Tony - Since you kept me on hold on the phone ~ here is the info:
Next Meeting Date: September 7, 2001, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm & September 8, 2001, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Miracle Springs Hotel and Spa, 10625 Palm Dr., Desert Hot Springs, CA
Contact: Doran Sanchez, (909) 697-5220
Agenda Items: Field Tour - Sept 7, Formal business session - Sept. 8
The field trips are usually for the surrounding areas. The meetings begin promptly at 8am
The ASA keeps the number of calls to action low so that when we do call upon you there is no question that it is important and that you make the effort to respond. Now is one of those times - there are 2 CALLS TO ACTION here.
Our battle is heating up in terms of action needed by the dune community. Below are several important dates in reference to 2 major steps in our plan to reopen the dunes.
THESE ARE MUST ATTEND MEETINGS that could have dire consequences if we fail to show our numbers. If we do not show up in large numbers, we show our apathy and our willingness to take whatever is thrown upon us. That is what happened for the last 30 years and look where it got us. We are finally ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing who, what, where, and when.
1) As some of you know, there is a DAC meeting this Saturday 9/08 in Desert Hot Springs. On the agenda are several issues that concern our dunes. There will be a public comment period but just a show of numbers will make a statement. It is imperative that we demonstrate how many of us there are and how passionate we are. The Environmentalists have put out their own call to action on this - WE MUST COMPETE! Wear ASA shirts and carry checkered flags if you can.
The 8 am meeting is this Saturday at:
Miracle Springs Hotel and Spa
10625 Palm Drive
Desert Hot Springs, California.
2) There is a management plan called a Resource Management Plan (RMP) that is used to manage the Dunes. The last one was done in 1987; back then it was called a RAMP. It is now being replaced. The BLM is writing the new one right now and we have an opportunity to shape it. IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL THAT WE BE INVOLVED.
The way we get involved is by going to at least one of the following meetings - details below.
The meetings are from 7-9 p.m.
Sept. 6 - El Centro
1275 West Main
Sept 11- San Diego
County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Coast Hwy
Sept 13 - Phoenix, AZ
1202 W Thomas Road
At these meetings, you will see that there are 15 items identified as dunes management issues. These items are what came out of the first Scoping or public input meetings held about a year and half ago for the management plan then called the RAMP. They are not taking any comments on these 15 management issues but asking that we review them and give our input on any issues that have not yet been identified. WE ARE BEING ASKED ONLY TO HELP THEM IDENTIFY ISSUES AT THE DUNES AT THIS TIME.
Let's not waste any of our energy on saying anything about what we don't like about this process or what we don't like about the management issues already identified. No venting please. There will be opportunity for that later and we will let you know when and how. Our energy needs to go into sending in written comments and attending these meetings. Remember that the group that cries out the loudest usually gets what it wants. Again - checkered flags and ASA shirts. A rough head count is done at each meeting to determine how many from what organizations attend.
The 15 management issues already identified are:
1. How will the BLM conserve the unique natural resources of the Imperial
Sand Dunes as well as protect Federal and State listed species under the
Endangered Species Act in an area managed for OHV use?
2. How can air quality standards in the Imperial Sand Dunes be met?
3. At what levels are noxious weeds occurring within the Imperial Sand
Dunes planning area and what measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate
4. What level or levels of recreation setting can or will be provided at
the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area?
The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area can provide a wide variety of outdoor settings. Currently the majority of the area is in undeveloped setting where Recreationists can engage in activities not dependent on facilities and experience a moderate level of self-reliance and risk. Natural resources in these areas have not been modified to accommodate human use. There are currently no Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) guidelines that direct the development of any of the areas associated with the ISDRA. Public opinion varies as to what range of settings should be accommodated at the ISDRA.
5. How will OHV recreation be managed in relation to resources and other
Recreationists, including safety?
6. How will education, law enforcement, and other techniques be used to
ensure compliance at the ISDRA? Especially with respect to illegal use of
alcohol, drugs and firearms.
7. How much facility development and access is appropriate for the
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area?
8. How often, where and what should vendors/concessionaires be allowed to
vend on public land in the ISDRA to best serve the needs of the public?
9. How much impact are the tour buses having on the facilities at the
ISDRA and should there be compensation for that use?
10. What level of education and resource interpretation should be provided
at the ISDRA?
11. What is considered the Carrying Capacity at the ISDRA, is it
being exceeded and if so, what actions should be taken?
12. How much motorized trespass is occurring in the North Algodones Dunes
Wilderness, what impacts are occurring and how can it be eliminated?
13. What management prescriptions should be utilized for legal motorized
access afforded the Border Patrol, California Department of Fish and Game
and law enforcement agencies to the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness?
14. What is the future for the Fee Demo program?
15. How will priorities be set with anticipated budget reductions from
"green sticker" and allocated dollars?
More issues need to be considered in this plan. A few of them are:
--· What is the value of the Dunes are as a recreational area and what value it is to us?
--· What are the current cultural values with respect to our way of life and our families?
--· What is the economic impact on the state and local economies?
--· How does children going to the dunes with their parents help shape future adults and thus society itself?
--· When land is closed at the dunes, are more acres being provided elsewhere that are dunes?
--· How dunes provide a break from everyday pressure and stress.
--· Provide opportunity to bond with family and friends
--· Good science and the latest techniques should be used in monitoring plants and animals.
--· Is the air quality at the dunes in fact in danger - what monitoring can be done?
--· Will we continue to have a TRT?
--· Has any consideration been given to the fact that the dunes are used almost exclusively during the winter months and even then predominately only on weekends?
We have seen many comments on bulletin board on the web site, but they need to be written down and sent to the BLM. We're sure there are many good suggestions out there. They have to be reasonable. Think of the big picture, health and safety, funding, social benefits, economic benefits, cultural benefits, environment, family values, etc, etc..
Some months after the main issues are identified, we will then have a chance again to give input on how important each is and the ways best to handle each issue. We will have the chance to bring to light the best solutions IF ANY that are required to maintain our access to the dunes. These plans involve consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At that time, the PMV and how much protection is needed for it will be reviewed.
Remember the Environmentalists will be out in full force - so must we for there is every possibility that we could permanently lose the dunes that were closed last November.