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Old 01-24-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
Carl n Susan
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Thank You Ever So Much!

This is for the two MOC members who were here in Quartzsite earlier this year. You had to flap your gums and tell the BLM Head Ranger that members of the MOC overstayed the 14 day limit in past years, and the BLM rangers never appeared much less checked on them. One of you had never been here for the Circle and the other was here for only a week or so. They both posted their interchange on the MOC, although one has subsequently deleted their post, and their impression the BLM was going to strictly enforce the 14 day limit this year. Thank you ever so much for your assistance, particularly mentioning the MOC by name!!

The head ranger chewed out the ranger responsible for this area. There has always been a “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude enforcement of the 14 day stay rule during January due to the many event and thousands of RVs here in Q. But not this year! The BLM ranger is pissed and the MOC is suffering as a result. He has been here numerous times documenting license plate numbers. He returned today with the announcement he will return in the morning to ticket everyone who is beyond the 14 day limit. There are thousands of RVs in this area, yet no other groups, i.e. the homeless, the campers in the “out of bounds area”, the many who dump their grey and black tanks indiscriminately, those who have been here for months, and the crazies who have been shooting off fireworks or guns, have been targeted. Only the MOC group is being scrutinized.

A handful of us have been coming to Quartzsite early to stake out an area large enough for the MOC, marking it out, encouraging other campers to not park in “our area, and setting everything up for the rest of the members. That includes posting the location and directions so arriving members may pull into the prepared spaces with little to no hassle. The reward, thanks to two members, is the advance team has been thrown out by the BLM ranger. Yes we have been here over the limit. But no one abuses the system. The ranger said he hates to enforce the limit (and he normally doesn’t during this time of year), but because two members contacted his boss and he suffered, so shall we. There is no exceptions, no excuses. We are to be out of here by noon tomorrow or suffer the consequences.

So we will leave as directed. We probably will miss the potluck due to the move. And I can assure you; in future years we will not be here early to prepare the circle. We have been happy to do it for the last four years, but, if there is a next time, we will just show up enjoy the hard work and effort of someone else.

As for the two members who didn’t have the sense to not incriminate the MOC folks, I sincerely hope to never see you again at a MOC event. Even if you have the audacity to show up, don’t expect me to acknowledge you.
 
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
D and M On The Road
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I'll probably never get to experience the Quartzsite Circling of the Montanas now and that makes me very sad.

Is there someone in the BLM that we could talk with or send a petition to? I know it won't have any effect on the 2011 folks but maybe could have an impact for 2012. It seems that the 14 day limit is not keeping up with the demand of what Quartzsite has become and it's time the BLM take another look at it's limits.

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Old 01-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
bncinwv
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Totally uncool!!! I don't guess there is an option like leaving for a day, then returning to start the clock over??
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:46 PM   #4
Rondo
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Carl and Susan-- How many have to take off? Does the Wagonmaster also has to leave? That is not right but sure hope to meet you all down the line at Q or other Rallies!
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
Mrs. CountryGuy
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BLM land rules are 14 days in one parking spot, you must register, etc.

Then, you have to move on, for at least 14 days. If you move to other BLM land, you have to take up residence at least 25 miles away from your first parking spot.

At, least that is the way I understand the rules.

If you stay for 3 days, and you move on, you cannot come back for 14 days.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
8.1al
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We appreciate what you have done for all of us and sure are sorry you are being forced to leave. We're gonna miss you
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
brenkco
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What a lousy deal for everyone but most importantly for those that did the work to set this up for the benefit of the group. It's just not right.
Ken & Marilyn
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
Mynabird
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It has been stated that it is a 14 day stay limit, then leave for 14 days AND go 25 miles away and then you can return to the area.

Yes, we are one of the several who are leaving. :-(

Only MOC has been singled out! :-( His job is probably on the line and so he must follow thru. One can only guess.

We also appreciate all the pre-planning and the work taken to make this event a success.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:15 PM   #9
Waynem
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Switch license plates for 14 more da.......never mind!

