I applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' move to establish protection for 53,000 acres of critical habitat at the Algodones Dunes, located in Imperial County (Aug. 7). The Algodones Dunes are a national treasure teeming with rare and unique forms of life found nowhere else on Earth. The incredible beauty of these dunes is primarily known to off-road enthusiasts and a growing number of hikers and backpackers, like myself, who make overnight trips into California's largest sand dunes.
Habitat protection at the dunes would allow for plant and animal habitat as well as safe areas for nonmotorized forms of recreation such as camping, hiking and bird-watching. The unprotected area of the dunes would provide ample room for off-roaders to weave their web of tire tracks through the sand and not worry about the negative consequences this activity has on the habitat on which they drive.