The plan that restored motorized vehicle access to the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area survived a challenge in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected arguments from the Center for Biological Diversity.
The court’s ruling ends 15 years of dispute over the rights of motorized recreation enthusiasts to use the land.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s 2013 management plan restored access to most of the Imperial Dunes areas that were closed on an interim basis in 2001.
The Center for Biological Diversity, an anti-OHV access group, challenged the plan, saying the agency failed to examine air quality issues and should have obtained an “incidental take statement” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.