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County could

November 05, 2001

take action on

Imperial Sand

Dunes closures

By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss and possibly take action on closures at the Imperial San Dunes at its meeting Tuesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management ordered some driveable washes closed to vehicles and 25,600 acres east of the dunes closed to camping in October as part of a settlement with environmental groups.

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The latest closures brings the total open land in the 150,000-acre sand dunes to about 50 percent, according to BLM field manager Greg Thomsen.

"Public lands should be there for the public," county Supervisor Wally Leimgruber said during last week's board meeting.

County action may have little effect on the closures.

"We have a very strong case for closure of the entire dunes, but we don't want to have to do that," said Daniel Patterson, desert ecologist for the Center of Biological Diversity, one of the groups that sued the BLM.

The board also is scheduled to discuss and possibly approve:

· creating a new intergovernmental relations director position;

· a resolution opposing the new energy plants in Mexicali;

· revise fees, rules and regulations for cremation incinerators;

· amending a $300,000 community block grant for reconstruction home loans for low-income colonia residents;

· a $65,000 line of credit to the Niland Sanitary District.

The Board of Supervisors meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers on the second floor of the County Administration Center, 940 W. Main St., El Centro. Meeting agendas are available online at www.imperialcounty.net

>>Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at (760) 337-3452 or la_mitchel1@yahoo.com

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