BLM - El Centro Field Office
These comments are in support of the 2013-2014 grant request from the BLM El Centro field office (ECFO).
I support the California OHV grant request for the operations and maintenance and education and safety grants proposed by the BLM El Centro field office for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA).
As part of this grant request for this grant cycle is the request for funds for dust abatement. During times of heavy visitation, dust abatement is provided on unpaved roads in the ISDRA through water truck operations. These operations usually occur during most of the holiday weekends between Halloween and Presidents' Holiday each year. Water is purchased, drafted from the local canals, transported by truck, then spread as needed. This dust abatement is required to help meet air pollution requirements and to help provide a healthy recreation environment for the visitors to the ISDRA.
This grant will continue the work of the ECFO maintenance personnel in the maintenance of the vault toilets that are at the ISDRA. The ECFO has reduced the overall cost of vault toilet maintenance and at the same time has increased the cleanliness of these facilities. As there are many campers that utilize the ISDRA that don't have sanitary facilities with them the requirement for these toilets reduces the threat to the environment from waste and unsanitary conditions. This is a very important aspect of this overall O&M grant request.
The trash operation is also contributing to a cleaner area which helps keep the dunes safer and reduces the impact on the environment from trash. The BLM advocates the "pack it in, pack it out" philosophy but there will always be a few visitors that don't follow this thinking so the availability of trash service is necessary to help keep a clean environment.
This grant is requesting funds to replace and add signage to promote the open OHV recreation area and to advise visitors of rules and regulations. Signs will be placed on existing posts where possible to reduce the overall cost of these signs.
The other major aspect of this O&M grant request is the continuing maintenance of the roadways and camping areas in the ISDRA. As this is in a sand dune area the effects of windblown sand can degrade the road and camping areas and continual maintenance is required to keep these areas open and available for the recreation of the California OHV users. Most of these roads and campgrounds were constructed with California OHV grant funds and thus the OHV community sees the need for OHV grant funds to continue the maintenance of these roadways and campgrounds. It only makes sense for California State Parks to preserve the original OHV fund investment in these roads and camping areas with some grant funds for the maintenance of these facilities .
The education and safety component of the El Centro grant request is supported to allow grant funds to be available for EMS's services. These funds provide for the medical services to help victors and provide the means for the EMS personnel to access visitors that may need help in the dunes. The maintenance of the vehicles that allow this access is an ongoing expense and grant funds are necessary in this maintenance requirement.
I therefore support the full funding of the BLM ECFO ISDRA O&M and Education and Safety grant requests.
Thank you for a well prepared grant request. Richard Holliday - 4/3/14
I would like to comment on OHMVR grants on behalf of the California Off-Road Vehicle Association.
El Centro BLM Ground Operations, very good grant, lots of good work for the money. I like the generator and power washer for the rest rooms. Nice touch.
Law Enforcement looks good to patrol such heavily used areas.
Safety is very important here. Strong match .
I hope all these grants can be funded as fully as possible to support one of the most loved OHV area in the world. Ed Stovin 4/6/14
Comments regarding the BLM El Centro Field Office’s grant request. Nicole Nicholas Gilles, Executive Director, American Sand Association - 4/7/14