Recently, ASA proposed to close more acres at the Imperial Sand Dunes. That’s a pretty bold move for an organization that has fought tirelessly for less closure over the last 20+ years. Nonetheless, we believe it is a win for the duning community. On the surface, it may not look like it and so you should ask why.
The answer is simple: we want the rest to stay open and we want better access. Incursions into the closures hurt our cause. We also want safe routes to traverse the closures in case of vehicle breakdowns and to get to the other side of the closures where our favorite spots are. Moreover, the existing boundaries are really difficult to follow; much more so when picking a line through the dunes that facilitate staying out of closures.
By smoothing the saw-tooth boundaries that virtually make no sense while running the dunes, we can add 800+ acres to the closure. What might it get us? Three corridors that legally enable us to reach our favorite spots. This would be accomplished by re-opening 157 acres among the current closures in areas where endangered species aren’t growing anyway.
What does it cost? Not much if you are already trying to circumnavigate the existing zigzag closures.
If our proposal is accepted, riders would be able to resume camping at Dune Buggy Flats and legally make their way to Patton Valley and other favorite destinations in the dunes without a difficult ride.
With our proposed modifications to the boundaries, the environmentalists get more acreage, the BLM gets an easier task for sign maintenance and patrol, and we get easier-to-follow boundaries with legal access to our favorite areas.
WIN WIN WIN.