Articles in the Yuma Sun

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Jerry Seaver
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Articles in the Yuma Sun

Post by Jerry Seaver »

But, but, but officer ...
Know what you can and can't do before heading out to the dunes
October 15, 2007 - 3:34PM
It's all fun and games at the Imperial Sand Dunes - but there are rules and regulations you need to know before you hit the sand.

"California state law applies on all state lands, particularly DUI laws and drug laws," said U.S. Ranger Ted Penninger. "A DUI off-road is the same as a DUI on road."

Penninger said two to three rangers patrol the dunes, along with deputies from the Imperial County Sheriff's Office. On holiday weekends, he said, there are 50 federal officers at the dunes and ICSO increases its dune patrols with officers from throughout the state.

"Even though they are out there in the middle of nowhere, all the laws apply, even off-road," Penninger said.

There are two sets of laws to follow when playing at the dunes: Federal Bureau of Land Management rules and California state off-highway vehicle laws. The following are the main rules.


*FIREWORKS: Any and all fireworks are prohibited on BLM land.

*RECREATION PERMIT: A permit is required for all vehicles used for transportation to the recreation site. Permits must be purchased on arrival and visibly displayed in the windshield of the vehicle with the date side facing out.

*SAFETY FLAGS: These are required for all vehicles in the recreation area, including two-wheeled motorcycles. All vehicles must be equipped with a whip mast and a 6-by-12-inch red/orange flag or pennant, triangle, square or rectangular shape. Masts must be securely mounted on the vehicle and extend 8 feet from the ground to the mast tip. Safety flags must be attached within 10 inches of the tip of the whip mast with club or other flags mounted below the safety flag or on another whip.

*15 MPH SPEED: An off-highway vehicle must be driven 15 mph on public lands within 500 feet of Highway 78, Gray's Well Road, Gecko Road and access roads within the Gecko and Roadrunner recreation sites.

*NO SAVING SPACES: Reserving of camping spaces is prohibited. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

*FIRES: Burning of potentially hazardous materials such as gas, oil, plastic and magnesium is prohibited.

*NO GLASS BEVERAGE CONTAINERS: Possession or use of any full or empty glass cup or bottle is prohibited.

*NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Drinking or possessing alcoholic beverages, including open containers, while operating in or on a motor vehicle or off-highway vehicle is prohibited. No one under 21 is allowed to be in possession of alcoholic beverages.

*USE OF AUDIO DEVICES: Radios, televisions, musical instruments or other noise-producing devices or motorized equipment cannot be used between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in a manner that disturbs other visitors.

*PUBLIC NUDITY: Public nudity is prohibited.

*UNAUTHORIZED ORGANIZED EVENT: Bands, videos, movies and other events that are not authorized cannot be participated in or sponsored.

*RIDING IN PICKUP BEDS: Riding in the bed of a pickup truck or any part of a motor vehicle not designed for passengers on or off-road is not allowed.

*AIRCRAFT: Taking off or landing of aircraft, including ultralights, is prohibited within one mile of Gecko Road.

*DUMPING: Dumping of sewage and gray water is prohibited.

*CAMPING LIMITATIONS: A 14-day camping limit is in effect.

*PARKING RESTRICTIONS: There is no parking or camping within 10 feet of pavement on Gecko Road.

*SHOOTING: Shooting is prohibited within a half-mile of formal campgrounds and should be conducted well away from other concentrations of people and property.

*LEASH LAW: Animals must be kept on a leash six feet or less and secured to a fixed object or under the control of a person.

*Violation of any of these rules is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail term of up to 12 months.


*HELMET USAGE: Everyone who operates or rides all-terrain vehicles on public lands in California must wear an approved safety helmet.

*PARENTAL SUPERVISION: Children under the age of 14 cannot operate all-terrain vehicles unless they have a California safety certification and are under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.

*REQUIRED RIDER SAFETY TRAINING: No one under the age of 18 can operate an ATV unless he/she has received the safety course in California or another state or is under the direct supervision of an adult who has the appropriate safety certification in his/her possession. For ATV certification information, call the ATV Safety Institute at 1-949-727-3727.

