What's New in the ASA
April, 2008


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), El Centro Field Office, has scheduled three public meetings concerning the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreations Area (ISDRA) revised Recreation Management Plan (RAMP) and new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). These are preliminary scoping meetings.

The meetings will be held on:  

Tuesday, April 22nd  (6pm to 8pm)
Handlery Hotel
950 Hotel Circle North  
San Diego, CA  92108  
(619) 398-8333

Wednesday, April 23rd (6pm to 8pm)
Mountain Preserve Reception and Conference Center
1431 E. Dunlap Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85020
(602) 943 – 2656

Thursday, April 24th  (6pm to 8pm)
Imperial Irrigation District
William R. Condit Meeting Room
1285 Broadway
El Centro, CA  92243
(760) 339-9422

The RAMP, approved in 2005, was set aside by a Federal Court order in 2006 and remanded to BLM for further action, as was the previous U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) critical habitat designation.  Steve Borchard, BLM Desert District manager, said BLM and FWS agreed it would be in the public interest to await completion of the revised final critical habitat rule before initiating revision of the RAMP.

On February 14, 2008, FWS published its final rule on critical habitat for the threatened Peirson’s milk-vetch (PMV). The BLM announced on March 18, through the Federal Register, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a revised RAMP and new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). These scheduled meetings will allow interested parties to identify issues that should be addressed in the new EIS and revised RAMP.

We anticipate an accelerated schedule for preparing the EIS and the revised RAMP for public review, given the tremendous amount of data and public input on the earlier documents,” Borchard said.  “BLM and the FWS will continue to closely coordinate on development of alternatives for the revised RAMP as we have in the past.  We will be seeking the public’s input as well as we embark on this planning process.”

Comments should be sent to:

Erin R. Dreyfuss
Planning and Environmental Coordinator
BLM El Centro Field Office
1661 South 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243.

(Editor's note: If you don't participate by providing your comments to let the BLM know how you want the dunes operated, then you will have no right to complain if things don't turn out the way you like. ASA, as with the previous RAMP, will mount a major effort to get you up to speed to make comments that must be considered. Look forward to RAMP info meetings like we did last time. These will help you generate your comments on the DRAFT RAMP that comes out AFTER the scoping meetings - you still need to comment at the scoping meetings. Believe it or not, we had a significant impact on management of the ISDRA – and we are stronger now.)

For further information concerning the BLM’s Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, visit the Imperial Sand Dunes website at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/isdra.html. For further information or to review the FWS’ revised final critical habitat rule, contact the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at 760-431-9440 or download the rule at http://www.regulations.gov/.

Use the following links to see the official comments by the ASA & Other OHV Organizations for the previous RAMP:


Today, the ASA sent a Notice of Intent to Sue re FWS's failure to issue a decision on our PMV Delisting decision. 

During the past 18 months we have spoken with the Carlsbad Filed Office regarding the USFWS ruling on the ASA PMV de-listing petition. Each time we are informed that the ruling will be forthcoming in 30 to 60 days. The original decision was to be rendered in July of 2006 and we accepted an extension to October of 2006. Now we are in April of 2008 which is 18 months from the original extension and 21 months from the original completion date.

CLICK HERE to read the notice.

Most Recent ASA INFO MEETING Recap

Two hundred OHV enthusiast attend Jagged Extreme hosted an ASA Info meeting in Phoenix on March 29. Several agencies were in attendance to answer questions about the laws and rules that apply to OHV recreation at the Imperial Sand Dunes and on the trails and roads in Arizona and California. All of the answers will be included in a later edition of the newsletter after the complete text has been reviewed and approved by the Round Table participants.  The following comments were of particular interest.
Arizona duners were told that starting Jan. 1st of 2009 they will be required to have a non-resident sticker on their OHV's to operate in  California if Arizona doesn't have their own OHV program by then. The cost of the non-resident California sticker will be $40 starting Jan. 1st of 2009. Jeff Gursh of the AZ OHV Coalition reported that AZ Senate Bill 1167 is an OHV Bill that would meet the requirements. If this Bill passes it will not only make a non-resident CA sticker unnecessary and will help keep trails in AZ open. The Imperial County Sheriff Office and the BLM said that they would accept the Ariz. RV plate as registration until Jan. 1st.