So sorry to hear that has happened.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
hookman
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Sorry to hear this Butch. We all know what the group of you do to secure the site and set it up. We all appreciate your time and effort.
THANKS
Don & Mary Ann
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:39 PM   #11
D and M On The Road
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I've been researching this ever since I saw the original post by Carl n Susan and here is what I have come up with. There are two types of land the BLM manages in the Quartzsite area. One is dispersed free camping up to 14 days, which is what the MOCers are doing there right now. Then there is the La Posa Long Term Visitor Area which requires fees/permits and can allow for longer camping. Both areas are under the watch of the following office:

BLM Office in charge:
Colorado River District
Angie Lara, District Manager
Yuma Field Office
Todd Shoaff, Field Manager
2555 E. Gila Ridge Road
Yuma, AZ 85365
Phone: 928-317-3200 *
Fax 928-317-3250
Hours: 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F

"Dispersed free camping is allowed on Public Lands in Arizona for no more than a period of 14 days within any period of 28 consecutive days. The 28-day period begins when a camper initially occupies a specific location on public lands. The 14 day limit may be reached either through a number of separate visits or through 14 days of continuous overnight occupation during the 28 day period. After the 14th day of occupation, the camper must move outside of a 25 mile radius of the previous location until the 29th day since the initial occupation. The purpose of this special rule is to prevent damage to sensitive resources caused by continual use of any particular areas. In addition, campers must not leave any personal property unattended for more than 10 days."

You can also call: 602-255-5200 and ask about a "gathering permit". Online it doesn't give cost, time frame allowed of gathering or area of land the gathering is allowed on.


"La Posa Long Term Visitor Area" (which is a different area of land) requires fees & permits to stay on the land. It was created in 1983 to fulfill the needs of winter visitors and to protect the local desert ecosystem from over-use. The campground is approximately 11,400 acres in size, flat landscape, sparsely vegetated with plants such as Creosote bushes, Palo Verde trees, Ironwood trees, Mesquite trees and various species of cacti.
FACILITIES PROVIDED: 10 vault toilets (handicap accessible), dry dump station, dump station with water, water station (eight faucets), trash services, some paved / improved roads, dance floor and ramada.
FEATURES: Cultural sites, rockhounding, watchable wildlife, unique desert scenery, solitude, hiking opportunities and security.
LIMITATIONS: In addition to existing rules and regulations, there are thirty three supplemental rules which are used to help manage the campgrounds. These rules are published each season in brochure format.
ACCESSIBILITY: Vault toilets throughout the campgrounds are handicap accessible.
The following Fees/Permits are required:
A Long Term Visitor Area Permit is required from September 15th through April 15th each season. The cost is $180.00 and is valid for up to 7 months.
A Short Term Permit can be purchased for a 14-day stay. This permit is $40.00.
Permits may be purchased on site or at the BLM Yuma Field Office located at 2555 E. Gila Ridge Road in Yuma.

You can also pay for shorter stays on the La Posa Long Term Visitor Area:
From April 16th through September 14th, the fee is:
$10 per vehicle for day-use,
$15 per vehicle for overnight use,
$75 annually per vehicle, for up to 5 people per vehicle.
There will be a $1 per person fee charged for each person over the 5 person limit. The maximum stay is 14 days in a 28-day period.

Unfortunately, I can't find anything in the BLM rules/regulations that would allow the MOC folks to stay longer on the dispersed free camping land.


Arizona Resource Advisory Council (RAC)
Chair: Frances Werner
The RAC is a 15-member statewide advisory council, which provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on resource and land management issues for approximately 12.2 million acres of federal surface and 36 million acres of subsurface mineral estate in Arizona.


From my research on the BLM, camping and the effects of camping in the Quartzsite desert area, it appears that most campers in Quartzsite stay over the 14 day limit during the month of January without any harm to the desert where the camping is allowed. Why not make these folks legal and have the 14 day limit suspended during the month of January?
Email the RAC Coordinator to let your feelings known:

dorothea_boothe@blm.gov
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:44 PM   #12
tbhd2
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We are really sorry to hear this. Although we did not make it this year; we attended the two previous years. Like stated this rally would not be the success that it is without the early arrivals securing the area, setting the circle up and welcoming everyone. What a shame that it was ruined by a few people and that the MOC is being singled out.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:24 PM   #13
summers
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The DW and I have never been to Quartzsite but when we go full time after the house sells this was something in our plans to do. I am curious as to why the MOC members felt it was thier responsibility to bring this up to the authorities? Where they just upset because they were to late to get a spot in the circle, or is it a case of trying to police everyone elses actions instead of taking care of thier own? I am sorry that a few can always ruin the enjoyment of the many that are really not hurting anyone or anything. I am also sorry that some of you that volunteer your own time to make this the event that it is have to leave. Maybe those that know the members that have caused this can ask them to answer my questions. Sorry again, Mark
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:38 PM   #14
HamRad
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Carl,
I'm so sorry to hear this bad news. And it truly is very bad news. I wish there was some sort of exemption we could qualify for. What is that "gathering" thing that Margee mentioned? Is that to hold a "gathering" of is it to "gather" something off the desert? Your hard work was GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thank you so much.

