Email the ASA Board of Directors

What's New in the aSa
December, 2009

A Message from Our Chairman
Now that duning season has begun, I want to remind everyone to use the utmost care when duning. We all need to remember that accidents can and do happen. Make sure everyone in your group knows the terrain at the ISDRA. New duners in particular need to know that there are drop offs, razor backs, witches eyes, and other duners that can spell trouble. When you are duning, be aware of other vehicles around you.

Motorcycles and quads can change direction quickly and may cut in front of you or be hard to see. Buggies travel fast and can crest a dune right in your path. Buggies doing wheelies may not be able to see you if you suddenly find yourself in their path. Never jump without a spotter. Watch how you crest the dunes and be alert to what is on the other side. Make sure you have the required whip and flag so you can be seen while duning. Never dune alone and bring water with you to keep you hydrated.

The first trip of the season, I go a little slower at first until I get my mojo back. After taking the summer months off from duning, I need some time to get used to everything again. Don't jump right in and nail the throttle full bore until you are comfortable again. Stop after a short time on that first ride and look things over. Make sure you still have everything you left camp with and nothing important has fallen off or come loose. I hate it when that happens. It could be the difference between a quick fix in the dunes or being towed back to camp.

Anything can happen in the dunes so bring a tow strap and tools with you. That way, you have a better chance of fixing your rig or at least getting back to camp on the end of a tow strap if all else fails.

Side by sides have limitations and can get unstable when pushed beyond their limits. Know what you can and can't do. Please don't let your children ride any vehicle without proper supervision. There are too many dangers to just turn them loose and expect them back at mealtime. Ride with them and show them how to be safe. They need to be taught about the dangers many duners take for granted or don't think about anymore since we "know what we are doing" out there.

Cell phone coverage is improving in the dunes and can help get you the assistance you need. Always make sure someone in your group has a cell phone. I have carried my phone for so long I have learned where to get a signal wherever I am, even at China Wall!

Our safety DVD "Time Out for Safety, a Users Guide for Safe Duning" contains safety tips on duning for every type of vehicle we dune with. Written for new and experienced duners this DVD is provided at no cost to you by the ASA and generous sponsors and is available in the on line ASA Store.

The ASA wants everyone to enjoy the dunes as much and safely as possible. The Board of Directors of the ASA wishes you all a safe and happy holiday season.

See you in the sand!

Bill Jones

ASA Goes to Washington D.C.
In early November, Dick Holliday, ASA treasurer and ASA president Bob Mason spent four days in Washington DC. They were joined by the United Desert Gateway (UDG) Project Manager, Charla Teeters. The ASA and the UDG were invited to speak at the BLM Western Sheriff’s Summit regarding partnership building with the local agencies, the business community, the ASA and UDG.

ASA met with the BLM National Recreation staff to discuss fee collection at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA). The concerns discussed included the apparent BLM non-compliance with the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) that grants the BLM authority to collect fees at ISDRA. The fact that over 30% of the fees collected at ISDRA are used to administer the fee collection process was called to BLM’s attention. BLM was informed that a fee is being collected from campers east of the railroad tracks who have no legal access to the ISDRA. BLM encouraged the ASA to work with the State, District, and local Field Office to resolve our concerns. Click on this link to read the letter sent to several congressmen after the Washington trip.

The ASA delegation also met with BLM Director Robert Abbey to brief him on partnership activities. An invitation was extended to attend the ASA 10th Anniversary celebration to be held at the 2010 Sand Sports Super Show.

A meeting was also arranged with Gary Frazer, Deputy Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). ASA reviewed the involvement of the USFWS Carlsbad office in the youth education program with the addition of information regarding natural resource protection. Mr. Frazer encouraged ASA to work with Mike Fris in the Sacramento office.

ASA’s Washington Legislative Advisor arranged several meetings with Congressmen and their staff members to discuss topics of interest to the sand sport community. This included an opportunity to speak with Congressman Rob Bishop, the ranking minority member of the House Resource Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. The primary topic of discussion was the administration FLREA at the ISDRA. Congressman Bishop offered to assist in calling our FLREA concerns to the attention of the BLM. Click this link to view the full trip report

BLM Will Tow Abandoned Vehicles
BLM has informed the ASA that they will tow unattended vehicles that are reserving camp spaces. According to BLM El Centro Field Office Chief Ranger Kynan Barrios it is a violation of 43 CFR 8365.2-3(c) to leave personal property unattended in a developed recreation site for longer than 72 hours. Under this authority, the BLM can tow and/or remove the property for safekeeping. It is also a violation of state vehicle code section 22523 to abandon a vehicle upon public property. Authority to tow and store abandoned vehicles can be found under CVC 22669. In all instances, the vehicle owner is responsible for the towing and storage of the abandoned vehicles.