The Border Patrol was asked about the article in the L.A. Times suggesting that the Dunes be closed South of I-8. They said that this is not what they told the L.A. Times and that they did not plan on trying to get that area closed.

In addition to the Q and A program Jagged Extreme sponsored a Show and Shine event. BSSand.com Performance Suspension Seats and UTV Off-Road Magazine (formally Cart Wheeling) joined Jagged X as co-sponsors.

At the conclusion of the awards program Jagged X presented ASA a check for $12,000 that was collected a result of the Jagged Crash event earlier this year at the Dunes. Contribution resulting from this popular event sponsored by Jagged X have totaled over $25,000 during the past three years. When you see Bill Schueler and his family out at the dunes be sure to thank them for their continued support of ASA.

There will be similar informational meetings held in Ontario (see below for info) and San Diego (date and location TBD)


Sadly, the ASA Benefit Golf Tournament scheduled for May 5, 2008 at the Black Gold Golf Course in Yorba Linda, California has been cancelled. The decision was made in collaboration between the ASA Board of Directors and ASA Golf Tournament Director Mike Wallace. This unfortunate decision was reached as the result of limited participation from the planned event sponsors, as well as golfers that support the event by registering for a round of golf with their friends. The lack of overall participation on all fronts is such that it is not feasible to hold the event this year. During the talks between the ASA Board Members and Mike Wallace, the possibility of having the tournament in 2009 was discussed but a date has not been set as of this time. The ASA would like to assure those of you that have sent in money for sponsorship and golf green fees that your money will be refunded promptly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the ASA Board of Directors at  asaboard@asasand.org , or you can contact Tournament Director Mike Wallace at asagolf@sbcglobal.net . When the decision is made in regards to the date for the 2009 golf tournament, we will be sure to let you know.


There is still one mini cleanup this season, Saturday April 12, at Garbage Flats in the North Dunes. Come lend a hand. Clean Dunes are Open Dunes!


The California League of Off Road Voters (CLORV) is proud to announce the date for their 14th Annual Lobby Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lobby Day is scheduled for April 7th, 2008. Those attending will get an opportunity to walk the halls of Sacramento and meet your representatives and their staff. You will be accompanied by fellow off roaders and briefed on current off road issues to be discussed. If you are interested in attending go to: http://www.clorv.org/ for detailed information.

Help us get the word out.
This is an opportunity for you and your duning friends to learn what's legal and what's not directly from the officers involved.
Dune Info Meeting
Dune Talk, Everything You Need to Know"
August 9th 2008
10:00 am til 3:00 pm

Suspensions Unlimited
451 Kettering Dr.
Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 230-9797

Click below for Directions

Speakers on hand from BLM, U.S. Border Patrol, Imperial County Sheriff, CA State Parks Dept. and DuneSafe
Q & A session: "What's Legal --What's Not"

This event brought to you by the ASA and Suspensions Unlimited
Supported by GlamisDunes.com and DuneSafe.com


We are looking for Volunteers to help with the Extreme Motorsports Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds May 16th-18th.
We need volunteers to spend an hour or two while at the show, either signing up new members, selling merchandise, or raffle tickets for the new Extreme Performance Raffle Car.
Your volunteer efforts are what it takes to help keep our sport alive by maintaining access to sand areas.
If you are going to be there, OR want to come to Costa Mesa to give a couple of hours of help to the ASA, please contact Jon Pergl

What: Extreme Motorsports Expo
Where: Orange County Fairgrounds
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa CA 92626

Admission: $12.00 for Adults - Children 7-12  $5 – Children 6 and under are free
Friday May 16, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m..
Saturday May 17, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday March 16, 2008 from 10:00am to 5:00 p.m.


