BLM to double fees at Sand Mountain

When the calendar flips over to October, Sand Mountain will have two new changes - higher fees and no monuments.

Bureau of Land Management officials will double annual and weekly passes Oct. 1 at the giant sand dune east of Fallon popular for attracting off-road vehicle enthusiasts.

Yearly passes will jump from $45 to $90, and weekly passes will rise from $20 to $40.

But the BLM will also help people adjust to the fee raises by offering free admission to Sand Mountain on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Oct. 1 is also the deadline for anyone who has monuments placed on top of Sand Mountain to remove them. After that, they will be removed by BLM officials.

"We're still planning to remove the monuments," BLM Associate Field Manager Elayn Briggs said Friday.

To Briggs' knowledge, no one has contacted the BLM about needing help to remove any monuments.

Briggs said she would like to remind people that rangers would carefully remove any monuments or items left on top of Sand Mountain.

"At some point, we will thoughtfully remove the memorials and hold those for folks," Briggs said. "We're not just going to take the monuments off there and throw them in a dumpster. We're not going to do anything like that."

The decision to strip the items from the popular recreational area was made because it is illegal to place monuments on public land and because of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe's recognition of that area of Sand Mountain as a sacred place.

Briggs said about eight to 10 memorials like bronze markers, cement monuments and wood boxes are sitting on top of Sand Mountain.

Anyone who has any questions about monuments currently sitting atop Sand Mountain is encouraged to contact the Bureau of Land Management's Carson City office at 885-6000.

As far as the doubling of annual and weekly fees to Sand Mountain goes.

Briggs said they are necessary in order for the BLM to continue to offer needed amounts of law enforcement and emergency management services as well as enough funds to cover maintenance of the park.

According to BLM officials, Sand Mountain fees generated $170,000 in revenue last year.

The cost of maintaining those services last year at Sand Mountain was $225,000, according to the BLM.

n Burke Wasson can be contacted at


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