No BLM land here in Texas. In fact, hardly any free place to off-road in anywhere in this State, unless you make the 12 hour drive to Big Bend National Park. Most of Texas is privately owned, so hardly any public land to off-road on. The few riverbeds that were once available for off-roading have now been closed, thanks to wealthy, private property owners with big mansions on their banks who convinced the state legislature to close them down to vehicle traffic.
The state off-roading community finally got its act together and started buying cheap, undeveloped land out in the middle of nowhere. But like everything else, you have to pay to get in - usually about $15 a day.
I have found a few "riding leases" here in Texas. Similar to hunting leases that the so called hunters use. I am slowley picking up on the Offroading/riding scene out here. Pretty close knit bunch but they seem to have a good thing going. They read forums such as this one and have land use issues but in a slightly different way. Here is a cool website for us Texas Offroaders. I was quite surprised but glad to see people getting together to try to better the sport. Texas OffRoad Network Say hello on there and give em your support.
For the program it's modeled on do a search on the National Forest Service's "Adventure Pass." Around these parts we call it the ""Misadventure Pass."
Basically they can give you a ticket for not paying the fees. You can pay the ticket or you can ignore it. They have very little leverage if you choose to ignore it other than taking you to court. Most of the time what they get doesn't cover the cost of getting it. There's a report out there that states they've spent something like $20 mil raising $15 mil (the exact numbers should be looked up as I know I don't have it right).
There is an anti-Adventure Pass activist up in Santa Barbara, CA who had been ticketed many times. The Gumberment decided to make an example out of him and they did. Cost him a lot of time and money even with the various anti-Pass groups helping out.
If y'all didn't insist on having chemies out there 47 miles from pavement they wouldn't need to raise the money.
Yeah, I was disappointed so see the lack of available, legal areas to off-road in when I moved to Texas 6 years ago. Before then, I used to live in Imperial County, where I had tens of thousands of acres of free land to off-road in for free just minutes away!
There are some desert areas in El Paso that are free, but that's a 15 hour drive for me! The closest legal areas to off-road in are the private off-road parks, which are $15 a day. And they're only 1200 to 1500 acres and still several hours away!
Seems like matters in California are at one extreme, whereas matters here in Texas are at another extreme. From my uninformed, uneducated understanding, it appears that California (and many other Western states) appear to have lots of federal and state-owned "public" land to off-road in, but it's quickly getting closed off to off-road use by what some call an ever increasing liberal agenda. Whereas in Texas, there are very few federal and state-owned "public" lands (with the exception of Big Bend National Park, hundreds of miles away from most of the Texas population) with what appears to be the wealthy few buying up the rest of the State in furtherance of an increasing business conservative agenda. Where's the happy medium, right?
Anyway, I thought I'd throw in the Texas experience to give you an idea of whether the BLM fee is reasonable or not. Here we pay $15 a day to ride in 1200 to 1500 acre 4x4 parks (no real 2wd prerunner terrain to speak of) that are several hours away from any major city (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio).
I hope things turn around for both States with respect to off-road recreation.