U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Rock Springs Field Office|
Sand Dunes WSA
Nearest Town: Farson (13 miles)
BLM Acreage: 27,109 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 21,304 acres
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
Birds, including waterfowl, shorebirds and killdeer, are relatively abundant in parts of the area. This provides an unusual opportunity for viewing and photography in nearby areas of the high desert.
The outstanding scenic quality of this WSA enhances the recreational values. The moving sand dunes provide for a dynamic rather than static viewshed.
The large dunes in parts of the WSA make it possible for a visitor to experience the naturalness of the area because man-caused disturbances are not apparent. The constantly changing nature of the dunes adds to this feeling.
The rails of the abandoned U.S. Steel railroad were removed from the railroad bed at the western boundary of the WSA. The bed is about 3 feet above the rest of the original right-of-way. Currently the railroad bed is used by four-wheel drive and some two-wheel drive vehicles. Drifting sands have already obliterated some portions of the railroad bed.
The Sand Dunes WSA lies within a short distance of two very important archaeological sites. These are the Finley site and the Eden-Farson site where a distinctive projectile point gave evidence of one of man’s earliest inhabited sites in North America. Therefore, it is highly probable that other significant sites may be located within the WSA.
The area is home to wild horses, mule deer, elk and large numbers of pronghorn antelope. Raptors and coyotes frequent the area, and there are reports of cougar use.
Part of the Sand Dunes WSA lies within the Greater Sand Dunes Recreation Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The ACEC management plan provides wildlife and cultural resource protections and promotes appropriate recreation use.
The greatest special feature of the WSA is the dunes themselves. White sands change the landscape with every wind storm, building 100-foot drifts and hiding all imprints of man’s visits.