Email the ASA Board of Directors

What's New in the aSa
January, 2010


With the approaching holidays, off-road enthusiasts look forward to their annual New Year’s Trip to the sand dunes where nighttime glow-sticks and campfires greet friends and family alike. “For our group, the New Years trip is primarily about family,” stated Jason Duke, longtime duner and ASA Member. “This is when we collect our largest group of the year, with many people arriving who we haven’t seen since the last New Year’s trip.” Common sense can keep these good times rolling too. Lock up the toys in your camp at night with a chain or cable, keep explosives out of the campfire and supervise kids while riding. Don’t welcome a Ranger’s citation into your camp by not knowing the general rules about trash on the ground, leashing your dogs, and no glass beverage containers, just to name a few. A complete list of Laws and BLM Rules can be found at the following link: <>

As 2009 ends, the ASA recognizes our community’s successes over the past year. In the south dunes, the Canal Relining Project is now nearly complete. In addition, thanks to the BLM and volunteers, duners in the north dunes and Glamis area are enjoying a new access road in the washes. Another accomplishment this year is measured by the events that did not occur.

The dunes have experienced substantially less injuries and fatalities during 2009 compared to previous years. While this is partially due to the decreased visitor-counts that the BLM has reported, any steward of the dunes can see that increased safety has also played a key role. In the past years, the ASA debuted and distributed several thousand videos titled, "Time Out for Safety, a User’s Guide for Safe Duning," and the State of California enacted enforcement and penalties for the ATV Safety Certification program. The ultimate result of all these variables is the reduced statistics of 2009.

While operating vehicles in the dunes, safety should always be on the forefront of our thoughts. Particularly while in and around camping areas where a maximum speed of 15 mph is to be maintained. In the dunes, helmets and safety whips are a requirement. However, it’s best to also include goggles, gloves, long pants, boots, a chest protector, as well as a cell phone, GPS, tow strap and drinking water. “We always encourage our group to roll through the dunes with an alert mind, constantly looking for other vehicles and dangerous dune features,” Duke stated. “And nobody should ever ride alone!”

In 2010, the dunes will see some new programs, as well as a continuation of past programs. Like an old friend, the 13th Annual Dunes Cleanup will be hosted by United Desert Gateway (UDG) on January 16th. Scheduled to coincide with the MLK holiday weekend, this event is one of the most beneficial ways for volunteers to directly impact the entire Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area (ISDRA). For more information, visit Emergency Air Lift services are now available at Glamis with a newly constructed helicopter landing pad and support trailer. REACH Air Services will transport any trauma victim from the dunes to the hospital that is best equipped to serve.

While this can normally cost thousands of dollars, REACH Air Services offers a group discount to the ASA membership whereby they will conduct the same services at no costs above the membership fee. For more information, visit

Adjacent to the new REACH helicopter pad, and with outstanding efforts from the ADF, ATV Certification Courses are being offered in Glamis by the ATV Safety Institute. ASA Volunteer Mike Reber recently attended one of the courses. “This past Thanksgiving Weekend, I took my six year-old son to the course and, in just a few hours, he earned his certification. The Glamis location couldn’t be more convenient to ourt family!” Under California State Law, every parent has an obligation to be certified while supervising their kids on ATVs. The entire fee for California kids is subsidized by the state. For more information, visit <>.

In closing, 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 Fun Way to Clean Up Your Camping Area
via the ASA Bulletin Board
Recently, an ASA member shared how his family helps keep their camp area free of nails….I would like to share a game we play with our children Taylor (8) and Morgan (5). I have a tool I bought from Harbor Freight that has a large magnet with a three foot handle on it ($10.00 each), it is designed to pick up nails on the shop floor. The game goes as follows: Once they fill up their sand bucket with nails and glass they each get an ice cream from the Ice Cream Truck. The girls spend hours dragging the magnet though the sand in our camp, it gives us adults a break and saves someone from getting a flat tire.

The ASA applauds this family for taking the initiative to keep the desert clean. No one likes nails in their tires. Please don’t bring wood containing metal out to the dunes and always remember to be good stewards of the land.


