Citizens Group Recommends Increased Public Involvement In BLM Fee Development
Editor‘s note: Many of our ProPickup readers hunt, fish, ride and drive on public land. Participation in the process is a good way to ensure future access for recreational users of the vast expanse of land we own together. Here’s one group’s efforts in California:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) met on Saturday December 3, 2011 in Redondo Beach, CA. The DAC is a citizen’s advisory council, appointed by the US Secretary of Interior that provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on the management of 11 million acres (17 thousand square miles) of public lands in eight counties of Southern California.
Last year, the BLM tasked the DAC with a review of recreation fee policies. The DAC took this review on at their December 3, 2011 meeting and have made several recommendations to the BLM that affect implementation of user fees at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) and Dumont Dunes.
The DAC recommendations encourage the BLM to develop a “Standard Report Format” that provides the public with information relating to fee revenue collected and how this revenue is used. A yearly budget was specifically requested.
In addition the DAC requested that BLM investigate the implementation of a second vehicle permit for the Dumont Dunes and the ISDRA. It was suggested that this program be available for the 2012-13 recreation season.
And most important of all, the DAC asked the BLM to reduce the cost of fee collection before any additional fee increase is proposed. This is particularly important since the cost of collection currently approaches 40% of the revenue collected at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.
American Sand Association (ASA) President, Bob Mason said “this is a major step forward in providing the dune visitors a greater voice in the determination of recreation fees.” Mason further noted that “these recommendations are clearly supported by the intent and spirit of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act adopted by Congress in 2004.” Mason continued by asking “Sand Sport” enthusiasts to contact BLM Management to encourage them to seriously consider implementing these DAC recommendations.
Send your support of the DAC recommendations to Margaret Goodro, BLM El Centro Office Field Manager at 1661 S 4th Ave, El Centro, CA, 92243 or [email protected]
Full DAC recommendations to the BLM made be downloaded at: http://www.americansandassociation.org/access_files.php?dir_all=/BLM_Documents/DAC%20Fee%20recommendations%2012_3_2011&dir_member=
About the American Sand Association
The American Sand Association (ASA) is a non-profit organization with more than 34,000 members dedicated to preserving the use of public lands for sand sport enthusiasts use, improving OHV safety and promoting responsible land use. The ASA is a volunteer organization and it relies on the financial support of sand sport enthusiasts and small businesses. Most of the members are family-oriented, have a rich family history going back for generations enjoying the