Franklin County patrolling Juniper Dunes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Franklin County patrolling Juniper Dunes

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PASCO, Wash.-- The Franklin County Sheriff's Office are not just hitting the streets, but now they're patrolling Juniper Dunes.

Capt. Russ Akers is getting ready for work, not in a cruiser but in an ATV. He's patrolling Juniper Dunes outside Pasco, where flocks of off-roaders come each weekend.

"I'm going to say in the hundreds," he says. "Because I've come out here and

I'd say see maybe thirty trailers out here."

Now the Sheriff's Office will patrol the federally owned dunes. They say riding is fine, but underage drinking and driving has become an issue.

"We're also looking for abandoned vehicles, possible stolen vehicles and stolen four wheelers," he says.

Riders today say it's about time for the new patrols.

"It'll keep the honest people honest," says Sheldon McEntire, of Pasco. "And it protects a place for us to ride by catching people who are doing things they shouldn't be doing."

McEntire plans to ride with his family and friends this weekend.

Franklin County has been hired by the Bureau of Land Management to patrol the dunes, so it's not costing the county anything. Getting there is still an issue; you need to drive on private property. KNDU talked with the land owner today and says he is working with BLM to create another road.