REACH Helicopter Launches from New Glamis Base
The new helicopter-landing zone behind the Glamis Beach Store was used for the first time Sunday, November 22nd. The proximity of the helicopter proves effective with the fastest response by a local air medical helicopter in history; 7 minutes!  REACH Air Medical flew a total of 26 life saving missions with 4 from the Glamis area, 2 in the south dunes, and 3 flights out in the Ocotillo Wells area.  The rest of the flights were interfaculty transfer flights from Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley and El Centro Regional Medical Center. 

This project was spearheaded by Tim Gantz and Don Wharton through the Kris “Chili Dog” Frick Foundation as well as other contributors to improve medical response time. 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.  REACH plans to stage at the new base on all major holiday weekends. 

ASA’s new Executive Director Nicole Nicholas Gilles attended a recent meeting hosted by American Motorcycle Association’s District 38 at the El Centro Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss law enforcement contacts in the Superstition and Ocotillo Wells riding areas.  Over nine different racing groups and several OHV enthusiasts expressed concern about what they perceived as inappropriate law enforcement contacts with users.

The ASA has received several similar inquiries by visitors in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.  In an effort to gather useful information, ASA members are encouraged to complete a brief questionnaire with the pertinent details regarding your citation or dealings whether they be positive or negative with local law enforcement. To view and submit the form, please click this link:

Please understand that this must be first hand information, not hearsay or third party recollections.  The ASA will not advocate on behalf of anyone’s position regarding a citation.  We cannot and will not be involved in “fighting” your ticket. The intent of gathering this information is to provide an accurate database upon which ASA can carry out effective discussion with law enforcement managers.

Education of our membership and effective communication with the agencies will lead to enhanced relations with the agencies.

American Desert Foundation Forms Partnership to offer ATV Rider Certification Training at ISDRA

A new organization has made a tremendous difference for sand duners to the Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area (ISDRA) this year. The American Desert Foundation has partnered with the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide opportunities to duners for the training of safe and responsible use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) by using ASI’s hands-on, half-day ATV RiderCourse.

The goal is to educate the public, especially parents and children under 16 years of age, about safe ATV operation and how to be an environmentally responsible ATV rider.

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. The fines for riding without a certificate are $125 per rider for the first offense, $250 per rider for the second offense and $500 per rider for the third offense. The American Desert Foundation arranged with Tim Gantz of Dunes Outreach, and the Glamis Beach Store to have a training area for the classes in the vendor area right next to the Glamis Beach Store.

The goal of the American Desert Foundation is to have enough classes for 96 riders to be certified this riding season. According to Ella Harman, the ASI certified instructor, 192 students have passed the course from October through November. Classes are still available on Jan 2, 16, Feb.13, Mar 6, Apr 3 and May 1. Go to the ADF web site, for information on how to register. Don't pass up this opportunity to obtain certifications for you or your children.

The American Sand Association recognizes the hard work the American Desert Foundation and Ella Harman have done to educate young riders and to help them become safer and better riders. This project would not have been possible without the encouragement and cooperation of Neil Hamada with the El Centro Field Office, Bureau of Land Management. As of this writing, no children have lost their lives at the ISDRA this season. Safety awareness is important to all of us, but especially for our children. Invest half a day with your children and encourage them to think about safety. The life you save could be theirs.

Unlawful Assembly, What Is It?
The California Penal Code Section 407 states: Whenever two or more persons assemble together to do an unlawful act, or do a lawful act in a violent, boisterous, or tumultuous manner, such assembly is an unlawful assembly. When the unlawful activities of a group of people escalate to an unmanageable level, in the opinion of the law enforcement officers in charge, they may declare the gathering to be an "Unlawful Assembly" and order the group to disperse.

During holiday weekends the number of visitors at the Imperial Sand Dunes can be in the hundreds of thousands. Along with the influx of law abiding sand sport enthusiasts comes a small segment of people that are not law-abiding. In some cases, they bring along their unlawful behavior that includes a host of felonious acts which can include grand and petty theft, battery, assault with a deadly weapon and rape. Our sport is not unlike other forms of recreation or social gatherings that attract this unsavory segment of our society.

