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What's New in the aSa

In this Issue:

The Cost of

Trash. Overflowing trash dumpsters along Wash Road in the Imperial Sand Dunes.  Graphic:  BLM 

Duners, Dollars, and the Disappearing Dumpster.

The collection of trash from the dumpsters is paid for out of money collected through recreation fees.  The 2007/2008 season brought rising fuel costs and dwindling fee revenues.  These two factors combined to price this service out of range.  As a result, beginning

February 1, 2009, trash service will no longer be available.

Why does ASA support the BLM plan to remove the ISDRA dumpsters?

During the past year it has been clearly obvious that the ISDRA fee collection program will not support all of the services currently provided by BLM. There are several choices. Among the alternates considered was the reduction of visitor services such as emergency medical services or trash collection. Of course, an increase in the ISDRA fee could be used to pay for trash collection. With these options in mind the ASA chose to support the BLM decision.

When dumpsters are unavailable (or full) as you leave the area, please do the right thing and

Please Pack Your Trash Home.

Trash left on the ground is not only a citable offense,* but a significant eyesore and health & safety issue.

*CA Penal Code 374.4 or 43 CFR 8365.1-1(b) 1-6; punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months.

10 good reasons to pack your trash home

Chances are you already pay for trash service at home.  Do you really want to pay for it twice?

 It will save you money.  Leaving trash on the ground earns you a hefty ticket.

 Helps keep recreation fees down and visitor services up.

 Allows park rangers to concentrate on providing more useful visitor services, rather than picking up your trash.

 Encourages recycling, at the dunes and at home.

 Improves the image of duners, and the perception others have of you.

 Your kids play in this sand.  Think about it.

 Protects wildlife and natural resources.

 Reduces congestion at exit points, getting you on the road that much sooner.

 Instills a stewardship ethic and encourages responsibility amongst youngsters.  Besides, it's the right thing to do.


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Union Pacific Railroad Plans

The aSa has learned that due to the recent down turn in the economy the Union Pacific railroad will cut back on their double track project adjacent to the dunes. They will double track as far as the Cactus Siding this year, which is closer to Olgiby along the RR tracks (at approximatley Wash 40). The long term plan of the Railroad is to begin construction of the section from Cactus to Niland in 2010. The Railroad plans to ultimately double track the entire length along the dunes and replace all of the culverts, including Wash 10. The new Wash 10 culvert will NOT accommodate vehicles.

The Railroad plans to start a fence project this week or next. It will be from about Wash 29 to Wash 1 near the BLM kiosk. It will be open at each wash in increments of 10 feet (i.e. 30 or 40 feet). The Railroad believes the train wreck a year ago was caused by sand. The fence is intended to minimize this concern.

The Railroad will continue to allow the BLM and the public to access the dunes via the Wash Road which is within their right of way. However, that could change as the Railroad management may elect to withdraw this privilege at anytime. Remember when you are driving or riding on Wash Road you are on Railroad property!

The only place to cross the railroad tracks will be at Highway 78. All other railroad crossings will be removed or chained off. This includes the crossing at Wash 38 and Wash 23.

Please respect the Railroad's property. Be cautious of changing conditions along Wash Road during construction and in the future.

A note of caution--- The local Union Pacific manager understands the value of the Wash Road to the ISDRA visitors. However the Omaha management will make the call on the Wash Rd. Factors such as dust abatement and liability issues resulting from irresponsible speed, crossing the tracks with OHVs, etc will be important factors in their assessment. It would probably be wise to limit the contacts to Union Pacific to the BLM. BLM understands the value of the wash road and has been successful in maintaining duner access so far. 

Ted Kipf Road to Bordmanville
According to the ICSO, Ted Kipf Road in the ISDRA, as Wheeler and Pane Roads in the Superstitions, is a county maintained/improved road by the Public Works Department of Imperial County.  This means that Off Road traffic is permitted to be on the road only when crossing at a 90-degree angle and is not permitted to drive down this road. Any vehicle that is not street-legal navigating this road is subject to a citation from a Deputy/Officer/Ranger.

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Do you know the speed limit on Gecko Road?

While much of Gecko Road is designated as 35MPH there is a section near the Cahuilla Ranger Station, that is designated as 15MPH. Law Enforcement IS enforcing this speed limit and tickets have been issued to violators recently. Please know and obey the POSTED speed limits or run the risk of being cited.

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In An Emergency
It is usually best not to transport an injured person from an accident scene before medical personnel arrive. Moving a victim improperly can make an injury worse, particularly when the injury is to the head, neck, or back. If possible, send someone to notify a Bureau of Land Management Ranger or call 911. Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates are extremely useful in locating the victim quickly.