*NOISE RESTRICTIONS: Noise from off-highway vehicles cannot be more than 96 decibels if the vehicle was manufactured on or after Jan, 1, 1986, and not more than 101 decibels if manufactured prior to Jan. 1, 1986.

*SIRENS: No off-highway motor vehicle, except an authorized emergency vehicle, can be equipped with a siren.

*CARRYING OF PASSENGERS: No operator of an all-terrain vehicle may carry a passenger when operating on public lands.

*OPERATING AN OHV UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS: It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug to drive a vehicle. Drivers with a suspended or revoked license cannot drive off-road.

*SPEED LAWS: Do not operate an off-highway vehicle faster than is safe for conditions. The speed limit within 50 feet of any campground, campsite or concentration of people or animals is 15 mph.

*REGISTRATION: Vehicles operated on federal and state highways, county roads and Gecko Road, Gray's Well Road and McCain Valley must be licensed for highway use.

Off-highway vehicles owned by California residents must be registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles
and display a valid green sticker or red sticker vehicle identification tag in a clearly visible location on the vehicle.

Off-highway vehicles that do not have a valid registration or permit from the owners' home state will be required to purchase a California nonresident permit through selected vendors or from California Department of Parks and Recreation. Call 1-916-324-4442 for information.

*REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: Any off-highway vehicle must be equipped with an approved muffler, brakes and spark arrester. Headlights and taillights are required for operation at night. Taillights must include at least one red light .

*LIGHT PROHIBITION: A flashing or steady burning red or blue warning light on an off-highway motor vehicle is not permitted, unless an extreme hazard exists.

*ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE: Off-highway vehicles cannot be driven in a manner likely to cause environmental damage.

*FIREARMS: Firearms cannot be discharged within 150 yards of recreational areas, campsites, occupied areas, residences, buildings or domestic livestock. No shooting from or across any road or from a vehicle is allowed. Loaded weapons are not
allowed to be carried in vehicles.

*FIREWORKS: They are prohibited on all public land in California and will be seized.

Jerry Seaver
ASA Co-Founder • Past President
ASA Co-Founder • Past President
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2000 4:48 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Post by Jerry Seaver »

You play, you pay
Make sure you have the right permits before hitting the sand
October 15, 2007 - 3:36PM
You play, you pay - but it's so you can keep playing.

All duners going to the Imperial Sand Dunes need a permit per primary vehicle or otherwise they'll get a citation, according to Neil Hamada, Bureau of Land Management outdoor recreation planner.

The fee revenue collected each year is used to keep up maintenance and operations in the dunes recreational area.

The Bureau of Land Management, the agency that oversees the dunes, collected $3.5 millions from permit fees in the 2007 fiscal year, Hamada said.

The money duners pay goes for such purposes as paying the Imperial County Sheriff's Office for selling and enforcing the permit regulations, the hiring of extra law enforcement and emergency medical services personnel to cover busy holidays and to pay for the permanent staff and rangers at the dunes.

Another portion of the money is used for trash collection, toilet cleaning, road grading in the dunes area, purchase and maintenance of patrol and rescue vehicles, and general operations.

The permit is required immediately upon arrival at the recreation area, which consists of the Imperial Sand Dunes recreation area and its one-mile planning area boundary.

Seven-day permits cost $25 and are valid for seven days upon entry in the area, while season permits are $90 and are valid from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Here are some rules to remember about permit usage, according to the Imperial County Sheriff Permit Enforcement Division Web site:

*Permit valid only for one primary vehicle and cannot be shared.

*Permit must be displayed at all times while in dunes.

*Good at Imperial Sand Dunes only.

*Permits from other areas are not valid in dunes.

*Owners of vehicles not having a permit or those using a permit unlawfully, will be ticketed and will face a fine.

*Always secure your vehicle and permit.

Duners can buy permits in the following ways:

*Over the phone by calling the toll-free number 800-278-0165.

*On site where Imperial County Sheriff's Office personnel will be available near the recreation area's major entry points.

*Online at

Permits can also be purchased from these area merchants:

*American Sand Toys, 2786 E. Highway 95; phone 344-5380. Hours of operation are Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*Ultimate OffRoad, 2766 S. Avenue 3E; phone 341-1158. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

*KD Enterprises/ KD Cycle, 2341 E. 16th St.; 329-1908. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


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