HOLIDAY OF OFF-ROADING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION AT DUNES
NEWS RELEASE: December 2, 2005
Contact:Daniel R. Patterson, Desert Ecologist, Center 520.623.5252 x306
GLAMIS, CA – Over 200,000 off-roaders mobbed the Algodones (Imperial) Sand Dunes over the Thanksgiving holiday. At least six people were killed in off-roading incidents in Imperial County, including a five-year-old boy. The environment, air, and endangered species habitat were trashed.
Hospitals in Imperial and Yuma County were overloaded. Imperial County Deputy Coroner Henry Proo called it “the worst weekend I have ever seen.” (Yuma Sun, Nov. 27).
“What doesn't BLM (Bureau of Land Management) understand about Glamis? Despite spending millions of dollars out there, an irreplaceable national landmark is being destroyed, children are being killed, mayhem continues, and BLM acts like everything would be just hunky-dory if they could just have more off-roaders out there. It's madness!” said Karen Schambach, California Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). PEER represents the concerns of many affected Interior Department biologists and staff.
“The Algodones Dunes are a fragile and scenic place being sacrificed to ‘Mad Max on meth’ mayhem. People and the environment are being killed out there due to Bush administration and industry anti-conservation ideology, and it has to stop,” said Daniel R. Patterson, a Desert Ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity who formerly worked with BLM in the California Desert Conservation Area.
In addition to the Peirson’s milk-vetch, the desert tortoise and dozens of endemic dunes plants and animals are imperiled by extreme off-roading at the Algodones Dunes. Hikers, birdwatchers, photographers and other people are displaced from the dunes by hordes of off-roaders and related dangers.