The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has reversed a three-year-old policy that set aside a significant portion of the dunes to protect fragile plant and animal species, including the desert tortoise. The plan opens up 49,000 acres that had been closed to OHVs.
The sand dunes of Glamis encompass an intimidating 160,000 acres of land east of San Diego. California, and offer some of the most challenging sand riding in the nation. Thanksgiving weekend, in particular, sees literally hundreds of thousands of OHV owners converging on the dunes for day-and-night riding action.
The new plan does not set a cap on on the number of overnight campers, but the BLM says the optimum number is around 80,000. The BLM says they are prepared to handle crowds as large as 200,000, when extra law enforcement personnel will be on hand.
To handle the larger crowds, OHV owners should expect increasing fees as well as having to use the reservation system. The plus side to these fees will be additional telephones, toilets, road grading, dust control, trash pickup and vendor areas will be available, along with a new ranger station.
Please do your part to keep riding areas open no matter where you live. Don’t harass wildlife, ride only in permitted areas, and obey the laws. Both the environment and your fellow OHV owners will appreciate it!