It is time for us to make our voices heard regarding the Environmental Assessment of the Imperial Sand Dunes (AKA: Glamis, Buttercup, Gordon's Well, etc.). As in the past, handwritten individual letters are the most effective. The deadline is 7/9/01 - make sure your letter is postmarked by that date.

Preferably, take what is below and put it into your own words. You may cut and paste from the following if you wish. Try to avoid using the comments below in its entirety. If you must, state that it has been cut and pasted but correctly states your sentiments and views. For your convenience, you can download the document by clicking here.

Make sure the first paragraph (in bold) is included. Provide your name and address and mail to:

Roxie Trost
EA #: CA-670-EA-2001-58 comments
BLM El Centro Field Office
1661 S. 4th Street, El Centro , CA 92243

DO THIS TODAY. We have only 7 days to get this done. We know this is a chore, but aren't the dunes worth it? Packing and unpacking for a dune trip is more of a chore than this. Call all fellow duners that don't have email.

This small task will take us a vital step closer to preserving what has become a family tradition for thousands - don't let the ones that do not share our passion for the dunes impose their will upon us - ACT TODAY.


Suggested Comment letter:

Roxie Trost
EA #: CA-670-EA-2001-58 comments
BLM El Centro Field Office
1661 S. 4th Street, El Centro , CA 92243

I support Alternative 2, the "no action" alternative for EA Number: CA-670-EA-2001-58 for the reasons stated herein.

1. According to the "Environmental Effects" chart, it is clear that line for line Alternative 1 will have a greater impact. In particular, wilderness and recreation will be affected by Alternative 1 whereas Alternative 2 will have no effect on wilderness and/or recreation.

2. The human element of the dune environment must receive higher consideration. Alternative 1 clearly states: "Negative effects on visitor safety, use patterns and recreational experiences, resource, and economic impacts may occur because visitors are concentrated into a smaller area." This is unacceptable.

3. Alternative 1 states that it "MAY reduce OHV intrusions from the northern most boundary of the North Algodones Wilderness by adding a buffer to the existing wilderness boundary." At best, this is speculation. Weekly over flights have documented a compliance rate of nearly 100% with respect to OHVs remaining clear all closed areas. Adding a "buffer" is clearly unnecessary.

In addition, here are some general comments on the Environmental Assessment:

1. The statements "The purpose of these closures is to prevent potential effects to several large populations of Peirson's milk-vetch from off highway vehicles." and "The vehicle closures are designed to protect the highest density populations of Peirson's milk-vetch." are completely unsupported by recent scientific research. On the contrary, the BLM June, 2001 report entitled "Monitoring of Special Status Plants in the Algodones Dunes, Imperial County, California" clearly indicates:

A) The habitat of the PMV is not where the OHV recreationists ride;
B) The PMV seed beds are plentiful and are not affected in a negative way by OHV traffic; and
C) The climate is the determining factor whether the seeds of the PMV germinate and not OHV traffic.

Such unsupported and misleading statements do not belong in this document.

2. The listed affect on "water quality" included in the "Environmental Effects" chart must be discounted because there is no reference to it in the remainder of the Environmental Assessment and therefore it cannot be supported. Please remove this unsubstantiated portion from the chart.

3. The statements contained under "Air Quality" for both alternatives cannot be supported, as is clearly stated earlier in the Environmental Assessment, i.e., "No air quality monitors are located at the ISDRA, therefore the local ozone and PM-10 levels for the dunes are not known." Please remove these unsupported references.

4. The statement "Alternative forms of recreation, such as hiking, birding, horseback riding and photography, may increase in the closures because of the absence of motorized vehicles." is totally unsupported by scientific research or on-the-ground observance. Please remove this misleading statement.