BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 517

Vandals strike in the dunes 

Over the past weeks numerous incidents of vandalism and theft have occurred in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. These acts of vandalism range from graffiti on signs and restrooms, and most recently, damage to a safety message sign. During the week of January 22nd a programmable highway message board was dismantled and stripped of its parts. Solar panels and batteries were taken and many wires were cut. The sign displays safety messages to the visiting public, reminding them, for instance, not to drink and ride.

When vandals strike, everyone pays. The repair for vandalism like this can be anywhere in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. "For every dollar spent on vandalism repairs it takes money away from services and site amenities such as trash collection and toilet cleaning," says Neil Hamada, ISDRA Manager.

Visitors witnessing vandalism in progress are encouraged to call 911 and report it. If possible, and from a safe distance, try to obtain vehicle and license plate information and descriptions of persons involved. Never try to stop the offenders. Visitors who discover vandalism after the fact should report it to the El Centro Field Office at 760-337-4400.

loose wires in an orange control box
Empty battery compartment. Vandals stole five batteries and cut wires that powered the safety message board.

an electronic sign on a trailer
The safety message board that was vandalized. The solar panels and batteries were stolen with numerous wires cut.

graffitti painted on the sides of a small building
A restroom in Gecko Campground that was vandalized.

 - Michelle Puckett, park ranger, BLM El Centro Field Office/Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (February 8, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 517 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.