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 *
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: