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Railroad Fence And What We Need To Do

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Any updated pics on the fence progress?

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Accidental double post ;)

So hopefully we will not shoot ourselves in the foot by continuing to cross the tracks, except for established crossing points.

There are no established crossing points... that's the problem.

We've never made a big deal out of it because frankly, we've had much more important things on our plate but since this current fence issue is most likely going to open a dialog with the RR it might be a good time to maybe suggest that if there were some actual crossings it might alleviate MUCH of the illegal track crossings in the area.

I know that while the RR has the right of way they have to provide crossings where it is warranted. Times change. Glamis has changed. It's time for a real crossing at Wash 10 and since the RR is in the process of digging the whole thing up and replacing it now is the time for them to consider it.

I would like to become more familiar with the intent of the fence before i send an email. Can anyone point me in the right direction so that i can educate myself on the issue? Do any of our permit fees go toward this? Thanks.

Currently there is no actual information that one can educate oneself with. All we have so far is a statement from the RR that they would be building a fence in order to keep sand from getting on the tracks, another statement that the RR will be adding a second track but not for a couple of years and the pictures of the actual fence being built that i'll post again in case anyone missed it.

It is the Railroad who is building the fence and as such there is no Fee money going towards it.

To the best of my knowledge no one, including the BLM were told what the fence would look like nor where it would be placed. It was only when a picture was taken and posted just this week that we became aware of this.

This is why it is so important to inform everyone you can about this so that we can make it clear to our land managers that this absolutely cannot go unresolved for any length of time, whatsoever. Plans need to be put in place now. This has the potential of completely destroying this season for a VERY GREAT many duners.

Don't camp in the washes? Well guess where all of those wash campers are going to go when they cannot get down the road? That's right, right next to your camp. Imagine New Years with half of Wash road shut down.

The ASA:

Look, I'm as outspoken a critic of the ASA as exists, but in this case I really think we need to see what they plan to do. They are our best voice with the BLM. They have only recently become aware of this issue just as you and I. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt here. We've got 30,000 voices. They've got a megaphone. It doesn't help us at all to fall back into the old rivalries. Nothing is more important than dealing with this fence right now.

The TRT:

There is a TRT meeting on the 12th and this issue will be discussed. I'm not sure if there will be much done on this issue at the TRT meeting but it will certainly be a good time to make it very clear to the BLM just how important this issue is.

The Railroad:

You know, there is only one entity that is more impossible to deal with than our Government...

And that's the Railroads. It is my belief, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the only way that we will be able to adequately deal with the RR on this issue is through the BLM. That is why I think that we should make it clear to the BLM that they need to be talking with the RR about possibly delaying this fence until other access can be made available and/or possibly working with the BLM to ensure that this fence will not hamper access to the washes... Like making sure there is access in the CENTER of the washes on the hardpack and not just in the sandy washes themselves.


I very much believe that this power that the Railroad has over us must be removed. It is not right that they have complete control over our access to the washes. The BLM need to be making those assurances by either creating another road that is not on RR property or getting actual LEGAL permission IN WRITING for the extended future for access to the washes on wash road.

Maybe we need a paved road like on Gecko. Maybe Imperial County needs to make a thoroughfare to Clyde. Maybe they need to start an EIS for creating a new wash road. I don't know what is the best way to go but I do know that something must be done and the process must be started now.

Now for the tough love stuff...

We, as duners have very good reason to not trust the BLM with things like this. I share Slappy's fear of fences and gates. It would not surprise me one single bit to find out that the BLM actually knew about this fence and decided that it would be a good way to restrict/control access to the dunes. This fence would make gates MUCH more feasible and that cannot stand. We must stand vigilant on this. This is far too important to not take seriously.


Photo courtesy of "WoodGlue" ASA Board Moderator.

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Not sure on what to say?

Have ALLOT to say?...Join the discussion before the upcomming TRT meeting on this very topic.


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Got this today at 510pm from Bill Jones, ASA Chairman


To all concerned duners:

The ASA is also concerned about the Union Pacific fence. We are aware of this serious issue and are working to minimize any impact to our access to the camping areas along wash road. The BLM has been helpful in assisting the ASA by getting accurate information. The Union Pacific Railroad has been asked to attend the next TRT meeting. They have not replied to us whether they will attend.

If you are really concerned and want to have an impact on this issue you need to attend the next ISDRA TRT meeting. This is where you get a chance to talk directly with the agencies that make the decisions. It is being held on December 12 at the BLM El Centro Field Office. The meeting begins at 9AM.

BLM El Centro Field Office, 1661 S. 4th Street, El Centro CA 92243

If you are unable to attend this meeting you can send in your comments to the TRT and BLM by using the TRT feedback form at: http://www.isdratrt.org/modules.php?name=Feedback

The ASA needs the support from the duning community to show up at these meetings in large numbers if we are to have any meaningful impact. There is only so much we can do without you.

As this situation develops we may publish requests for the duning community to assist us. Please take these requests seriously and respond to them. Ask your friends, neighbors and family to respond to them. We all need to pull together to have any influence.

Don't sit back and complain that you don't like what is being done. Step up and help. Volunteer to work on this problem and you will have the satisfaction of taking personal responsibility for protecting our dunes.

Everyone should be an ASA member. We use our membership numbers to lobby for our dunes in Sacramento and Washington DC. ASA membership is free and helps keeps the dunes open. You can also support the ASA's efforts by becoming a supporting member. Information is available on our web site- americansandassociation.org to guide to to becoming a member or a supporting member. If you really feel like making a difference please contact us to volunteer to help the ASA on one of our many committees. The more help we have the more we can accomplish.

Attached is a copy of correspondence we have sent to the BLM.

Thank you again for taking the time to be involved.


Bill Jones, ASA Chairman

AKA Sand Commander

See you in the sand


With this as an attachment


December 3, 2008

Ms. Vicki Wood


Bureau of Land Management

El Centro Field Office

1661 S. 4th Street

El Centro CA 92243

Dear Ms. Wood,

It has recently come to the attention of the ASA that the Union Pacific Railroad is constructing a fence located on the western edge of its right of way along what is commonly known as “Wash Road.” This fence is of substantial construction, and it appears that it has the potential to significantly impact the duning community’s traditionally unfettered access to long established camping areas along the eastern edge of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA). Rumors are circulating that this fence is an attempt to reduce derailments from blowing sand, but we have not yet had any confirmation of this fact.

The ASA is has several concerns regarding this project. Obviously any impact to the recreational opportunities provided by the public’s access to this roadway is of major concern. However we are also concerned with the educational, safety, and environmental aspects of this project. As major stakeholders at the ISDRA, the ASA is totally unaware of any public outreach regarding such a major change to the ISDRA. We would certainly like to participate in discussion with the railroad regarding this project in an effort to mitigate concerns the project might have on the recreational community.

Therefore, we are asking your help in facilitating an effort to engage the Union Pacific railroad in discussing possible mitigation efforts regarding this project. We would also ask whether there have been any environmental assessments/impact reports conducted for this project. To that end, we respectfully ask that you include this topic on the agenda for the TRT meeting scheduled for December 12, 2008.


Bill Jones

ASA Chairman

CC. Mike Pool, BLM California State Director

Steven Borchard, BLM California Desert District Manager

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This was going on towards wash 25 on Monday...Didn't see any "interval" for access.

Anyone noticed the bolt holding the I-beam in at the bottom of the post in the picture of the installed posts?

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This was going on towards wash 25 on Monday...Didn't see any "interval" for access.

Anyone noticed the bolt holding the I-beam in at the bottom of the post in the picture of the installed posts?

That is a de facto closure right there...

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