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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


CANYON COUNTRY, CA —With the approaching holidays, off-road enthusiasts look forward to
their annual New Year’s Trip to the sand dunes where nighttime glow-sticks and campfires greet
friends and family alike. “For our group, the New Years trip is primarily about family,” stated Jason
Duke, longtime duner and ASA Member. “This is when we collect our largest group of the year,
with many people arriving who we haven’t seen since the last New Year’s trip.”

Common sense can keep these good times rolling too. Lock up the toys in your camp at night
with a chain or cable, keep explosives out of the campfire and supervise kids while riding. Don’t
welcome a Ranger’s citation into your camp by not knowing the general rules about trash on the
ground, leashing your dogs, and no glass beverage containers, just to name a few. A complete
list of Laws and BLM Rules can be found at the following link:

As 2009 comes to a close, the ASA recognizes our community’s successes over the past year. In
the south dunes, the Canal Relining Project is now nearly complete. And, thanks to the BLM and
volunteers, duners in the north dunes and Glamis area are enjoying a new access road in the
washes. Another accomplishment this year is measured by the events that did not occur. The
dunes experienced substantially less injuries and fatalities in the during 2009 compared to
previous years. While this is partially due to the decreased visitor-counts that the BLM has
reported, any steward of the dunes can see that increased safety has also played a key role. In
the past years, the ASA debuted and distributed several thousand videos titled, "Time Out for
Safety, a User’s Guide for Safe Duning," and the State of California enacted enforcement and
penalties for the ATV Safety Certification program. The compounding effect of all these variables
is the reduced statistics of 2009.

While operating vehicles in the dunes, safety should always be on the forefront of our thoughts.
Particularly while in and around camping areas where a maximum speed of 15 mph is to be
maintained. In the dunes, helmets and safety whips are a requirement. However, it’s best to also
include goggles, gloves, long pants, boots, and a chest protector, as well as a cell phone, GPS,
tow strap and drinking water. “We always encourage our group to roll through the dunes with an
alert mind, constantly looking for other vehicles and dangerous dune features,” Duke stated. “And
nobody should ever ride alone!”

In 2010, the dunes will see some new programs, as well as a continuation of past programs. Like
an old friend, the 13th Annual Dunes Cleanup will be hosted by United Desert Gateway (UDG)
on January 16th. Scheduled to coincide with the MLK holiday weekend, this event is one of the
most beneficial ways for volunteers to directly impact the entire Imperial Sand Dune Recreation
Area (ISDRA). For more information, visit

Emergency Air Lift services are now available at Glamis with a newly constructed helicopter
landing pad and support trailer. REACH Air Services will transport any trauma victim from the
dunes to the hospital that is best equipped to serve. While this can normally cost thousands of
dollars, REACH Air Services offers a group discount to the ASA membership whereby they will
conduct the same services at no costs above the membership fee. For more information, visit

Adjacent to the new REACH helicopter pad, ATV Certification Courses are being offered in
Glamis by the ATV Safety Institute. ASA Volunteer Mike Reber recently attended one of the
courses. “This past Thanksgiving Weekend, I took my six year-old son to the course and, in just
a few hours, he earned his certification. The Glamis location couldn’t be more convenient to our
family!” Under California State Law, every parent has an obligation to be certified while
supervising their kids on ATVs. The entire fee for California kids is subsidized by the state. For
more information, visit

In closing, the ASA would like to extend a warm welcome to all dune visitors this season, and
remind fellow enthusiasts that the ASA web-site has a vast amount of information and resources
related to the off-roading hobby. To access this information and learn more about the ISDRA,
please visit

About The American Sand Association:

The American Sand Association is a non-profit organization of approximately 34,000 members dedicated to preserving the use of public lands for sand sport enthusiasts’ use, improving OHV safety and promoting responsible land use. Some local sand sport areas include the Imperial Sand Dunes, Oceano Dunes (Pismo Beach) and Dumont Dunes in California, Sand Mountain in Nevada and Hotwell Dunes in Arizona. The ASA is a volunteer organization and it relies on the financial support of sand sport enthusiasts and small businesses. Most of the members are
family-oriented, have a rich family history going back for generations enjoying the sand sport; and most have a significant financial investment in their equipment, gear and campers. Additional information can be found on the ASA web-site at

More information on the Imperial Sand Dunes may be found at:

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