(CA) BLM Announces Fee Demo at 4 OHV Areas

Contact: Mike Ahrens, OHV Program Coordinator, Barstow BLM

(760) 252-6000




BARSTOW, CA (Aug. 4, 2003) - The Bureau of Land Management's

(BLM) Barstow Field Office announced today that it will implement a

Recreation Fee Demonstration Program for four popular desert

off-highway vehicle riding areas effective Oct. 1, 2003, according to

Mike Ahrens, off-highway vehicle coordinator for the Barstow BLM.

Ahrens said the riding areas to be included in the recreation

fee program are Dumont Dunes with 10,000 acres; Johnson Valley, the

world's largest designated OHV area with 188,000 acres; Stoddard

Valley with 53,000 acres, and El Mirage with 25,000 acres. The

22,000-acre Rasor riding area will continue to be a free area.

Nearly one-half million OHV enthusiasts visit these areas each year.

"Clearly, this was not an easy decision for the Bureau," Ahrens

said, "but with a projected shortfall of more than $2.5 million each

year, we simply can't provide quality services for our visitors.

Funding from the federal government and California OHV trust fund

have continually decreased over the past decade, so these new fees

will provide riding opportunities and services requested by our


Under the recreation fee program, visitors will be charged $20

for a weekly pass or $60 for an annual pass for their primary

vehicle. Ahrens said the pass would be accepted at all four OHV


"While we are still working out some of the collection method

details," said Ahrens, "we can say we are planning off-site

collection via the Internet and various vendor locations. Weekly

passes purchased off-site will be discounted $5, passing along the

reduced collection cost to the visitor. We will contract to have

self-pay machines, handheld card readers and vendors at on-site

entrance stations for those choosing to purchase weekly passes at the

riding areas."

Congress authorized the Department of Interior and its

subordinate agencies such as the BLM to initiate the Recreation Fee

Demonstration Program in 1996 in order to keep pace with the rising

costs of managing recreation sites.

"This recreation fee demo program stands out among all of our

collection programs because all of the revenues are returned to the

sites to improve the quality of visitor experience," Ahrens said.

Some of the services to be provided by the additional funds will

include increased law enforcement at El Mirage and Dumont Dunes and

increased law enforcement staffing for special events at all of the

sites. Additionally, the funding will provide for additional

emergency medical technicians/park rangers at El Mirage, Dumont Dunes

and special events as well as more maintenance personnel for

maintaining OHV access roads, maintenance on the toilets, signing and

kiosk repairs and litter removal.

"Over the past several years, we have sought input from the

public by holding open houses and public meetings to find out exactly

what kind of opportunities they would like to have and what

improvements are needed," said Ahrens. "So, we can say our customers

have been very involved in determining how the money will be used."

"The Bureau's management of this new recreation fee

demonstration program can only succeed with participation and support

of the off-highway vehicle community," Ahrens said. "The fee

demonstration program provides the recreating public the opportunity

to invest in local BLM facilities and our public lands."

For more information on the Barstow BLM's recreation fee

demonstration program, contact Mike Ahrens at (760) 252-6000 or email


Nothing against Mike Ahrens, he seems like a reasonable guy. But I'll be damned if I'll pay for something I already own. I did not ask for "services" to be performed on my behalf. I did not ask for toilets, emt service, information kiosks, perimeter fences, road grading, or any other "management" tasks.

This whole idea that my government has to "manage" every aspect of the OHV experience is going WAY beyond what our US Constitution stipulates is their responsibility. Any time our government assumes "management" of any activity or area, it means more restrictions and less freedom. Period. If they can't fund it from Washington DC out of existing tax revenues, then THEY SHOULDN'T BE DOING IT.



we simply can't provide quality services for our visitors.


We were much better off 30ys ago when "they" didn't provide us "quality services"

You guys need to find a way to de-fund these a**holes.

If this is the same sort of BS the Forest Service is doing, it is a VOLUNTARY fee....anyone that has been ticketed for non-payment and fought it had the ticket dismissed in court. It is a fee DEMONSTRATION project, the whole point is to demonstrate to the beaurocracy that we the people are willing to pay it!

In other words, JUST SAY NO!!!!

Ditto that, RichBaker.

This from a source deep inside the Peoples Republic of Kalif:

"...the consensus there is that nobody is going to pay. They will write you a ticket and you just wipe your a** on it and send it back to them. There is no law, so it is unenforceable.

He cites the Golden Eagle program in the national forest. The PRC director said that if people hadn't paid they would have dropped the program. A great many didn't and nothing happened to them.

In other words, this is voluntary program, but it is being presented as mandatory in the hope that everybody will just roll over and kick in".

Well, I for one have think it is a crock of [@#$%&*!] and will not pay it. We didn't ask for the state to provide any services so why pay for something we didn't ask for?

Our "GREEN" "RED" read("environmental" "communist") sticker funds are not being used in the way they were intended(at least not by us). I think we can all learn a lesson from that scam. What is that old saying "screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me".

That is my take on this whole thing.

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