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State and Local Update


The Friends of Oceano Dunes won compensation for legal fees incurred during a three-year legal battle with the state Coastal Commission.

In late 2017, the commission approved an expansion of dust-control restrictions at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area without complying with the California Environmental Policy Act.

The Friends of Oceano Dunes sued to block the approval and won that battle in February. The judge awarded legal fees, as well. The Coastal Commission appealed.

In August, the judge affirmed that the Coastal Commission must pay Friends of the Oceano Dunes $252,726 for attorney’s fees and costs.

Also in California, the U. S. Bureau of Land Management appointed nine residents to its Northern California Resource Advisory Council.

Those named to the council and their areas of interest are: Jeff Blewett, Valley Springs, off-highway vehicle recreation; Buck Parks, Adin, livestock grazing permit holders; Thibault Hoppe-Glosser, Chico, commercial outdoor recreation; Vint Stevenson, Redding, dispersed recreation; Justin Robbins, Whitethorn, dispersed recreation; Oliver Rogers, Weaverville, environmental interests; Daniel Efseaff, Chico, state agencies; Josh Cook, Chico, state agencies; and Leonard Moty, Redding, local elected officials.

The newly appointed members join currently seated members Skip Willmore, Burney, forest products; and Ken McGarva, Likely, grazing permit holders.

The advisory council works closely with BLM field managers in Alturas, Arcata, Susanville and Redding, advising on the BLM’s multiple-use management mission. The council meets periodically at locations across the district. The Northern California District RAC is one of 37 BLM advisory committees providing advice on public land management in the western states.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish Off-Highway Vehicle Program received two new tools for educating the public on ATV operation and safety: ATV-riding robots “Safety Sam” and “Safety Sara.” The robots are the inspiration of Ashley Bruggenschmidt, an Indiana elementary school principal and mother of an 11-year-old girl who died in an ATV rollover. Bruggenschmidt created a foundation called Play For Kate (, which paid for the robots to help deliver the ATV safety message to school-aged children.

“Safety Sam” robots travel with officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, conducting ATV safety presentations to the state’s schools and other audiences. Individuals at the New Mexico OHV Program heard about “Safety Sam” and arranged to purchase the first version operating outside Indiana.

South Dakota

Voters in the city of Sturgis overturned the City Council’s decision to annex the property that belongs to the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club.

The August vote was 737-421.

The Jackpine Gypsies started what is now known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 1938 when it was the Black Hills Motor Classic. Club officers told the city that annexation would bring with it restrictions that would end the events on the property. The Jackpine Gypsies host rallies and competition events there.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie has said the city wanted to annex the property so the club would pay for services like water, sewer, road maintenance and public safety. He also said an annexation would require the club to start collecting sales tax.

Club members gathered more than 200 signatures on a petition to put the matter to a popular vote.