BLM 's Bob Ratcliffe's ISDRA Visit

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BLM 's Bob Ratcliffe's ISDRA Visit

Post by LoBuck »

**Originally posted in the Glamis Dunes • I.S.D.R.A. Forum by Doc on Feb 21, 2006**

For Discussion: Click Here to go to that Topic.
On President’s Day weekend representatives of ASA, UDG, TRT and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors were afforded an opportunity to meet with Bob Ratcliffe, BLM Washington Division Chief for Recreation and Visitor Services.

ASA’s first involvement with Bob was in DC when the UDG partnership was proposed. Ratcliffe and his staff were involved in the DC review and approval of the Dune Smart publication. Grant George, Nicole Gilles, Ken Rosevear and Wally Leimgruber met Bob during the DC visits. More recently, Ratcliffe joined Steve Razo and Bob Mason as guest speakers at the National Sheriff’s conference hosted by BLM in Washington. Ratcliffe has a major influence on ISDRA funding and UDG partnership activities.

Ratcliffe’s Duties Include:

Responsible for the overall management of the Recreation and Visitor Services Division of the Renewable Resources Directorate.
Everything that deals with people on BLM public land ranging from accessibility to visual resources.
OHV travel plans, recreation concessions and fee permits.
Budget and policy formulation including field guidance.
Participates in the crafting of Dept of Interior/Dept of Agriculture joint policy for consistent administration of the National Lands Recreation Enhancement Act including enhancement of recreation facilities and fee collection.

Tour objectives as stated by Ratcliffe:

See a high use weekend and learn about operational issues.
Observe how the fee plans are working and identify future improvements.
Observe level of law enforcement, how is funding being used, how BLM is coordinating?
Gain a general sense of operational challenges, safety measures, DUI campaign.
Learn what is going on at the largest BLM visitor site.
Identify how we can help from the Washington end to make things work better.

BLM Tour Participants
Bob Ratcliffe
Chief, Recreation and Visitor Services Division, Washington, DC
Troy Bolen
Special Agent in Charge, Sacramento, CA
Jim Keeler
OHV Coordinator, Sacramento, CA
Steve Borchard
Manager, California Desert District, Moreno Valley, CA
Steve Razo
Director of External Affairs, Moreno Valley, CA
Vicki Wood
Manager, El Centro Field Office
Neil Hamada
Dunes Manager, ISDRA
Bernadette LaVato
Lake Havasu Office

Imperial County
Gary Wyatt
Supervisor, District # 7

Nicole Gilles
UDG President & TRT Member

Grant George
Dick Holliday
Gary Jordan
Board Member
Bob Mason
Glenn Montgomery
Communications Committee & TRT Member
Tim Gantz
Dunes Outreach Team Leader

The following summarizes the observations that were made during the tour with BLM representatives.

Fee Collection

BLM management and staff are cognizant of the deficiencies in the current fee collection process.
Modifications to the Assistance Agreement may be required to improve marketing techniques.
ISDRA visitors must be afforded multiple alternatives to purchase a permit.
Permit sales incentives may be warranted to broaden the sales opportunities. This may mean that ICSO may be required to share a portion of their 30% commission with permit vendors.
The permit sale process must be visitor friendly.
Performance measures warrant reconsideration.
UDG and OHV organizations should be considered for a more significant role in permit marketing.
The observations of Imperial County Supervisor Gary Wyatt warrant further discussion and consideration.
Plans for the 2006-07 season will include a fall back option in the event that the RFID technology is not available.
Recreation Enhancement Act permit revenue represents a major source of ISDRA operating funds.
BLM was receptive to the need for more on-the-ground improvements. During discussions with Vicky Wood and Bob Ratcliffe the point was made that fire rings and picnic tables are not required. Additional hard surface camping areas and maintenance of the existing facilities is the preferred option.

Public Safety

Spectator safety at the impromptu drags was noted as a significant concern.
NASCAR driver Greg Biffle has offered to participate in the preparation of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on the weekend of March 5th. BLM and ASA will collaborate in the development of the content.
The proposed “BLM Visiting Staff Orientation” DVD concept was well received. The general consensus was to proceed with the DVD for next season. It was suggested by BLM that a similar DVD be produced for viewing by dune visitors.
Bob Ratcliffe suggested the involvement of the BLM Phoenix Training Facility staff in the development of the DVD’s. Wally Cahill Motorsports Mania involvement was also suggested.

Partnership Activities

Several of the UDG partnership activities were discussed throughout the two days.
BLM on several occasions made the point that ISDRA and the UDG partnership activities have been identified as a template for other BLM partnership activities elsewhere.
Attached is the latest summary of “Public Outreach Projects” that was distributed by UDG.

Desert Advisor Council (DAC) Meeting March 31- April 1

UDG and the BLM will make a joint presentation re partnership activities.
ASA will provide an overview of their activities.
A representative of the TRT will summarize TRT activities.

Action Items

BLM -- Meet with Gary Wyatt, Imperial County Supervisor to obtain his fee collection perspective.
BLM –- Internal follow up on spectator safety suggestions offered by Bob Ratcliffe.
ASA –- Confirm Greg Biffle PSA availability.
BLM & ASA –- Develop the theme and objective of the Biffle PSA.
Cahill – Coordinate filming schedule.
BLM – Identify the lead staff member for the development of the “Visiting Staff Orientation” DVD.
Glenn Montgomery - KE7BTP
'79 CJ5 - LoBuck's Web Page
DAC ISDRA Sub Group Member - AZ OHV Rep BLM ISDRA DSG webpage


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