New Wash Road, Area Improvements Greet ISDRA Visitors
Below is more information about these new changes and improvement to the ISDRA. Most importantly, however, and as always, Safety amongst all dune users is strongly emphasized.

In response to the Union Pacific Railroad’s decision to restrict public access to its maintenance road, the Bureau of Land Management, El Centro Office (BLM) and several volunteers scrambled in the heat of summer to construct a New Access Road to the Glamis area washes at the ISDRA. The road, designated for street legal vehicles only, is to the west of the old wash road, and provides access to the South from State Route 78 to Wash 25. As posted on the American Sand Association's (ASA) bulletin board: “Volunteers Darin Iezzi, Jay Walls and I, Thom Gell, want to say thanks for the opportunity to be involved in this awesome project.”

This road includes a staging area for several trash dumpsters, which are funded by the Permit Program through the BLM’s trash contract for the 2009/10 season. The ASA reminds all visitors that “Pack it in, Pack it home” will require fewer dumpsters, which will thereby free-up funding for other critical services within the ISDRA. The reason for this is that the BLM is charged for trash collection on a per-tonnage basis.

Some of the popular routes of travel have changed in the Glamis area. No vehicles are allowed on the Original Wash Road or through the Wash 10 under-crossing. Only street legal vehicles can cross the tracks at State Highway 78 and travel on Ted Kipf Road. OHVs can not legally cross over or under the tracks in Glamis or travel on Ted Kipf Road.

Concurrently, all dune users are encouraged to know the law, particularly applicable to youth all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders. According to Vicki Wood, BLM El Centro Field Office manager, “BLM will continue its education campaign to increase awareness and compliance of youth ATV rider rules in effect since 1988. If a child is found to be riding without an ATV Safety Certificate or is unsupervised, the parent or guardian will be ticketed.” In response, the American Desert Foundation is offering ATV Rider Certification classes at Glamis this year to fulfill the California State requirements. These ASI certified 1/2-day classes will be held on selected dates, now through May, 2010. For dates and times, visit

The ASA wants to remind all visitors to take a “Time Out for Safety.” A DVD by this same name is available online at the ASA web-site for only the cost of shipping and handling. The DVD covers all manners of hazards that may be found in the dunes, and provides tips and techniques for everyone to have a safe, enjoyable holiday.

The ASA would like to extend a warm welcome to all dune visitors this season, and remind fellow enthusiasts that the ASA web-site has a vast amount of information and resources related to the off-roading hobby. To access this information and learn more about the ISDRA, please visit

A New Way To Support The ASA
Recently, the American Sand Association partnered with GBG, a Health and Wellness company, for a special fundraising program that has the possibility to significantly benefit the ASA. GBG has been in business for the past 14 years, it is also owned by a fellow off-roader and sand duning enthusiast named Stuart Finger who lives in Northern California.

Here's some information about GBG as well as how the fundraising program works. If you are currently using vitamins or know that you should, we would like to encourage you to check out GBG's great tasting liquid 10-in-One Super Formula.

Not only is this vitamin scientifically engineered under strict health standards, it is competitively priced compared to supplements in retail stores. The primary difference is that when you purchase the items through ASA's GBG web-site, proceeds from your 10-in-One purchases will be sent directly to the ASA.
This is your chance to both improve your health and support the ASA. To learn more, simply visit the ASA's exclusive GBG web-site by clicking on this link: < >.

Proceeds from your purchases will benefit the ASA by helping pay for legal fees, biological studies, and other expenses that are incurred in the battle to keep public lands open for off-road vehicle use.

Reach Helicopter Landing at Glamis
REACH Air Medical has joined the Kris "Chili-Dog" Frick foundation with the launching of the ground paramedic program in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. The KCDF foundation has also precipitated a memorandum of understanding that is pending between ASA and REACH which will solidify the innovative contributions that both organizations will create together. One example of this has been the creation of the new auxiliary air ambulance base located near the Glamis Store. This project was spear-headed by Tim Gantz and Don Wharton and many other contributors to turn this dream into a reality. The purpose of this auxiliary air base is to strategically locate their valuable resource near the heart of the Imperial Sand Dune Recreational area for rapid response in the event of a medical emergency. REACH Air Ambulance in partnership with the ASA will continue to build upon this creative foundation that has been laid in a few short months. The new helicopter landing zone behind the Glamis Beach Store was used for the first time Sunday, November 22nd. The LZ is open to all "life flight" air craft at Glamis.

