PLEASE Help Save Johnson Valley

ORBA Meg

Member
OFF-ROAD BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, Inc.
&
The American Motorcyclist Association, D37 Competition​
Meg Grossglass
Media Relations
951-926-1953
951-415-1869

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HELP SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY BY ENCOURAGING CONGRESSMAN JERRY LEWIS TO SUPPORT MAKING IT A “NATIONAL OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE RECREATION AREA”. LET HIM KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS AREA IS TO THE ENTIRE OHV COMMUNITY.

A designation of this type would prevent the Marine base at Twenty-Nine Palms from expanding into Johnson Valley and give it additional federal protections.

BAKERSFIELD, CA (April 23, 2009) The Wildlands Conservancy, a Oak Glen based organization, dedicated to preserving the beauty and biodiversity of the earth, and to fund programs so that children may know the wonder and joy of nature, is proposing legislation to Senator Dianne Feinstein that would create a national monument surrounding the historic Route 66 area. Included in this proposal is designating Johnson Valley as a National Recreation Area.

The off-road community needs to let Congressman Lewis know how important it is that the Johnson Valley area be given this designation and therefore set aside for OHV recreation in perpetuity.

We need the support of Congressman Lewis to make this happen. Please let him know how you feel and that you are a voter, especially if you live in his district. Please go to either ORBA’s website at www.orba.biz or to AMA D37’s off-road message board at http://www.district37ama.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=3 for sample template letters that can be sent to the congressmen from either recreational users or off-road business owners.

If Johnson Valley were to be given this type of federal designation it would prevent the Marine Base at Twenty-Nine Palms from expanding into the area and it would also prohibit commercial development, like renewable energy facilities. The Wildlands Conservancy has chosen to include Johnson Valley in their proposal because they understand in order to protect the health of the desert we need to protect the rights of all of the diverse recreationists that use it, including off-roaders.
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The Honorable Jerry Lewis
U.S. House of Representatives
1150 Brookside Ave. J-5
Redlands, CA 92313

Dear Congressman Lewis:

I am writing to you today because my family recreates in the Johnson Valley OHV Area, which is located in your district. The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC) has proposed legislation to Senator Dianne Feinstein that would create a national monument to protect the area surrounding historic Route 66. In addition they have recommended that the Johnson Valley OHV Area be designated as a National Recreation Area. This designation would stop the westward expansion of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) at Twenty-Nine Palms, California.

During a time of war the proper training of our troops is of the utmost importance to me and all Americans. If the Marines prove that they actually need a portion of Johnson Valley, to properly train our soldiers for combat, than I believe a “no net loss” policy must be adopted with regard to OHV recreation. Meaning that if one acre of OHV recreation is lost it should be replaced by an acre of land in a different area but of equal recreation quality. If the Marines actually take a portion of Johnson Valley the remaining section needs be designated as a National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area and the amount lost should be replaced by an area of similar size and recreation quality. The Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Base should not be allowed to expand until they have found appropriate replacement areas and funded and completed the required NEPA analysis to ensure these areas are suitable for OHV use. Then and ONLY then should the military be allowed to expand westward into the Johnson Valley Open Area.

In order to protect the diverse types of recreation currently occurring in the California desert we will need legislation that preserves the rights of all users, including OHV recreationists. Currently there is NO plan in place to preserve and protect the remaining OHV areas. This is why I request that you support a “no net loss” policy with regard to OHV recreation. Additionally I ask that you request that Senator Feinstein also designate the Stoddard Valley OHV Area, the Spangler Hills OHV Area, the Rasor OHV Area and the El Mirage OHV Areas as National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas as part of this legislation. If these areas were included then all of the desert recreationists would have their interests protected and as a result the deserts delicate balance would remain intact in perpetuity.

Sincerely,

Name
Address
E-mail address
 

BajaFand

Well-Known Member
I have a question about this. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great idea and I am all for it. My question is, would this make Johnson Valley a "state park" type of area like Ocotillo Wells state park is right now? I only ask because since Ocotillo Wells is a state park (for off-roaders), there can't be any off-road racing there, is that what would happen to Johnson Valley?

Like I said, please don't misunderstand, I was just curious. I think this is a great plan and a great way to succeed at keeping the marine base and the treehuggers from taking OUR land, whether we can race on it or not.
 