Contact: Don Wharton
REACH Director of Business Development / Pilot

REACH Air Medical Services Provides Helicopter Service in Southern California

Critical Life-Saving Medical Resource in Imperial Valley and Beyond

EL CENTRO, CA – Nov. 7, 2008— REACH Air Medical Services (REACH) extended its emergency helicopter service to Southern California on July 1, 2008.  REACH, located at Imperial County Airport, is available 24-hours-a-day, and provides rapid response to patients in need of emergent air medical flights from the scene of accidents or from hospitals throughout the region.

  • El Centro Regional Medical Center and Pioneers Memorial Hospital have entered into an exclusive arrangement whereby REACH will provide air medical services for patients requiring emergency air transports to or from their respective facilities.
  • REACH ’s Imperial County base operates a Eurocopter EC 135, helicopter which will be used jointly between the two local hospitals to provide air support in the event of medical emergencies.
  • The Eurocopter features the latest aviation and safety technology: night vision capabilities, Federal Aviation Administration-approved global-positioning system and twin engines for quicker response times. The EC 135 helicopter is able to reach any part of Imperial County within 20 minutes.
  • REACH is staffed 24/7 with a pilot, a critical care flight nurse and a critical care paramedic.
  • In addition to emergency transport services, REACH also provides the hospitals with a one-call patient referral and transport center through REACH’s 24/7 Critical Access communication center.
  • In addition to emergency helicopter services, REACH, in partnership with Aeromedevac, will provide 24/7 emergency airplane services as well. 
  • REACH has a membership program, REACH for Life.  As a member, you pay nothing for emergency air medical transport provided by REACH or one of our reciprocating service partners (Cal-Ore Life Flight of Western Oregon and Enloe Flight Care of Chico, California). We will bill your insurance carrier and accept their payment as payment in full. This allows you or your family member to focus on getting well instead of worrying about the expense of your injury or illness.

About REACH:  REACH Air Medical Services, headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, supports operations in Concord, El Centro, Lakeport, Lodi, Marysville, Redding, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa, California as well as Corvallis, Oregon. REACH provides air medical transport services utilizing rotor- (helicopter) and fixed-wing (airplane) aircraft regionally, nationally and worldwide and has performed approximately 40,000 air ambulance missions since its inception in 1987. REACH offers a membership program, REACH for Life; a primary benefit of membership is the guarantee of no out-of-pocket expenses when members are transported by REACH or a REACH service partner within the areas served. REACH has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS) since 1998.

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Did you know that the aSa has an On-Line Bulletin Board?

Looking for a new Dune Group to camp with?

Want to ride the Summer Dunes of the ISDRA under a full moon?

Want to join our 2008 Monster Ride?

You can find it all here!

You can ask questions, post an Ad for a vehicle you might be selling, or just chat it up with a friendly community of like minded duners.
In the Duner Connection Forum, you can connect with our family oriented members, meet out in the Dunes and camp & ride together.
"After being an aSa Member for years, I discovered the Bulletin Board one day on aSa's Website. Since then, it has proven to be the vehicle to stay informed of current issues and get to know other duners", stated Mike 'Woodglue' Reber, aSa Bulletin Board Moderator.

Get all the information you need for the Dune Season from the aSa's Bulletin Board!

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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! 

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Metal in firewood could get you a Ticket 

Do Not Burn Pallets

Do not burn pallets or wood with nails!

Effective January 1, 2008, campfires at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area and Heber Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area must contain only untreated wood products free from metal, petroleum products, and other toxic substances. In addition, no persons shall possess, ignite, or burn pallets of any kind including those made of wood, fiber, or plastic within these recreation areas.
At the ISDRA, the burning of pallets will get you a citation for nails in your fire pit on the basis of the rules that cover littering. ISDRA is in the process of adopting a rule similar to that of the Barstow Field office for Dumont Dunes. See below.

The Dumont Dunes staff enforces the CA Firewood Rule.

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New AZ OHV Law as of 1/1/09

Attached is a news release from the AZ G&F Dept re the new AZ OHV Law and decal. There are a few unanswered questions remaining. The AZ Motor Vehicle Division is responsible for setting the price before 1/1/09. As more information becomes available aSa will inform its members accordingly. Please contact Jim Harken AZGFD, Public Information Officer 623 236 7223 to learn more.

AZ Fish & Game

Jim Harken, (623) 236-7223
AZGFD, Public Information Officer



Arizona Game and Fish Department
For immediate release, Nov. 10, 2008
Learn more about new OHV laws taking effect Jan. 1, 2009

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has a new Web page designed to inform off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts about new laws that will affect OHV use starting Jan. 1, 2009.