Effective October 2008: permits purchased at the dunes will cost $120.00 for a season and $40.00 for a week. Save yourself time and money by purchasing your permit before arriving. Pre-purchased permit fees remain unchanged, $90.00 for a season and $25.00 for a week. Permits can be purchased online, by phone, from a vendor on the way to the dunes or best of all, through the ASA!

2008 ASA Giveaway Car Raffle

This year, the ASA Give-Away buggy is a custom built Extreme Performance Eco II car. This is the second car that Extreme Performance has built for the ASA Giveaway Raffle. Tickets are $20 each and the winner will be drawn at the 2008 Sand Sports Super Show, September 21, 2008.
Click here to purchase tickets


As the 2007-08 Dune Season ends, thousands of families have visited the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) this year. While there are still no on-the-ground changes as of yet, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently opened the way for a new Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) to be drafted by finalizing its habitat designation for Peirson’s Milk Vetch (PMV). This designation is based on the past seven years of intensive study on PMV by several different scientists, as well as an economic impact study as required by the Endangered Species Act. 

Officials from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Desert Survivors, and the Sierra Club unjustifiably claim, “the critical habitat does not allow for an adequate recovery plan of the plant” and that the USFWS's Economic Analysis published January 10, 2008, is, “fraudulent and does not take into account all the costs involved.”

Further, they label the latest, peer approved plant data as "junk science." These same organizations offered no scientific data of their own in support of such staunch claims. They simply made their claim in expectation that it would be believed without verification. In fact, they have filed notice of intent to sue and waste more taxpayer money on a needless lawsuit in an attempt to hold up the RAMP. 

Until all of these issues are resolved, and the new RAMP is in place, the American Sand Association (ASA) is reminding all dune users to abide by the existing closures, to pack out their trash, and to obey the traffic laws in the dunes. For more information on the rules at the dunes, please visit the ASA website at www.americansandassociation.org or the Bureau of Land Management website at www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/isdra/dunesinfo.html.


In August 2007, the need for an ASA Press Release (PR) Committee became apparent to users of the ASA's on-line Bulletin Board. Several contributors composed the initial PR in a public forum by posting and revising one after another. Since that time, the PR Committee has moved their work into a Private Forum, where each PR is still composed in the same manner, on-line, using the Bulletin Board. Averaging about one PR per month, the team has focused on promoting those who improve or preserve the dune experience, advertising ASA Meetings, rebutting myths propagated by our adversaries, and addressing fallacies published in the media. The committee, working both proactively and reactively, is the ASA's vocal arm to UNITE, INFORM AND MOBILIZE.

Meet your PR committee. These are committed, long-time off-roaders who hold a vivid passion for the dunes and our lifestyle. Under the supervision of Mike Sommer, ASA Media Affairs Chairman, Mike Reber is the Committee's Chairman. The team is comprised of Vicki Cossey, Gene Elwell, Matt Finley, Robert Hancock, Bryan Henry, Jason Hitesman, Glenn Montgomery and Brandon Woodhouse. Each offers various talents and skills aimed at providing useful and correct information to the media channels.

The ASA's Bulletin Board can be found at: http://www.asasand.org/phpBB2

Keep an eye out for the ASA Press Release!


What is Critical Habitat (CH)?
Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) holds the responsibility to designate CH (point out areas that are notably important habitat) for the listed species. The designation of CH is one of the first steps in the process to opening the temporarily closed areas.

What are the next steps?
The BLM will compose the Recreational Area Management Plan (RAMP) that outlines how the CH area will be administered. While the ASA has requested that the BLM expedite this process, the BLM has expressed reluctance as they want to be sure it is done in a manner that the court will approve it. Currently the draft RAMP is scheduled to be completed within a year from now. After the draft RAMP is released by the BLM, there is a Public Comment Period and a hearing is had to record the Public Opinions.

After the comment period is complete, the BLM is required to do a Consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act with the USFWS to confirm that the RAMP will not adversely affect the Peirson's Milk Vetch (PMV).

