLM do to ensure closed areas are protected? How many stops did BLM and other law enforcement make Nov. 24-28 for closed area violations? How many citations were issued for closed area violations? Please provide a detailed response by this Wednesday.
If not effectively addressed immediately, this unacceptable bad situation may force us move for contempt against BLM and full shut down of the dunes to motor vehicles.
Daniel R. Patterson
Ecologist & Desert Program Director
Center for Biological Diversity
because life is good.
POB 710 Tucson Arizona 85702 USA
520.623.5252 x306 tel / 623.9797 fax
The Center for Biological Diversity protects endangered species and wild
places through science, policy, education, citizen activism and
environmental law. Headquarters: Tucson, Arizona. Field Offices: Pinos
Altos, New Mexico; San Diego, Idyllwild and San Francisco, California;
Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon. Environmental Law Clinic: University
of Denver, Colorado. “>>
If we are to take the CBD seriously, and there is no reason not to, we must remain clear of the TEMPORARY closures until the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) Recreation Area Management Plane (RAMP) is recorded and implemented.
Much of the TEMPORARY closure will be lifted at that time, and majority of other areas will be accessible through a permit system.
It is not certain that the CBD would be successful, but we don’t need another costly legal action on our hands.
Until we have our RAMP, please do everything in your power to keep from riding, and others from riding, in the TEMPORARY closures.
It can hurt us all.
The ball is in our court. While we don't agree with the closures, they are up - period - court ordered. Acting in an irresponsible manner to voice our disgust will not accomplish anything - in fact it does not make our case: it makes a case for the CBD. Riding the closures because a person thinks they can “get away with it” undermines all the work we have done.
The fact is this: for some reason, environmentalists cherish dunes. We have to deal with that. They have been successful in closing most of the dune sets on the West Coast. We are fighting them as hard as we know how. ISDRA is the last major set: if we loose that, we might as well pack up and sell our toys for the pennies on the dollar we can get for them at that point.
Foolish behavior will not help us in the fight - we need to be intelligent foes in this battle. I, personally, see that we can be successful - that is why I, and other close associates, have devoted the last 6 years of our lives to this ONE battle. Violating the TEMPORARY closed areas could send all that work down the drain.