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But can Dumont Dunes ever be entirely self sufficient based solely on user fees? How high would users fees need to be raised to do so? We don't know.
I say we because I server on a new BLM advisory committee that provides the Barstow Field Office with input on management and spending decisions regarding the motorized recreation area. This group is called the Dumont Dunes Technical Review Team (TRT) and I represent the limited interests of motorized users other than motorsport recreationists.
At our meetings we receive raw system reports of aggregate totals which usually require verbal presentations in order to adequately paint the current financial picture for us. The need for such lengthy sidebars is due in part to what I might call the "complexities" of federal agency accounting practices. It is also in part because producing a more intuitive P&L is difficult and time consuming.
Fellow TRT member Ed Waldheim once developed and successfully used a program P&L spreadsheet while a Commissioner for the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Commission. Our hope is that the Barstow Field Office can use the "Waldheim budget" or something similar to more thoroughly and accurately define the issues surrounding the need for a fee increase at Dumont Dunes.
Without such a budget this TRT member will find it very difficult to justify a vote in favor of the increase.
I'd be interested to hear from Dumont Dunes visitors about how they feel about a fee increase, particularly one that might not develop anything more than consistency in the current level of services. How will users feel about paying significantly more for a permit yet receive what they perceive as nothing new?
Ultimately I am compelled to work for a recreation area that is as enjoyable and safe as possible for motorized enthusiasts, and one that is accessible as possible to anyone who wishes to visit this unique and magnificent piece of our vast and wonderful public lands. I am also committed to protecting the surrounding limited use and wilderness lands from unnecessary impacts of this popular destination. And none of these objective can be met without adequate funding for the management of Dumont Dunes.
To contact me, click here.
For more information about Dumont Dunes:
- Click here for the Dumont Dunes web site from the BLM's Barstow Field Office
* Click here to visit the Dumont Dunes TRT web site, which includes minutes and meeting dates