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New SoCal Desert Race Fees Roundly Disliked

RIVERSIDE (AP) — Fans and opponents of off-road racing in Southern California's deserts are both seething over new Bureau of Land Management fees for the competitions enacted after eight spectators were killed in an accident at a race last year.

Off-road critic Phil Klasky tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that promoters of the first race since the August 2010 accident paid under two-thirds of the actual cost of monitoring the event.

He says that reduced the amount of funds available to mitigate environmental damage from off-roaders.

But Hammerking Productions executive director Dave Cole, who produced the February event, says fees have become significantly higher than those paid before the accident and could soon start hurting the races' popularity. He says higher fees will reduce the number of competitions which will mean fewer fans.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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