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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Imperial Sand Dunes Season Heats Up As Weather Cools

(Oct 29, 2010) - The new season for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts at the Imperial Sand Dunes and nearby Superstition Mountain recreation areas opens with an emphasis on safety, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today.

According to Margaret Goodro, BLM El Centro Field Office’s new manager, “I’m looking forward to getting out in the desert and meeting the generations of responsible OHV enthusiasts.” She reminded off-roaders that they must limit their speed to 15 mph when within 50 feet of others.

“BLM,” Goodro 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 under 18 years of age is found to be riding without an ATV Safety Certificate or is unsupervised, as required by California state law, the parent or guardian will be ticketed.”  All ATV riders under the age of 14 must be supervised by an adult. More information regarding the ATV RiderCourse, including free enrollment, can be found at www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation.html and then clicking on “Laws and Safety.”

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.

“Have a great ride,” said Goodro, “remember to be safe and responsible, and I look forward to hearing your stories around the campfire!”

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