Dear Fellow Duner,
Please make copies of this information and distribute
November 22, 2002
Imperial County Closes Federal Land
On Tuesday, November 19, 2002, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that places a dusk to dawn curfew at Competition Hill in the Glamis area of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.. Wally Leimgruber, an Imperial County Board of Supervisor, said, “the intent of the ordinance was to be for the Major Holidays only, not every night. The Board also wanted it to be structured so the curfew could be at the Imperial County Sheriff’s discretion; expanded to more days or areas if needed.” The ordinance as written, however, says that there will be a curfew every night. Leimgruber said the board of Supervisors is planning to amend the ordinance at the next Board of Supervisors meeting this Tuesday, November 26th 2002, to clarify their intent.
This unprecedented action by a local authority closing Federal land was done without any public comment or discussion. Imperial County says the curfew is necessary to protect the public from lawless behavior by a small portion of the people who recreate at the ISDRA. The County’s action appears to have the blessing of, and was initiated by, the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office. It was kept between them and the County Board of Supervisors. It was not discussed with, or proposed to, the American Sand Association in advance.
Since there are adequate rules and regulations already in place, The American Sand Association is opposed to additional curfews and additional laws. The ASA’s main objection to the curfew is that it affects the law-abiding users of the ISDRA who enjoy “running Comp” at night for the fun and challenge. Moreover, the Bureau of Land Management has stated repeatedly that their “Zero Tolerance” enforcement methods, begun in January 2002, have had a significant positive impact reducing past problems.
“Since last year, we have been suggesting checkpoints at the entrance of Comp Hill to identify liquor violations, illegal activity, or other rule violations: but certainly not a curfew,” says Bob Mason, ASA’s Public Safety Committee Chairman.
The ASA will make every attempt to inform its members of the new ordinance as quickly as possible. “Our primary concern is that there is inadequate lead time to inform ISDRA visitors,” says Jerry Seaver, ASA President. “Future actions of this nature must be coordinated with representatives of the stakeholders if we are going to communicate effectively and accomplish the desired results.”
For the latest update on the Imperial County’s revised ordinance go to www.americansandassociation.org