Does this mean that more land will be closed off?
Although CH, does not equate to closure of the land, look at it like it could be a closure. The reason for that is that there could be a lawsuit on the PMV claiming that the BLM is not doing enough to protect the plant. While the ASA has provided scientific data in support of the fact that the plant is not endangered nor even threatened, getting the court to concur is a separate challenge. In light of a lawsuit, closing the CH areas to OHV's is the easiest thing for the BLM to do. This action would justify to the Court that the BLM have protected all the areas that the FWS has deemed 'critical'. For this reason, its a very big deal to the ASA that the areas in the Gecko management area were excluded from the CH area.

What can you do to help?
We will need the proactive involvement of our membership and our Business Sponsors, responding with comments to the draft RAMP. This is the duners only opportunity to affect the Court's final rule.


The Arizona State House of Representatives State passed Senate Bill 1167.  The bill is now headed for the State Senate.  It is important that Arizona have an OHV program. The ASA Board of Directors voted unanimously to support SB 1167  for the following reasons:

  • Without an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) registration program in Arizona the California agencies responsible for OHV registration will require Arizona residents to purchase a California Non-resident sticker.  This money could be used to purchase the proposed “indicia” sticker which will be recognized by California.  It would be better for the money to stay in Arizona than to go to California
  • Arizona will loose motorized recreation opportunities without the funding derived from the proposed OHV program,
  • Funding provided by SB 1167 will educate OHV enthusiasts and assure the Arizona agencies will have the resources to enforce the OHV laws.

ADSB - Andrews Dune Scarab Beetle
AMA - Adaptive Management Area
ARA = Arizona Public Records Act
ASMAP - Peirson's Milk Vetch (technical)
BLM - Bureau of Land Management
BLM ECFO - BLM El Centro Field Office
BO - Biological Opinion
BOD - Board of Directors
CA PRA = California Public Records Act
CBD - Center for Biological Diversity
CCC - California Coastal Commission
CDCA - California Desert Conservation Area
CDPA - California Desert Protection Act
CEQA = California Environmental Quality Act
CNPS - California Native Plant Society
CORVA - California Off Road Vehicle Association
CVC - California Vehicle Code
DOJ - Department of Justice
DOI - Department of the Interior
EIR - Environmental Impact Report
EIS - Environmental Impact Study
ECFO - BLM El Centro Field Office
ESA - Endangered Species Act
FLPMA - Federal Land Policy & Management Act
FOIA - Freedom of Information Act
FoOD - Friends of Oceano Dunes (Pismo)
FoDD - Friends of Dumont Dunes
ICBoS - Imperial County Board of Supervisors
SDCSO - San Diego County Sheriff's Office
FTHL - Flat Tail Horned Lizard
GOL - GlamisOnLine.org
IC - Incident Command
ICSO - Imperial County Sheriff Office
ISDRA - Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
MA - Management Area
NECO - North Eastern Colorado Desert Plan
NEPA - National Environmental Policy Act
NEQA = National Environmental Quality Act
ODSVRA - Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area
OHMVR - Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation
OHV - Off Highway Vehicle
OHVEST - Off Highway Vehicle Enforcement Safety Team
ORBA - Off Road Business Association
ORV = Off Road Vehicle
PA - Planning Area
PH SO - Sand food
PMV - Peirson's Milk Vetch
RAMP - Recreation Area Management Plan
ROD - Record of Decision
SDORC - San Diego Off-Road Coalition
SSSS - Sand Sports Super Show
SVRA - State Vehicle Recreation Area
TRT - Technical Review Team
UA - Unlawful Assembly
UDG - United Desert Gateway Communities (local to ISDRA)
USFWS - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
WECO - Western Colorado Desert Plan
WSA - Wilderness Study Area

Please direct questions or comments to: asaboard@americansandassociation.org

Thank you,

The American Sand Association
Unite, Inform, and Mobilize


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