For those of you who wonder what the phylosiphy was of why the BLM is doing what they are doing well hope I can connect the link. The STOPs are up 50% in the Imperial Sand Dunes! Well I take that as Harassment! BLM Imperial Sand Dunes Manager Tom Zales think that is this is good! Attached is also an article from Imperial Valley Press.
United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT El Centro Field Office
1661 S. 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243 www.ca.blm.gov/elcentro
January 31, 2014
Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) philosophy for law enforcement in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA).
At the beginning of the ISDRA use season, we announced that the BLM and Imperial County Sheriff's Office would be working together this year to emphasize public safety and resource protection. We wanted visitors to know that contacts would be aimed at education and outreach while priorities for enforcement would include alcohol and drug law violations, fee compliance, and the existing administrative closures. We make the State of California Off-Highway vehicle laws and the ISDRA rules and regulations available to all visitors by posting them on our website and listing them on the back of the map visitors receive when they purchase a permit. We also work with partners such as the United Desert Gateway and the American Sand Association to inform visitors, help keep them safe, and protect resource values in the ISDRA.
Our BLM Law Enforcement Rangers are responsible for the enforcement of Federal laws and regulations relating to the public lands and their resources. These responsibilities include the protection of public resources and ensuring the safety of BLM employees and public land users. They are uniformed officers who provide regular and recurring patrol presence on the public lands, and make public contacts to provide visitor services, education and outreach. Law Enforcement Rangers are also authorized to conduct investigations and apprehend violators through issuance of citations and/or making arrests when these actions are necessary to protect public safety or public land resources.
The delegation of law enforcement authority by the Secretary of the Interior empowers Law Enforcement Rangers to carry out their work using discretion as provided for in law (e.g., the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, as amended) and free from interference. As Field Manager, I have responsibility for the implementation of the law enforcement and resource protection program in the El Centro Field Office, including the ISDRA. To this end, I established the priorities for enforcement that I noted above; alcohol and drug law violations, fee compliance, and the existing administrative closures.
The philosophy that underlies these priorities is the intent of Congress when they established specific statutory law enforcement authority for the BLM in 1976. The House Report on FPLMA expresses this intent: "The Committee expects that the Secretary will use his law enforcement authority in a manner which
will help the public abide by his rules and regulations, the objective being the preservation and protection of public resources and the public safety. Criminal prosecutions and penalties should be remedies of last resort. Emphasis should be given to the dissemination of information, the creation of a law enforcement presence which will advise the public and administrative resolution of violations rather than prosecution in the courts."
BLM Law Enforcement Rangers keep records on the contacts they make with visitors in the ISDRA. The table below lists the total number of visitor contacts made by BLM Law Enforcement Rangers during the first three holiday weekends in the 2012-2013 visitor use season and during the same holiday weekends in the 2013-2014 use season. These are the weekends when visitation is the highest. The table also lists the number of contacts that were made for violations, and breaks those down by number of warnings, citations, and arrests. Last year, only about 6 percent of all visitor contacts resulted in a citation or arrest. This year, only about 4 percent of all visitor contacts resulted in a citation or arrest.
Contacts Made For Violations
4,663 (19% of all contacts)
1,378 (5% of all contacts (29% of all violations)
6,519 (17% of all contacts)
1,400 (4% of all contacts) (21% of all violations)
3,285 (13% of all contacts) (70% of all violations)
5,047 (13% of all contacts) (77% of all violations)
130 (.5% of all contacts (<1% of all violations)
72 (.2% of all contacts) (<1% of all violations)
These statistics reflect the implementation of a fair, but firm law enforcement and resource protection program aimed at protecting public resources and ensuring the safety of BLM employees and public land users. Our Law Enforcement Rangers are the BLM's most visible ambassadors to public land users. They are there to educate, assist, and protect. They exercise their law enforcement authority (i.e. warnings, citations or arrests) only when necessary to protect public safety or public land resources. They maintain a visible, friendly presence on the public lands, serving as a "welcome neighbor or guide" to those who use the ISDRA and as a deterrent to visitors who might misuse public resources or threaten public safety.
Visitors can help us manage safe, family-friendly recreation in the ISDRA by adhering to the State of California Off-Highway Vehicle laws and the ISDRA rules and regulations. By not driving while under the influence of alcohol, not using illegal drugs, registering vehicles, purchasing dunes permits, and honoring the administrative closures, visitors can avoid being counted among the few that actually receive a citation or are arrested in the ISDRA.
Thank you for interest in the ISDRA. Please let me know if you have any additional questions about our work.