What a shame. In a country as free as the United States claims to be when publicly owned land, land that is only used for flood control, is put off limits to citizens for recreational uses. This world-famous site, location of 4 Paratoys conventions, has been officially given the axe.
No more flying from the area we call “The Dome.” Although the 2009 Paratoys site is ok to fly from, it’s nowhere near as perfect as the site that has been lost, especially for large gatherings but even for more mundane gatherings or solo flying.
The reason given was insurance but it stemmed from complaints about noise and an apparent spat between local pilots and a next-door landowner. This Enterprise Log has more details on the story but the gist is that we’re no longer welcome at “the Dome” site which is, in fact, not owned by the dome (actually, a property association) but by the Imperial Irrigation District.
There are spots that can be flown from but the district owns big chunks of land along the shore.
Pilots travel there weekly to fly and for good reason. It’s perfect, fly all day weather. They can still do so but must now avoid all Irrigation District land.
It appears they are not doling this out to all users, just the paramotors.
What a travesty.
It’s like telling the surfers in Hawaii that, “sorry about having to close your one-in-a-million perfect place to surf, but we’re afraid you’ll crash and sue us.”
The Imperial Irrigation District can be reached at 760-339-9168.
Mike, the fellow who delivered the news, was apologetic saying that it came “from the top.” He was just the messenger and, in fact, sympathized with our plight. He, they, had no idea how important this site had become to our little group of adventurous American citizens.
If anyone is nearby and willing to attend a board meeting of the district or help out in other ways, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Put “Salton Sea” in the address line.
More here on an “Enterprise Log”.