Reach Trailer

Arizona Dirt & Sand Expo


The ASA Board invited the owner of the Boardmanville Store to participate in the Board conference call on Nov 17. ASA provided contact info to the store proprietor to assist in looking for a resolution to access issues associated with the Ted Kipf road and access at Wash 10.

ASA Hires Executive Director
During the past ten years the ASA has relied on the dedication of volunteers to accomplish its mission. This support and management has been the foundation by which the ASA has grown into the professional organization that it is today. Because of the extent of ASA activities and to bring the organization to the next level, the board voted to hire an Executive Director to continue the ASA scope of work in a professional manner.

“Continuity of governmental affairs, business and membership communications programs are critical to our success”, stated ASA President Bob Mason. “The Board of Directors recognizes that we have reached the point where ASA needs a dedicated Executive Director to maintain our contacts and relationships with local, state and federal agencies. If the ASA is going to maintain Sand Sport recreation opportunities at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area and other recreation venues, we must continue to operate in a business-like manner.”

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nicole Nicholas Gilles has been selected to be the ASA Executive Director beginning in December of 2009. Gilles is a long time resident of the Imperial Valley and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Brawley Chamber of Commerce and the Brawley Economic Development Commission. She is currently the President of the United Desert Gateway and a dedicated duner. Gilles’ husband, Bob lived in Glamis for 22 years and helped his dad operate the family buggy repair business known as "Dirty Bob’s".

According to Bill Jones, ASA Board Chairman, “Gilles will provide the day to day management of many important functions that are spelled out in a detailed job description.” Jones continued by stating “ ASA will continue to rely on volunteers for most of our functions such as the treasurer’s duties, newsletter preparation and managing the support required at many events such as the annual Sand Sports Super Show.” Gilles will also assist in providing timely communications with the membership and news media on matters affecting the ASA and Sand Sport recreation.

The ASA is excited to have Gilles in this important new role. Your continued support of the ASA is greatly appreciated.

ISDRA Visitation is Down
According to BLM and reports from Glamis vendors, visitation over the Halloween holiday was down as much as 50%. The impact of the nationwide economic turndown is showing up at the dunes. Also interesting to note is the BLM reports that over 90% of the ISDRA permits are being purchased off-site this season.

Banning Motorsports takes the ASA Raffle Car to NASCAR
The ASA raffle car was on display at the Phoenix NASCAR thanks to Banning Motorsports Race Team Manager Andy Megaw and his wife. They spent three days selling tickets and promoting the ASA. Their effort added $3,000 to the ASA treasury. Look for the car at the Broken Bikes concession at Buttercup over Thanksgiving. The car will return to Phoenix for the Arizona Dirt and Sand Expo on December 12 and 13 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. After the first of the year the Banning Motorsports will display the car at several off-road races.

American Desert Foundation Update
The American Desert Foundation (ADF) has been busy partnering with various agencies to improve the Glamis experience for all visitors. The American Desert Foundation was established in 2008 as a non profit organization to promote safety, education and protecting the desert's ecosystems.

The ADF received a Kawasaki Teryx Halloween weekend to be used by the BLM Camp Hosts in Buttercup. Kawasaki showed they support the duning community by providing a brand new green Teryx. When you see the Teryx working hard at Buttercup remember where it came from. Thank you to Kawasaki!

Currently the ADF is providing ATV safety training classes at Glamis with the ATV Safety Institute to promote safe riding and encourage young riders to be good stewards of our public lands. Ella Harman is the ASI instructor on site at Glamis and Ella has received enthusiastic responses from students taking the classes. For more information on these classes and when they are being held, please visit the web site:

The ADF is also delivering 5 defibrillators to the Cahuilla Ranger Station in time for Thanksgiving Weekend. These devices called AEDs will be used by emergency response teams at the North and South dunes in the event of heart problems. These AEDs will supplement the AEDs the BLM owns and shorten response times in the event of an emergency. The Kris "Chili Dog" Frick Foundation (KCDF), who also provides medical EMT services at Glamis, will have more equipment to help us when we need them.

Unlawful Assembly
During the Halloween holiday the law enforcement supervisor at Oldsmobile Hill observed conditions that warranted an unlawful assembly decision. Apparently a large group of people gathered in the vicinity of a vehicle with a stripper pole. The activities were such that law enforcement declared the unlawful assembly to disburse the group. Law enforcement endeavors to keep the lines of travel open to provide for emergency medical and law enforcement access. When access is encumbered by vehicles or people law enforcement will take steps to remedy the situation. When an unlawful assembly is declared you should leave the area immediately. Moving toward law enforcement personnel or a law enforcement vehicle could lead to an undesirable result. Law enforcement personnel carry and may use pepper ball deterrent.

