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BLM-California News.bytes
News.bytes Extra, issue 485

Imperial Sand Dunes season wraps up

A BLM ranger presents a T-shirt to a young ATV rider
A young rider receives his Dune Guard T-shirt.
Another season has wrapped up at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.  More than one million riders visited the area, although this is down by 10% from the previous year.  Emergency medical calls were down by 20%.  Of seven reported fatalities, four were off-highway vehicle related.

A total of 484 youngsters attended the ATV Safety Certification courses sponsored by the American Desert Foundation sponsored.  That is a significant increase over last year’s 180 children.  Training locations added in the South Dunes and at Superstition Mountain OHV Open Area accounted for this increase in attendance.  Offered free to CA residents age 6-17 years old,  the program had its start in 2009.  Since then, 664 young riders have received this important and required training.

A focus on safety education introduced a new children’s program, "Dune Guard." This program recognized young riders for responsible and safe riding and rewarded them with a T-shirt.  Additionally, thousands of Frisbees tossed to visitors during camp contacts and at popular hill locations shared safety messages and helped get the word out.

While the Imperial Sand Dunes remain open for recreation the entire year, summer visitors should be aware of the extreme heat and take precautions.  Please note the Cahuilla and Buttercup Ranger Stations have closed for the season -- dial 9-1-1 during any emergency.  Visitors will still need to purchase a permit -- visit www.imperialsanddunes.net to purchase online or find a location along your route of travel to the dunes.

a green frisbee with a safety message: "Get your head in gear; Speed limit 15 within 50 feet of camping areas or people
One of the Frisbee messages reminds riders to wear a helmet and slow down around people and camps.

- Joya Szalwinski, interpretive park ranger, BLM El Centro Field Office

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 485 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 06-17-2011