Strictly enforced rules that could just as easily be NOT enforced for a period of time can have major effects on gatherings such as ours. And also to the group right next to us! I would think they would have to be moving on also. Enforcing rules for ONLY the MOC would be completely illegal. If they are going to enforce it against us then they MUST do so to everyone! If we can show they are ONLY doing us then I think a complaint to the head doofus would be in order!

Twenty five miles is just far enough to be a major pain. Sometimes we just don't know when to keep our voices to ourselves! And now the hardest working MOCers at Q will have to move on. And will not be helping organize next time...... That is really going to hurt but I can't blame anyone. I would not want to come early and have to leave early. I'd do what you are planning to do, Carl. Wish it was otherwise but it is what it is. I hope we ALL learned something from this episode...... I know I have.

Enjoy what you can while you can. We so wanted to be there but it was not to be this year. Stay safe and enjoy..... Dennis and Mary Kay
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:36 PM   #15
D and M On The Road
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HamRad... I don't know what the "gathering permit" is about, but it's worth looking into tomorrow as soon as the BLM Ranger office opens. Unfortunately I will be busy at that time gettng work done on our Montana at a CampingWorld otherwise I'd be on the phone doing it myself.

Hmmmmm, I think I'll take the phone number with me anyways and call from my cell. In fact, any MOCers who read this could start calling that office as soon as it opens up and comment on the treatment the MOC Circle of Wagons is getting. Carl's letter said they had to be out by noon so maybe we could get them a "stay-of-execution" if enough of us call early enough.

Worth a shot.

I've already composed an email to the Arizona Resource Advisory Council Coordinator, (Dorothea Boothe) and will send it off tomorrow afternoon once I've had the chance to re-read it.


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Old 01-25-2011, 12:03 AM   #16
8.1al
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Any calls to the BLM about our treatment may only bring more attention to our group. I would hope that things will settle down and they go on to other thing/people next year
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:47 AM   #17
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Charlie & Nila,
I disagree. What if they don't move on to other groups next year? An effort needs to be made to see if this can be rectified. Someone has the authority to grant a waiver. That person needs to be approached to see what can be done. What about working up from the Ranger's boss and keep going higher until we find someone with the authority to do something. I would also inquire into the "selective enforcement" issue. If members of one group have to move, then all other campers there more than 14 days have to move also. This sounds like discrimination because of our visibility. Is there a possibility that contacting the Governor or our Arizona Senators and Reps could help for the future?
We haven't been to Q as yet but it's on our list and I'd hate to see it end. hopefully, something can be done. Thanks for letting me vent. I have a very low bull**** threshold and this just frosts me.
To the members that opened their big mouths, Why don't you let us know what motivated you to do what you did or do you just want to hide in your silence?
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:38 AM   #18
DHenry
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We have been one of the first five MOC'ers who first started this event and I for one know first hand how much work it takes to put on the Q Circling of the Montana's and appreciate the hard work and efforts of the advance team. With out them this event would not be as successful as it is today. Butch and the others have given so much of their time to this and it is a shame that they will have to move on today.

I will never understand what the two MOC members were thinking when they were running off their mouths to the Ranger about our group but the damage has been done and probably will never be undone in the future. We have had a lot of attention to our group this year with airplanes flying over and taking pictures, the BBC was out here filming and interviewing our group for an upcoming film they are making. We have made our presence known here in Q and it WAS a good thing.

A group of this size requires a lot of real estate and it takes a crew of folks to secure it early. Maybe the two who brought attention to us from the Ranger would like step up and secure the site in the future and leave when the rest of us get here!!!! Not a good feeling is it?

Margee, thank you for your research on this and we appreciate your efforts to help rectify the problem that has been put on the group.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:43 AM   #19
cdaniels
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How sad it was to hear this am the dark cloud for your Q rally. I just said to the DH last night. Someday when we both retire I would like to go there! How terrible that such a yearly tradition with good hard working people has been destroyed. I do think it is worth looking into as an exception or gathering and would be willing to write or contact whoever. But!!! I am going to wait and see what MOC at Q want us all to do. I do no want to take the chance to make anything worse than it is thinking I was doing a good deed. Will stand by and wait for instructions.... For those that have to leave by this forum everyone feels horrible and please do not leave with such bad thoughts .... everyone there knows how hard you worked and appreciate every minute of it. Leave proud that you are such caring and giving people. I can not imagine the mood of your fellow MOC's when you pull out! It has ruined the rest of the experience for everyone. Please let us know if we can do anything to try to fix the issue in the future. Someday we would love to go and be a part of what sounds like a great life experience.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:14 AM   #20
GaryM
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Im not a lawyer but I think you can find a solution to this problem for future events in this BLM Recreation Permit Administration Handbook (H-2930-1).

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...at/h2930-1.pdf

Gary
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