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Sand dune protected, federal court rejects BLM plan

A federal court has handed a major victory to environmentalists trying to protect the nation's largest sand dune park in Southeast California. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

The court rejected a Bureau of Land Management plan for the Imperial county Sand Dunes. BLM officials wanted to allow much more access for thousands of off-road enthusiasts who flock to the area each winter. Center for Biological Diversity ecologist Daniel Patterson says federal officials failed to consider all reasonable management options.

Patterson: "The reason their plan got shot down was because the court said, 'BLM your plan to totally unreasonable. You're not even considering option like the current management.'

Under the management plan in place for the past six years, about half of the park is open to off road vehicles and the other half is off limits. That plan was negotiated to settle a legal dispute between environmentalists and off roaders. Erik Anderson KPBS News

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