News Release

For Release:  April 4, 2008                                                               
Contact:  Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email: srazo@ca.blm.gov
CA-CDD-08-46


Public Meetings Scheduled for Revised Dunes Recreation Plan

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), El Centro Field Office, has scheduled three public meetings concerning the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreations Area (ISDRA) revised recreation management plan (RAMP) and new environmental impact statement (EIS).

 The meetings will be held on:     

Tuesday, April 22nd  (6pm to 8pm)
Handlery Hotel
950 Hotel Circle North   
San Diego, CA  92108  
(619) 398-8333

Wednesday, April 23rd (6pm to 8pm)
Mountain Preserve Reception and Conference Center
1431 E. Dunlap Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85020
(602) 943 – 2656
Thursday, April 24th  (6pm to 8pm)
Imperial Irrigation District William R. Condit Meeting Room
1285 Broadway
El Centro, CA  92243
(760) 339-9422
 

The RAMP, approved in 2005, was set aside by a Federal Court order in 2006 and remanded to BLM for further action, as was the previous U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) critical habitat designation.  Steve Borchard, BLM Desert District manager, said BLM and FWS agreed it would be in the public interest to await completion of the revised final critical habitat rule before initiating revision of the RAMP.
 
On February 14, 2008, FWS published its final rule on critical habitat for the threatened Peirson’s milk-vetch. The BLM announced on March 18, through the Federal Register, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a revised RAMP and new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). These scheduled meetings will allow interested parties to identify issues that should be addressed in the new EIS and revised RAMP.
 
"We anticipate an accelerated schedule for preparing the EIS and the revised RAMP for public review, given the tremendous amount of data and public input on the earlier documents," Borchard said.  “BLM and the FWS will continue to closely coordinate on development of alternatives for the revised RAMP as we have in the past.  We will be seeking the public’s input as well as we embark on this planning process.”
 
For further information concerning the BLM’s Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, visit the Imperial Sand Dunes website at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/isdra.html. For further information or to review the FWS’ revised final critical habitat rule, contact the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office at 760-431-9440 or download the rule at http://www.regulations.gov/. Comments should be sent to Erin R. Dreyfuss, planning and environmental coordinator, El Centro Field Office, California Desert District, Bureau of Land Management, 1661 South 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243.  Written comments must be postmarked no later than May 31, the end of the comment period.

-BLM-

California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217