"Blowsand", a popular off-roading attraction at Ocotillo Wells, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC) filed a lawsuit against Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) on Tuesday, May 21. The lawsuit seeks severe restrictions on use of the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (Ocotillo SVRA). If successful, the lawsuit could effectively shut down the popular desert recreation site.
Ocotillo Wells is the largest SVRA of the nine operated by the OHMVR Division of California Department of Parks and Recreation. In addition to hosting more than a million visitors per year, Ocotillo Wells SVRA is the location of the popular Tierra del Sol Desert Safari. The classic off road event recently completed its 51st annual event and faces an uncertain future with the pending legal action.
The state SVRA system is entirely supported by user paid fees and OHV registration with no funding from the state general fund. The state OHV program is the only self-supporting program in the state and annually generates a surplus which has been used to support other units of the state park system.