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Are These Dunes Closing?

Associated Image
One of many yearly off-road enthusiasts enjoying the Imperial Sand Dunes. - Photo by Scott Kellhofer

The year was 1986. The proposal was to close down nearly nine million acres of California desert land for preservation purposes. The belief that it could happen was zero.

The year is 1997. Nine million acres of desert land in California has been closed for almost two years.

Do you think it will stop there?

Don Amador, of the BlueRibbon Coalition, says, "Many consider the Imperial Dunes as the premier dune riding area in Southern California. While there are other dunes, none approach the quality or popularity of the Imperial Dunes."

In a recent article written by Amador about the urgency to fight bio diversity, he states that the Imperial Sand Dunes are "the last open sand dune riding area (since the passage of the Desert Protection Act) and was suppose to remain open in perpetuity. However, my inside sources at Interior tell me that this area is slated for closure as soon as the BLM can find the right threatened and endangered species."

The days are long past when we can just go to work and then go to the desert. It's not like we're all looking for something else to fill our time, but the fact is, we've got to be aware of what's happening behind the scenes. We've got to educate ourselves and know how to fight to protect our rights.

It's gone past just the threat of not being able to ride our motorcycles, ATVs, dune buggies and four-wheel drives. What's happening now in the very country we live in threatens even private property rights.

Buzz words that should cause you to sit up and take notice are the things like: Bio-diversity, multiple species conservation plans, habitat preservation and multiple-habitat conservation open space. If you hear the terms MSCP, MHCP or HMCOS, be warned. These are not good for those of us in favor of multiple-use activities.

But what does "multiple-use" mean, anyway? There are so many terms being thrown out at us that sometimes it's hard to figure out which ones are good and which ones are bad. Multiple-use is good. That takes into account logging, mining, grazing, farming and motorized recreation to name a few.

Bio-diversity is bad. Maybe not inherently, as a stand-alone word, but what it represents in California, even more specifically in San Diego, is bad. According to Amador in California there has been implemented a state Executive Bio-Diversity Council and this Council "has established 19 Regional Bio-Diversity Plans in California." Amador states further, "This planning effort has been going on for the last five years without representation from multiple-use interests."

Amador refers to an obvious bias against multiple-use recreation and industry in San Diego Country with the multiple Species Conservation Plan (MCSP). The seriousness of this matter should be noted because according to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, "This program is a model for the nation."

What happens here is being watched and well spread across the nation to engulf the land and strip way our rights to enjoy and utilize not only public property but even private property. According to Amador, Babbitt has plans to implement the MSCP-style programs in all 50 states within the next six years.

To add insult to injury, these plans will be financed with our own tax dollars. So not only will we be prevented from using the land, our own money, deducted from every paycheck, will pay to lock us out of the land and our chosen recreation.

To put it bluntly: you can't ride your motorcycle anymore, and you have to pay not to ride it.

What can we do about it? Roll over and die? Or stand up and fight? How do we fight? Okay, don't yell. Don't sigh and say it will never work. The fact is, we fight with letters. We fight with faxes. We fight with phone calls. We fight with our attendance at meetings. We fight with memberships in off-road organizations and multiple-use coalitions.

Regarding the threat of closing the sand dunes in the next decade, we'll keep you informed as to what you can do to fight it. But for now, letters need to be written opposing the MSCP in San Diego.

Don't wait for your favorite area to be threatened before fighting the land-grab. Do all you can right now before it spreads.

Get in the letter writing habit so you can fight every flaming missile the enviro-extremists throw at us. Let's show them we're educated and literate. That will surprise the heck out of them and might even catch them off guard!

The pen is mightier than the sword. Believe it. Live by it. Succeed because of it.

-Reprinted from San Diego OFF ROAD Magazine, April 1997.

June 1, 2016 3:10 PM

POCATELLO, ID (June 1, 2016) – Coalition (BRC) is pleased to reveal that its long-time partner in the fight to protect recreational access, Rocky Mountain ATV-MC (RMATV-MC), has agreed once again to generously match each dollar* raised to support BRC at the upcoming annual COW TAG event hosted by Klim, another long-time partner for access.

April 26, 2016 9:54 AM

POCATELLO, ID (April 26, 2016) -- Coalition (BRC) is pleased to announce the recent release of issue #4 of the BlueRibbon Magazine. This issue is packed with outstanding winter articles and a variety of recreation topics.

Hard copies of the BlueRibbon Magazine should be arriving at doorsteps this week (if they have not already arrived). If your copy has not yet arrived, there's no need to wait! The digital edition of the BlueRibbon Magazine is available today, in FlipZine or PDF versions.

April 13, 2016 10:04 AM

It's time once again for the annual COW TAG event! Please join KLIM and the Sharetrails/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) at this one-of-a-kind ride to be held on Saturday, June 25 at Kelly Canyon, ID. Proceeds benefit trail organizations and Sharetrails/BRC. Enter to win a 2016 Beta 300RR Race Edition!...

March 31, 2016 12:13 PM
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