Zero Tolerance in the Dunes

Paige

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Dear Fellow Duner,

In a dramatic response to illegal activities at the Imperial Sand Dunes
Recreational Area the BLM announced Tuesday, February 5th that they will
implement a "Zero Tolerance" policy during President's Day weekend.

Vehicle regulations and all other ISDRA rules will be enforced and major
infractions of rules or laws could result in jail time according to El
Centro Field Manager Greg Thomsen. A multi-agency task force comprised of
Imperial County Sheriff's Dept., Calif. Highway Patrol, National Park
Service, U.S Forest Service, Calif. Dept of Parks and Recreation, Calif.
Dept of Forestry, and the U.S. Border Patrol will implement this "Zero
tolerance" policy. According to the news release this additional law
enforcement presence will "allow officials to crack down on an array of
potential violations" The complete text of the BLM news release is below.

Although the ASA supports the BLM's enforcement of the laws and rules, the
zero tolerance approach is of concern when dealing with minor infractions.
The "zero tolerance" approach tends to paint even the most minor infractions
with the same brush. The ASA has encouraged the BLM and the other law
enforcement agencies to use common sense when implementing their "zero
tolerance" policy.

The vast majority of the sand sport enthusiasts who visit the Imperial Sand
Dunes are law-abiding, responsible people. Unfortunately, this is a
situation where a very small minority is giving the sand sport enthusiast a
black eye and is being dealt with by the BLM in a way that affects everyone.

The ASA has been working closely with the BLM and the Imperial County
Sheriff's Office to ensure that as many Imperial Sand Dune visitors as
possible know the rules and laws. The ASA encourages all sand sport
enthusiasts to know and abide by the rules. Please remember that it is our
responsibility to know the rules and laws.

The rules and laws can be obtained at the Cahuilla Ranger Station on Gecko
Road or from a BLM Ranger. BLM rules and the California Off-Highway Vehicle
laws are also posted on our website at
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.glamisonline.org/New2002Regs.shtml>http://www.glamisonline.org/New2002Regs.shtml</A>

The BLM 2/06/02 news release and Public Service Announcement (PSA) outlining
the law enforcement plans for the upcoming President's Day weekend will be
distributed to Arizona, California and Nevada radio and TV stations and to
selected high schools for use on their closed-circuit TV systems and student
body announcements.
----------------------------------------------------
BLM News Release
For Immediate Release: February 5, 2002 CA-610-02-24
Contact: Stephen Razo 909-697-5217; Doran Sanchez, 909-697-5220

Zero Tolerance Declared for Imperial Sand Dunes

"Zero Tolerance" will be the law enforcement operating procedure at the
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area during the upcoming President's Day
weekend. With increased emphasis on removing lawless behavior from the Dunes
to protect public safety in the Dunes, federal, state, and local law
enforcement officials will aggressively deal with those who choose to ignore
the rules and laws which could mean jail time for violators.

"There will be a significant increase in law enforcement at the Imperial
Sand Dunes during President's Day weekend," states Greg Thomsen, U.S. Bureau
of Land Management (BLM) El Centro Field Office Manager. "The Imperial Sand
Dunes Recreation Area rules, the California Off Highway Vehicle regulations
and other applicable state and federal laws will be strictly enforced. Major
infractions of rules or laws could land you in a U.S. Border Patrol bus
headed for jail," Thomsen added.

Law enforcement and support personnel from Imperial County, California
Highway Patrol, National Park Service Special Event Team, U.S. Forest
Service, the California Department of State Parks and Recreation, California
Department of Forestry, and the U.S. Border Patrol, work with the BLM at the
Dunes through a multi-agency Incident Command and Control System. The system
was successfully deployed during the New Year's and Martin Luther King
holiday weekends and provided immediate capabilities to handle incidents
quickly, providing an effective security net throughout the Dunes.

Additional law enforcement presence will allow officials to crack down on an
array of potential violations throughout the Dunes. Aerial patrols by the
Imperial County Sheriff's Office Aerial Squadron and the California Highway
Patrol helicopter will seek speeders, reckless drivers, and any suspicious
activity day or night with aerial flood lights. Speeds in excess of 15 mph
within 50 feet of a group of people or faster than it is safe for existing
conditions will be strictly enforced. California Highway Patrol, BLM, and
Imperial County law enforcement officials will be equipped with radar guns
to monitor vehicle speed in camping areas and near group concentrations.

Imperial County Sheriff Harold Carter states, "The operator of a vehicle
under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will be arrested and
transported to jail. Underage drinking will not be tolerated. Undercover
officers will be on-hand to identify violators."

According to Bob Zimmer, BLM El Centro Chief Ranger, "pinch-points" will be
set up at entrances to popular nighttime gatherings to cut down on illegal
activities later in the evening.

The Imperial Dunes is one of the most heavily visited off-highway vehicle
(OHV) recreation areas in the country. However, an increasing number of law
breakers have threatened the safety of visitors at the Dunes during the past
two years. American Sand Association (ASA) President, Jerry Seaver,
encourages the off-road community to "please remember that it is your
responsibility to know the law. Let's focus on safety and be responsible."

"Public safety at the Imperial Dunes is a top priority," said BLM State
Director Mike Pool. "Continued assistance from county, state and federal
agencies help us make the Dunes a safer place for our visitors."

--- BLM ---
------------------------------------------------
BLM Public Service Announcement
NOT FOR PRINT RELEASE - DO NOT PRINT February 7, 2002CA-610-xxxx
Contact: Stephen Razo 909-697-5217; Doran Sanchez, 909-697-5220

AS THE PRESIDENT'S DAY WEEKEND FAST APPROACHES, STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS
WOULD LIKE TO INFORM IMPERIAL SAND DUNES VISITORS THAT A ZERO TOLERANCE
POLICY WILL BE IN EFFECT.

RECENT INCREASES IN LAWLESSNESS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. DUNES RECREATION AREA
RULES, CALIFORNIA OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE REGULATIONS AND OTHER APPLICABLE STATE
AND FEDERAL LAWS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED. VIOLATIONS COULD MEAN FINES AND
JAIL TIME.

COME OUT AND ENJOY THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES.WITHIN THE LAW.



<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>
 
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