A Web link at will take you to a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the new laws and the rules and regulations. Some of the provisions include:

  • The requirement to purchase an annual “OHV Decal” for any OHV designed by the manufacturer primarily for off-highway use and weighing 1,800 pounds or less, in order to operate that OHV in Arizona. This generally includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides (utility vehicles), dirt bikes, and some sand rails. The OHV Decal can be purchased through the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) after Jan. 1. MVD should announce the cost of the Decal soon.
  • 4X4’s, trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), cars, and other recreational vehicles (motor homes) are not required to purchase the OHV Decal. You will need to purchase a State Land Recreational Use permit to have your truck/trailer on any State Land, the Decal only works for the OHV decribed above.
    Nature Rules! Stay On Roads And Trails!
  • Travel is limited to roads, trails and areas that are designated open by the land management agency for motorized vehicle use.
  • Travel by motorized vehicles that causes damage to wildlife habitat, riparian areas, cultural or natural resources, or property or improvements is prohibited.
  • OHVs generating sound greater than 96 decibels must have a muffler or other noise dissipative device.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 will be required to wear a properly fitted and fastened USDOT approved helmet when riding any OHV.

The new laws were passed thanks in large part to a joint effort between Arizona sportsmen, conservation groups, off-highway vehicle (OHV) user groups, elected officials, and other members of the public. The goal of the new regulations is to provide better OHV management and protection of natural resources while maintaining access. For more information go to:

The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.

end press release

The following information has been provided by BLM El Centro Field Office Chief Ranger. The Imperial County Sheriff's office and the CA State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division will follow the same procedure.

Until 1/1/09, to be legal in California, you must have a California Non-Resident Sticker, Arizona MC, or RV plate. Neither the California nor Arizona OHV registration allows you to ride on highways in California. It allows you to ride off-highway. If you have a VIN or other unique identification number affixed to the OHV, and it matches your registration you are in compliance with the law. Remember:

1) a VIN / identification number must match your registration; and

2) you must have a California Non-Resident Sticker, Arizona MC, or RV plate attached on the left side, facing the rear, of your OHV.

3) Once the Arizona OHV program is fully implemented, you will also be required to comply with the Arizona OHV laws. California will honor your Arizona registration and OHV decal as long as it is properly displayed.

California residents must have a VIN / identification number affixed to the vehicle. The VIN / identification number must match your registration, and you must have an OHV green or red sticker.

Vehicles can be impounded if they do not meet these requirements.

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Know the ISDRA Rules & Regulations -- Law enforcement is cracking down!

Rules are designed to promote public safety in the Imperial Sand Dunes and have been in effect since 1983. It is your responsibility to know the law. These rules apply to public lands within the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

RECREATION PERMIT. A permit is required for all primary vehicles; a primary vehicle is a street legal vehicle used for transportation to the recreation site. Permits must be purchased on or before arrival and visibly displayed in the windshield of the primary vehicle with the date side facing out.

SAFETY FLAGS ARE REQUIRED ON ALL VEHICLES IN THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREA (This includes two-wheeled motorcycles.) All vehicles shall be equipped with a whip mast and a 6x12-inch red/orange flag. Flags may be of pennant, triangle, square, or rectangular shape. Masts must be securely mounted on the vehicle and extend eight 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 safety flag, or on another whip.

No person shall operate an OHV in excess of 15 mph on public lands within 500 feet of Highway 78, Grays Well Road, Gecko Road and access roads within the Gecko and Roadrunner recreation sites.

NO SAVING SPACES. Reserving of camping spaces is prohibited; sites are allocated on a first come/first serve basis.

FIRES. The burning of potentially hazardous materials e.g.(but not limited to) gas, oil, plastic and magnesium is prohibited.

Possession or use of any glass, cup or bottle, empty or not, used for carrying any liquid for drinking purposes is prohibited. Persons may pick up glass beverage containers discarded by others to remove for deposit in approved trash receptacles.

NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ALLOWED WHILE RIDING ON BLM LANDS. No person shall drink an alcoholic beverage, have in their possession or on their person any open container that contains an alcoholic beverage while operating in or on a motor vehicle or OHV on public lands administered by BLM within California.

USE OF AUDIO DEVICES. No person shall operate or use any audio, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, or other noise producing device or motorized equipment between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in a manner that makes unreasonable noise that disturbs other visitors; or operate or use a public address system without written authorization from BLM.

PUBLIC NUDITY. Public nudity is prohibited in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

UNAUTHORIZED ORGANIZED EVENT. No person shall participate in or sponsor an unauthorized organized event (Example bands, videos, movies etc. ).

RIDING IN PICKUP BEDS AND OTHER UNSAFE ACTIVITIES. No person shall ride in the bed of a pickup truck or any part of a motor vehicle not designed for passengers on or off road.
AIRCRAFT. Taking off or landing of aircraft, including ultralights, is prohibited within one (1) mile of Gecko Road.

DUMPING. Dumping of sewage (black) and/or gray water is prohibited.

CAMPING LIMITATIONS. A 14 day camping limit is in effect in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

PARKING RESTRICTIONS. No parking or camping within 10 feet of pavement on Gecko Road.