What precipitates the “Unlawful Assembly” call?
The "Unlawful Assembly" call is not something that law enforcement officers do without careful consideration of conditions and crowd dynamics. Officer and public safety is a prime consideration. The use of this law enforcement tactic at Oldsmobile Hill during  past holiday periods was preceded by several unlawful acts such as swinging shovels at riders, throwing bottles, and a generally unruly crowd exhibiting no regard for other recreation enthusiasts. When "Gang-like" activity instills itself within the crowd, the dynamic shifts from recreation to chaotic behavior. This requires immediate law enforcement action for the safety of everyone.

What California Penal Codes are used for enforcement of “Unlawful Assembly”?
Title 11 of the California Penal Code, identifies the elements and punishments for Crimes against the Public Peace. Complete information can be found with an Internet search at
Section 409 states: Every person remaining present at the place of any riot, rout, or unlawful assembly, after the same has been lawfully warned to disperse, except public officers and persons assisting them in attempting to disperse the same, is guilty of a Misdemeanor.

Section 416 states: (a) If two or more persons assemble for the purpose of disturbing the public peace, or committing any unlawful act, and do not disperse on being desired or commanded so to do by a public officer, the persons so offending are severally guilty of a misdemeanor.

Steps are being taken by the law enforcement coalition.
Officers are being deployed early in the afternoon and evening to enforce the laws and rules of the ISDRA. An “Unlawful Assembly” is declared by a consensus of the on-site law enforcement agency coalition leadership of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Imperial County Sheriffs Office (ICSO), and San Diego County Sheriffs Office (SDCO). However, if required, and in the absence of other agencies, the leadership of any individual law enforcement agency may make a declaration. A pinch point is set up on the Oldsmobile Sand Highway to assist in the process of dispersing the “Unlawful Assembly”. These actions are taken to limit the build up of undesirable activities at popular evening gathering spots.

What can the Sand Sport enthusiast do to help?
Be aware of your surrounding conditions. Alert the law enforcement personnel of your observations. When you are requested to leave the area where an “Unlawful Assembly” has been declared, do not delay. As a law abiding sand sport enthusiast it is in your best interest to move through this area in an orderly fashion and leave the area.

When individuals or groups attempt to circle back into an area after an “Unlawful Assembly” has been declared, it creates additional congestion and establishes the elements of “non-compliance” which can lead to more aggressive law enforcement tactics. Your direction of travel must be away from the law enforcement vehicles. Normally you will receive plenty of warning. Law enforcement vehicles will line up. Public address systems announcements will provide guidance followed by law enforcement vehicle emergency lights and then sirens as the area is cleared. Don't delay because it is difficult for the law enforcement personnel to differentiate between you being slow to respond and someone that is unwilling to obey the dispersal order.

Why should you support Law Enforcement actions?
For the safety of you and your family, it is important that the Sand Sport community cooperates and assists the law enforcement coalition. The use of curfews is discussed as a tactic in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan. If unlawful nighttime activities continue to escalate at Oldsmobile and other popular gathering spots, law enforcement personnel may request an expansion of the Glamis Competition Hill holiday curfew. Our future, and the ability to enjoy this sport in the manner to which we are accustomed, directly depends on each of us supporting the law enforcement coalition, acting in a responsible manner, and in being a good neighbor to the ISDRA.

Banning Motorsports ASA Raffle Car

Meet the Camp Hosts

You may have seen them on your visits to the dunes, but do you know them?  Our campground hosts cover both the north and south dunes and help visitors orient themselves to the area.  These hosts answer questions, initiate Emergency Medical Service response, take in lost dogs (and the occasional goat), pick up trash, and generally provide helpful hands and smiling faces when needed the most.  Who are they?  You’re about to find out.

Pat and Jerry Vine, Buttercup Hosts, South Dunes Pat and Jerry have been hosting at the Imperial Sand Dunes for the last 6 years.  Before the Buttercup Ranger Station became a reality, the Vines parked their RV across the street and greeted visitors from beneath a wind-battered canopy.  Now that the station is completed, the Vines staff the public room and keep the building in tip-top shape, freeing up BLM EMS to patrol.  No strangers to campground hosting, Pat and Jerry have spent the last 30 years volunteering as campground hosts across the country, beginning in North Dakota and zigzagging westward:  Montana, California, Nevada and Arizona.  Claiming the El Centro Field Office as the “best ever” location volunteered for, the Vines’ vow to remain as hosts for the next twenty years. 

