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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Latest News on the Fight for Ocotillo Wells

This posted today by Desiree Bates on the Fight for Ocotillo Wells Group Facebook and the TDS 4x4 Facebook page:

California State Parks has filed a response to the lawsuit that wants to limit open riding in the Ocotillo Wells SVRA (OWSVRA). The State has a filed what is called a demurrer. The basic thrust of the demurrer is that Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and The Desert Protective Council (DPC) have improperly invited the court to intervene and tell State Parks how to run the OWSVRA, something the law does not allow. In order to pursue this lawsuit, PEER/DPC must identify a particular ministerial (non-discretionary) task, required by law, that State Parks has failed to perform; and PEER/DPC has not done so.

The hearing regarding the demurrer is scheduled for December 13, 2013. If the demurrer is granted, the entire case would be dismissed. Tierra Del Sol’s attorney has decided to wait until the results of the hearing are known before moving forward. Keep in mind that we lose nothing by waiting. If the court denies the demurrer and allows the case to move forward we are still able to intervene. This is simply a matter of a couple anti-public access groups wanting to tell State Parks how to do its job. No need to muddy the waters further. Thank you for your continued support and interest! Stay tuned to the TDS website and Facebook page for updates.
More info at

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ocotillo Wells Latest Update

If you're just learning about the threat to Ocotillo Wells please scroll down to earlier posts to get up to speed.

We're still waiting for the State to respond to the initial petition filed by the environmental groups. They have turned it over to the Attorney General and we're hopeful a response will be filed soon. Those of you who may remember we were initially told it had to be done within 30 days may be wondering, as we are, what that was all about. Apparently in government cases, the time frames are different than usual and we will post the information as soon as the State Parks Department responds to the lawsuit.

Two off road groups, Tierra Del Sol 4WD club and CORVA are working with attorneys to be prepared to file as an intervener in this matter so they can be a part of defending the open riding policy at Ocotillo Wells.

Click here to read the statement by Tierra Del Sol 4WD Club and click here to visit CORVA's website to read about their intentions

Please scroll down to the previous post to see what you can do NOW to help Fight for Ocotillo Wells!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ocotillo Wells Update

Gail Ramer, Senior Field Representative from Assemblymember Brian Jones office in Santee reports that the letter writing campaign waged by off road enthusiasts for the past several weeks has been a success and the California State Parks and Recreation Department has referred the matter of the lawsuit against Ocotillo Wells SVRA to the office of the Attorney General, which is the first step in fighting the battle.

Click here to read the statement by Assemblymember Brian Jones office.


If you haven't yet joined the Fight for Ocotillo Wells group on Facebook, please log on and do that today! This gives you opportunity to share stories, pics and info with other users of Ocotillo Wells and to stay informed about the lawsuit. Click here to join!


On May 21, 2013 two environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the California State Department of Parks and Recreation claiming that trails are not being maintained, archaeological sites are not being fully protected, excessive dust is blowing in the air, vegetation is being destroyed and the park is suffering erosion damage due to off road vehicles. They are claimining "their observation and experience of these incidents diminishes theirecreational use and enjoyment of the Ocotillo Wells SVRA, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and other nearby lands."  They are asking for open riding to be discontinued and for off road vehicles to be allowed only on designated trails.

Click here to read the entire legal document.


If you have written a letter, or even now want to stay informed about the state of the lawsuit threatening the historical off road use of Ocotillo Wells, we'd like to say Thanks! Here is  a $5 off coupon for subscriptions to S&S Off Road Magazine as our way to say thanks. Doesn't matter if its a new subscription or renewal, the $5 off coupon is still for you!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

YOU can fight the threat to Ocotillo Wells

We need thousands of letters sent to State representatives regarding the lawsuit to close Ocotillo Wells to open off roading.  Letters must be mailed by June 18, 2013.

Find your State Senator and Assembly Member at this link

Here are some images of sample letters and envelopes.

For the .doc versions of these letters visit the Facebook Page Fight for Ocotillo Wells and scroll through the page to find our posts with them.

Also while you're there, join the group and spread the word.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ocotillo Wells Threat - Plan of Action!

Here are the main points from the May 30 meeting regarding the threat to Ocotillo Wells:

The lawsuit filed by two environmental groups is against the California Department of Parks and Recreation. At this point, off road organizations are not yet a part of the lawsuit. It is critical that in the next 30 days State Parks respond to this lawsuit showing an intent to defend themselves and keep open riding at Ocotillo Wells.

IF they do that, then after 30 days, off road organizations will be able to file a Motion to Intervene to be listed in the lawsuit and then have the opportunity to also defend our right to open riding in Ocotillo Wells. There is a possibility State Parks will not choose to fight the lawsuit and will just agree to the demands of the environmental groups.

The FIRST thing that off roaders need to do IMMEDIATELY is to contact your representatives and politely but firmly tell them they need to urge the Department of Parks and Recreation to defend themselves in this lawsuit and fight for the right to keep open off roading in Ocotillo Wells. Give them your history about using the park.

Gail Ramer from Assembly Brian Jones' office said there is strength in numbers and when hundreds of letters are pouring in to the offices of State assembly people someone has to listen.

Given the number of people who recreate at Ocotillo Wells it should be easy to get hundreds of letters and even thousands of letters. It has to happen quickly!

If State Parks chooses NOT to defend this lawsuit within the next 30 days and just accept the demands of the environmental groups, then we lose out and have no opportunity to state our case.

That is why YOUR letters are very important!

Find your state assembly person here

Be sure to write letters on paper and mail them in an envelope. These people get thousands of emails a day and if you email them it will likely not get noticed as quickly as an actual letter. You can also call their offices to express your concern.

End your letter with this statement "I look forward to hearing your response about my concerns." That way you hold them accountable to get back to you so you'll know where they stand.

And if you feel like it, send us an email and let us know you did so we can keep a tally ourselves of the number of letters going out!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ocotillo Wells Update

We posted a few days ago about the lawsuit filed to close Ocotillo Wells to open off road use.

A meeting is scheduled for this week for board members and stakeholders of various off road clubs to come together to formulate a battle plan.

Please keep checking back on our website for updated information on how you can help fight this battle.