SHOOTING. Shooting is prohibited within 1/2 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 not longer than six feet and secured to a fixed object or under the control of a person, or otherwise physically restricted at all times.

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aSa Giveaway Raffle Car & Trailer
This year, the aSa Giveaway buggy is a custom built Sand Limo. This is the SECOND car that SAND LIMO has built for the aSa Giveaway Raffle. H & H Trailer Company of Kingman, AZ donated a flat bed trailer that goes with the Sand Limo. This all aluminum trailer includes a built in winch and a hydraulic tilting cylinder. This will make your raffle tickets even more valuable. If you already bought tickets, you are eligible to win this outstanding package. Tickets are $20 each and the winner will be drawn at the 2009 Sand Sports Super Show, September 20, 2009. You do NOT have to be present to win.

The actual trailer will be 20' long & 102” wide floor and drive over fenders.

Christmas Gift Special

Support the aSa  and keep your dunes open - Purchase your Sand Limo Raffle Car Tickets Now

The more you buy, the more you save, the better your odds of winning 
Buy 1 for $20, 3 for $50,  6 for $100, 12 for $200 or 24 for $400

Tickets are limited to only 7,500. Purchase your tickets now before they are all gone!

 Winners Need Not be Present (additional rules apply)
For Mail Orders Send
Check or Money Order to
Sand Limo Buggy Raffle
Box 1872
Canyon Country, CA 91286

or call 888 540-SAND

Click here to purchase tickets

If you would like to help sell tickets for our annual fundraiser please send an email to:
The aSa Volunteer Coordinator

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Citations, Where does your money go?

On numerous occasions posts on the aSa bulletin board indicate that many ISDRA visitors do not understand the disposition of the revenue collected as a result of citation fines. I'm sure you have heard many reasons why tickets are written. Some say that the the funds go to pay for the LEO's wages. The following is the response to questions that were posed to the BLM, ICSO and CA State Parks law enforcement leadership:

Is there a difference between tickets written by BLM, ICSO and the State Parks?

Is the fine the same for the same violation?
It depends on what type of citation is issued. County ordinances, state law, and federal law have different bail schedules. There are a variety of federal, state and county laws and ordinances that an officer can choose from when issuing a citation.

Do I have to appear in court for a federal, county or state citation?
On a federal citation you have to go to court only if you want to contest the citation or if the mandatory appearance box was checked by the federal officer. You do not have to go to court for county ordinance citations. Most California Vehicle Code infractions do not require a mandatory court appearance. State Park regulations may be charged as either an infraction or a misdemeanor, but are rarely mandatory appearance.

Where does the money I pay go?

Federal citation
Funds collected from the payment of petty offense cases are deposited into the Crime Victims Fund. The Crime Victims Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 and is a major funding source for victim services throughout the country. For more information about the Crime Victims Fund and how the funds are disbursed, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at The $25 processing fee is used to offset court costs.

State citation
California Vehicle Code (CVC) requires that fines and forfeitures for OHV violations (CVC Division 16.5) be used by the county for OHV enforcement (CVC 42204).

County citation
To Imperial County (ex: OHVEST, IC Arson & Bomb).

Can BLM Rangers write citations on a county ordinance?
Yes, if the County Sheriff has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with BLM giving BLM officers authority to issue citations for state and local violations.

Can BLM Rangers write citations on fireworks?

Can BLM Rangers write citations on ISDRA permit compliance? 

Can BLM Rangers write citations on other violations? 

How does a federal citation differ from a county ordinance citation for failure to have an ISDRA permit?
A federal citation is for a federal offense.

County ordinance citations are for violations of county ordinances, enacted by the county.

Citations may also be issued under state law (Penal Code 537).

If I fail to pay the citation is my vehicle registration affected?
Yes. The penalty for nonpayment must be paid before you may renew your registration. A warrant may also be issued for your arrest (county, state or federal).

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Wrist Restraints

We're sure you know what wrist restraints are but, do you have them, and if so, do you use them?

Recently, one of our members rolled his car in the dunes while making a slow (20 MPH) right hand turn. The person following saw the driver's arms swing over his head as the car rolled on to the left side then come to rest on its roof.

The driver's left arm was trapped under the roll cage and his injuries included a compound fracture of both the ulna and radius bones along with broken bones in his hand.

He came extremely close to losing his hand. However due to some very intricate surgical work, the surgeon was able to "lasso" the bones together to keep them from splintering and eventually installed metal plates, pins and screws. The surgeon said that it would take at least 8 months to heal and if it didn't heal, the only other alternative is to remove his hand and part of his forearm.

The bottom line is this, buy wrist restraints and use them every time you drive your sand car.

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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
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

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Please direct questions or comments to:

The aSa

Thank you,

The American Sand Association
Unite, Inform, and Mobilize