Bobbie and Bill Pinkerton, Dunebuggy Flats Hosts, South Dunes.
Spending their second year as the campground hosts at Dunebuggy Flats (their first host location), Bobbie and Bill Pinkerton are long time OHV enthusiasts and committed duners since 1986.  Back in the 1960’s, before the dunes drew them in, Bobbie and Bill tore apart their Volkswagen Beetle and converted it to a buggy, exploring the Bullhead, AZ area and apparently starting some sort of a craze.  Today you’ll find the Pinkerton’s bouncing across Dunebuggy Flats in their UTV, picking up trash and checking fee compliance.  With their RV located at the entrance near the restrooms, Bobbie and Bill greet hundreds of visitors as they stream by, eat a lot of dust, and try to keep the speed down at this congested area.  Last place in the world you’d expect to find a retired boat mechanic, but there are the canals nearby…

Seasonal Park Ranger Kelly Boyle (left) gets a ride to a China Wall medical call with the assistance of Rusty Massie (right)

Rusty Massie, (at large) Gecko Road Host, North Dunes Thirty-eight years ago, Rusty offered a helping hand to a fellow duner, and has been doing it ever since.  Whether assisting BLM EMS with medicals by locating incidents and advising further support needed, or transporting staff to remote areas, Rusty had been a sort of visitor go-to guy.  Twelve years ago, Rusty joined the Volunteer Dunes Patrol, making the relationship with BLM more official.  At this time, he became “DP11,” a call sign he maintains to this day.  Available to assist BLM when needed and when visiting the area, Rusty resisted becoming a bonafide campground host for many years to maintain the freedom to travel to other locations during the season.  Finally convinced (or talked into it), Rusty became our most unique campground host, in that you’ll never quite know where the “host” campsite will be located  from year to year. An invaluable help and of immeasurable service, Rusty continues to assist BLM when the going gets tough. So, when you need it most, don’t be surprised to see a guy in an orange buggy coming out to help you.

All of our campground hosts spend a great deal of time making sure a visit to the dunes remains a safe one.  Please acknowledge this dedication and offer up some thanks when you see them.  This place would not be the same without them.

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. Some of the 10 Formulas include a Bone and Joint Formula, a Cardiovascular Formula, a Stress Reducing Formula, an Immune Enhancer Formula, and much more. These formulas are all delivered in liquid form and designed to get into your system in just 3 minutes.

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.

The ASA would like to thank you for your continued support as a member.

United Desert Gateway Sponsors 13th Annual Dune Clean Up

For information on all the Dune clean-ups this season click here:

Long-Time Pro-Access Advocate Passes

Donald Earl Klusman, Jr. 57, of Yuba City, CA, passed away December 23, 2009 at his residence. Born June 25, 1952 in Sacramento, CA. A Yuba-Sutter resident for 40 years, he was the former owner of Don's 4 Wheel Drive, and also a consultant for the State, Federal & Private Organizations to keep Public Lands open to the Public.

Don was a member of the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, S.I.R.S. of Yuba City, Histum Yani R.V. Club. Survivors include his wife Cheri Klusman of Yuba City; daughter Patty Lynn Klusman of Sacramento; son Jeremy Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, IA; granddaughter Shyla Marie Onidas of Sacramento; mother Helen Klusman of Yuba City; sister-in-law & husband, Gayle & Jerry Marta of Yuba City; father-in-law & mother-in-law, Dwight & Norma Dowds of Yuba City; cousins Linda (Frankie) Villanueva of Levenworth, KS, and Donnetta (Dave) Sheffold of Albany, OR; uncle Norman Thompson of Dallas, OR. Preceded in death by his father Donald Earl Klusman, Sr. Memorial services will be conducted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 1:00PM at the Ullrey Memorial Chapel. Inurnment will be private. Memorial contributions can be made to CA4WDC (California 4 Wheel Drive Club Assoc.), 8120 36th Ave., Sacramento, CA 95824. Send & Read Condolences at


The American Sand Association
Unite, Inform, and Mobilize


Please direct questions or comments to:

The aSa Board of Directors