The following are links to other dune areas throughout the United States.
- Dumont ,CA
- ISDRA/Glamis, CA
- Little Sahara, OK
- Little Sahara, UT
- Oceano/Pismo, CA
- St. Anthony, ID
- Sand Mountain, NV
- Silver Lake, MI
Where the sand meets the Pacific Ocean; that is where you will find the Oregon Dunes. 1n 1972 the US Congress and President Nixon created the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area (ODNRA). It truly is a beautiful place, 55 miles of pristine beach with abundant free flowing sand. Nirvana right?
Not today. There are two major issues with the ODNRA today.
First, the USFS started planting European beach grass, a non-native grass known to kill free flowing sand, scotch broom and shorepine. The idea at the time was that moving sand was not an asset. It is a detriment to streams, lakes and US HWY 101. (Seems perplexing to me that streams and lakes have always thrived with the sand but of course man knows better) Today, the non-natives are now destroying the open sand. Some estimated say that within 50 years, there will be no open sand. Well over 50% is now vegetation and best estimate is we are losing 280 acres to non-natives per year.
Second, the US Forest Service started closing the ODNRA in 1979 to Off Road Vehicles (OHV). 50% was closed then. That was OK, we all have to share. In 1994 they effectively closed the OHV’s 50% riding areas another 45%. They used smoke and mirrors with a process called zoning. Zones 10A, 10D, 10F was for just about everything else you could think of. 10B is open OHV and 10C is trail only. But they put a restriction on trails only saying the trail must connect open sand to open sand. Well guess what. No area fit that criteria so they closed it but still claim it is open OHV. Bottom line, we only have 25% of the entire ODNRA. That is about 7,200 acres out of 29,000.
Save the Riders Dunes started with five folks sitting around a fire asking what we can do. We were all very passionate but naïve and we banded together and began the long process of learning how to work with the USFS and non-OHV groups to move from closures to restoration of open sand. We have gotten the three counties and our congressional delegation involved. There are financial ramifications that are not being considered and the Original 1972 Act required an Advisory Council that was disbanded in 1976. We disagree with that. It has been a journey well worth pursuing. The struggle continues and will forever. The non-OHV lawyers and USFS get paid to close area open to us. We just continue to volunteer and we will win. We have the passion!
Many thanks to the Blue Ribbon Coalition and Don Amador for their help and continued guidance during our effort.