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BLM raising fees at Sand Mountain

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BLM raising fees at Sand Mountain

Sep 28, 2005, 12:04 PM PDT

User fees for off-road vehicles at Sand Mountain will double beginning Saturday.

Under the new rates, annual passes will jump from 45 to 90 dollars. Weekly passes will cost 40 dollars. Permits are not sold on a daily basis. However, the BLM says Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be free, when no passes required.

BLM Carson City Field Manager Don Hicks says the money raised will help maintain the popular recreational site and efforts to protect the rare Sand Mountain blue butterfly.

The BLM began imposing fees at the mammoth sand dune 25 miles east of Fallon in March 2003. Last year, those fees generated $170,000, while costs rose to $225,000.

This year, management costs rose to over $300,000.

BLM projects expenditures will rise to more than $800,000 to implement conservation programs to protect the blue butterfly.


BLM Press Release:


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When did the Responsibility for the "Blue" fall on the shoulders of the "Off-Road" community?

What about the Indians that claim the "Mountain" as a "Church"?

Get an Attorney!

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BLM to double fees at Sand Mountain Oct. 1

BURKE WASSON, bwasson@lahontanvalleynews.com

September 24, 2005

When the calendar flips over to October one week from today, Sand Mountain will have two new changes - higher fees and no monuments.

Bureau of Land Management officials will double annual and weekly passes Oct. 1 at the giant sand dune popular for attracting off-road vehicle enthusiasts.

Yearly passes will jump from $45 to $90, and weekly passes will rise from $20 to $40.

But the BLM will also help people adjust to the fee raises by offering free admission to Sand Mountain on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Oct. 1 is also the deadline for anyone who has monuments placed on top of Sand Mountain to remove them. After that, they will be removed by BLM officials.

"We're still planning to remove the monuments," BLM Associate Field Manager Elayn Briggs said Friday. "We want folks to either go get theirs or come to us and say, 'Help me get it.' We're more than willing to work with these folks to come up with a suitable memorial down near the kiosk."

To Briggs' knowledge, no one has contacted the BLM about needing help to remove any monuments.

Briggs said she would like to remind people that rangers would carefully remove any monuments or items left on top of Sand Mountain.

"At some point, we will thoughtfully remove the memorials and hold those for folks," Briggs said. "We're not just going to take the monuments off there and throw them in a dumpster. We're not going to do anything like that."

As far as the doubling of annual and weekly fees to Sand Mountain goes. Briggs said they are necessary in order for the BLM to continue to offer needed amounts of law enforcement and emergency management services as well as enough funds to cover maintenance of the park.

According to BLM officials, Sand Mountain fees generated $170,000 in revenue last year. This money is exclusively reserved for maintenance costs, which include cleaning restrooms, trash disposal, pumping vault toilets, additional toilets during holidays, grading the entrance road, emergency medical services, law enforcement, fee collection, signing, brochures, education and resource protection.

The cost of maintaining those services last year at Sand Mountain was $225,000, according to the BLM.

Wile maintaining the enforcement and these services at Sand Mountain are high on the BLM's list, allowing any monuments on top of the mountain is not.

The decision to strip the items from the popular recreational area was made due to two reasons - the illegal placement of monuments on public land and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe's recognition of that area of Sand Mountain as a sacred place.

Briggs said about eight to 10 memorials like bronze markers, cement monuments and wood boxes are sitting on top of Sand Mountain.

Anyone who has any questions about monuments currently sitting atop Sand Mountain is encouraged to contact the Bureau of Land Management's Carson City office.

Burke Wasson can be contacted at bwasson@lahontanvalleynews.com

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Complete B.S. How is a bike going to hurt a butterfly anyway? There is no accountability for that money. It will end being used to further the cause to close the area.

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