BLM Will Tow Abandoned Vehicles
BLM has informed the ASA that they will tow unattended vehicles that are reserving camp spaces. According to BLM El Centro Field Office Chief Ranger Kynan Barrios it is a violation of 43 CFR 8365.2-3(c) to leave personal property unattended in a developed recreation site for longer than 72 hours. Under this authority, the BLM can tow and/or remove the property for safekeeping. It is also a violation of state vehicle code section 22523 to abandon a vehicle upon public property. Authority to tow and store abandoned vehicles can be found under CVC 22669. In all instances, the vehicle owner is responsible for the towing and storage of the abandoned vehicles.

BLM - Imperial Sand Dunes Season Ramps Up With New Road, Increased Emphasis on Safety

The new season for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area opens with the newly constructed Wash Road and an increased emphasis on safety, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today.

According to Vicki Wood, BLM El Centro Field Office manager, “The new road allows the public continued access to camping areas via street-legal vehicles south to Wash 25 from State Highway 78.” The new road has a speed limit of 15 mph and parallels a road on Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way that the public will no longer be able to use.

“Camping too close to Gecko Road, continues to be a safety concern,” says Wood. “Along this main transportation artery of the North Dunes, parking or camping within 10 feet of the road is prohibited. BLM rangers and the Imperial County sheriff’s office can issue tickets and tow vehicles to achieve compliance.”

“BLM,” Wood said, “will continue its education campaign to increase awareness and compliance of youth all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rider rules in effect since 1988. A rider course is offered throughout California and on-site at the Dunes during winter months. If a child is found to be riding without an ATV safety certificate or is unsupervised, the parent or guardian will be ticketed.”

California state law requires that all ATV riders under 18 years of age possess an ATV safety certificate issued by the state or be supervised by an adult possessing the certificate. All ATV riders under the age of 14 must be supervised by an adult. More information regarding the ATV rider course, including free enrollment, can be found at or by calling the ATV Safety Institute, (800) 887-2887.

The Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in California. They were formed by windblown sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla and extend more than 40 miles in a dune system averaging five miles in width. More than a million off-highway vehicle enthusiasts recreate annually on the Dunes, which can rise more than 300 feet above the desert floor. The Dunes also offer unique scenery, as well as opportunities for solitude and viewing rare plants and animals.

Arizona OHV Decal Compliance Levels Unacceptable
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is reinforcing earlier efforts to get all OHV owners in the state to take part in the new OHV Decal program that went into effect Jan. 1, 2009. As the department has been promoting for the last year, all Arizona OHVs that are primarily designed by the manufacturer for use over unimproved terrain and have an unladen weight of 1800 pounds or less are required by Arizona Revised Statute to display an OHV Decal.

In the latest report from the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), only about 21 percent of all eligible OHVs and OHV owners are taking part in the new program.

“Twenty-one percent is well below the projected participation rate and is disappointing considering the value of this new program,” said Larry Voyles, Director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, “This user play user pay program will provide the resources needed to promote safe, and responsible OHV use ultimately providing the tools to help ensure access.”

The benefits of the OHV Decal program include information and education efforts, facility development and maintenance, maps, signage and increased enforcement. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is currently hiring seven law enforcement officers that will focus their efforts on OHV specific issues across the state.

“Revenue from the OHV Decal program is what is allowing the department to hire these seven new OHV officers” said Joe Sacco, Arizona Game and Fish Department OHV program coordinator, “In just about every OHV related public meeting held over the last four years building the legislation, law enforcement was one of the areas that the OHV community asked for increased resources to help ensure access. The OHV Decal program was created to help provide these resources. Compliance is critical for this program to be successful and for the future of OHV use in Arizona”.

Other projects that are being funded through the OHV Decal program include the new OHV Laws and Places to Ride booklet that is an ongoing joint venture between Arizona State Parks and the Game and Fish Department. A continued grant program to help clean up and restore riding areas and new informational outreach items like riding area maps will be created in the future.

The OHV Decal costs $25 and is good for one year from the date of purchase. It can be obtained at any MVD office, MVD third party service provider or online at
For more information about the OHV Decal program or OHV use in Arizona visit

Pack It Home

BLM has recently entered into a new contract for trash service at ISDRA. The contract fees are based on the amount of trash actually hauled. If you pack your trash home this means BLM pays less and your fee money can be used for other services like maintenance of the wash road, more emergency medical technicians (EMT), etc.

The cost of ISDRA trash:  $200,500.00  

Assuming the level of trash collection remains the same as last season, this service will cost $200,500.00.  Based on a sliding scale, this cost will increase as the volume of trash increases; conversely, it will decrease as the volume decreases.

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.

The American Sand Association
Unite, Inform, and Mobilize


Please direct questions or comments to:

The aSa Board of Directors