We're in the 11th hour of this battle.
We have 2 approaches we have to simultaneously follow.
First, go to the 7 Days to Save the Hammers campaign and place a call/send a fax/email to a CA representative once a day this week. We are in the middle of a national budget crisis, and our representatives need to know that our we see our country’s debt as our #1 biggest national security threat and the Marines increasing their land for training, while decreasing their numbers is not a responsible expenditure. Tell them they need to oppose this spending because of our fiscal crisis, or we’ll expose them for not being fiscally responsible.
Second, the Secretary of the Navy has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Public Comment on the Proposed Land Acquisition at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, CA. We are in the 11th hour. Once the Record of Decision has been recorded by the Secretary of the Navy to allow withdrawing the land from public use and BLM Management, Johnson Valley is pretty much lost to us.
The Final EIS was published July 27, 2012. There is a 30-day waiting period after the publication of the Final EIS, so we have until August 27 to submit our comments.
We need your comments to maintain our standing in this fight.
There were 18,000 letters sent through the Pirate letter generator. Chances are good that you sent one or more, and you will have valid comments to comment on again.
* You may not feel that your comment is "the" one we need to keep our area open, but it may be "the" one that the California Motorized Recreation Council or Blue Ribbon Coalition needs to carry into court.
* You may not comment on any new information.
* You must comment on their responses to your previous comments.
You need to find your own comment or comments in the Final EIS. Go to the link below to get to the Land Acquisition/Airspace Establishment Study.
Click on Appendix N.
Look for your name.
I found it helpful to print out the pages my name was on.
In the 2nd column, it lists the number of your comment.
In the 3rd column, it lists the page number your comment is on. Your comment may be in one of several files—Appendix N part 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4, or 4a.
Read their response to your comment.
They have a lot of “canned” responses. See if they actually responded to your words. If not, comment on:
• Any inaccuracies or discrepancies
• Comment on the adequacy of the analysis
• Comment if they have properly identified ways to mitigate significant impacts.
o If you have commented on OHV recreation being displaced from Johnson Valley, this is one of our number one arguments. The Final EIS has acknowledged that there will be a significant impact to OHV recreation, but they have FAILED to identify any reasonable ways to mitigate this impact. In other words, they have failed to tell us where else we can go and legally recreate that will have any sort of terrain similar to Johnson Valley, and they have failed to identify any ways to solve the problem that will come up when several thousand of us descend on another OHV recreation area.
• You can disagree with their interpretation of the impacts.
• If their response does not seem to address your comment, you can question that but always tell them to do something.
• If you make the statement: "Your response doesn't address my comment.", they will not be required to respond. You need to tell them that they didn't address your comment and tell them what they need to do about it.
Address your comments to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest
Attn: 29Palms EIS Project Manager
1220 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92132-5190
Remember, your comments are due August 27. 19 days from today.
If you have any questions, please post up on the 7 Days to Save the Hammers Facebook page, or PM me.