ORBA Meg

Member
I have a question about this. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great idea and I am all for it. My question is, would this make Johnson Valley a "state park" type of area like Ocotillo Wells state park is right now? I only ask because since Ocotillo Wells is a state park (for off-roaders), there can't be any off-road racing there, is that what would happen to Johnson Valley?

Like I said, please don't misunderstand, I was just curious. I think this is a great plan and a great way to succeed at keeping the marine base and the treehuggers from taking OUR land, whether we can race on it or not.
As far as I am aware the land would stay under the management of the BLM NOT the OHMVR Division of CA State Parks. I remember a D38 race that was held in Ocotillo Wells in 2001. My husband rode sweep, crashed and collapsed a lung.

But first we need to get Congressman Lewis to support the idea of making the area a National Recreation Area.

Thanks,
Meg
 

TomJeeps

Well-Known Member
I all ready signed a petition for an alternative action plan, that appears to have just dry-ed up and blew away, what is certain is if we don't all agree on something, someone like Diane Finstein will be pursuing there own..TJ:(
 

TomJeeps

Well-Known Member
Petition to Preserve Johnson Valley OHV through De-Designation of a PORTION of Sheephole Wilderness Area and Cleghorn Valley Wilderness area.

We, the undersigned petitioners by affixing our signatures, do Urge and Encourage the Command Staff at the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center located at Twentynine Palms in California, to pursue an Alternate Course of action to any westward expansion into the Johnson Valley OHV in their quest to enlarge the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center located at Twentynine Palms in California.

Instead, we ask that an Easterly expansion that includes a portion of the Sheephole Wilderness Area and Cleghorn Valley Wilderness area be the primary areas of interest as this direction best meets the needs of the Military, The vast array of Johnson Valley OHV Stakeholders, and the persons in the Surrounding Communities.

Eastward expansion will take into account and meet the needs of the Military by lack of conflicting air space with Commercial Aircraft using the Los Angeles Basin Flight Path. Further, it will retain the intact nature of the Johnson Valley OHV which serves the needs of thousands of Stakeholders including but not limited to 4x4 Enthusiasts, Motorcycle and Quad Enthusiasts, Rock hounds, The Movie Industry, Amateur Rocketeers, and Various Sanctioning Bodies for Offroad Racing. The Surrounding Communities will continue to enjoy the boost to their local economies by the attraction to, and the use of, the Johnson Valley OHV by the Stakeholders.

It is further encouraged that particular attention be paid to the plan laid out by San Bernardino County First District Supervisor, Brad Mitzelfelt in which he questions the inclusion of parts of these Wilderness Areas due to their previous usage as military training grounds in his letter to Deputy State Director, James Peterson, and the fact they were never included in any formal Wilderness Study plans.

Below is the excerpt from this letter-

I also offer the following proposal for the consideration by the Senator as a means of facilitating the Marines Corps expansion. It would serve multiple purposes. First, it would facilitate the expansion toward an area with little conflict with the desert residents. Second, it would save the BLM’s largest public OHV area for continued use, thus not displacing it to areas that should not be used and preventing trespass. Third, if adjusted to a realistic extent, it could potentially provide a largely suitable training area, plus an energy production area, remote from both sensitive resources and population, plus reduce potential conflict with public recreational use of the public lands. The proposal described below, at its maximum extent, would remove less than 170,000 acres from wilderness, and as I have indicated elsewhere, would not sacrifice any land resources that truly have wilderness values.

1. Adjust and de-designate portions of the Sheephole Mountains (Area #21) in an (A) configuration, eliminate the northern portion, north of the township like between 2 North and 3 North. In a (B) configuration the eastern two-thirds could be removed, leaving in the Sheephole Mountains as wilderness. A line drawn southeasterly from the corner of T2N R12E, T2N R13E, T3N R12E and T3N R13E, to State Highway 62 at its northern point corner would accommodate both the Marine Corps expansion and renewable energy development siting.

Except for the mountainous area to the southwest side, the area likely should never have been included in the National Wilderness System. While technically roadless, it was a tank training area during World War II (near the Iron Mountain Divisional Camp), and again, I believe, during Operation Desert Strike in 1964. The impacts from past activity had rendered the area “not suitable” in the published Wilderness Reports, but for reasons known only to the CDPA authors, it was included as Wilderness.

2. De-designate the Cadiz Dunes (Area #24). This small dune system, if removed from wilderness, in lieu of some of the new areas to be included, there would be a balancing, which would also facilitate the USMC expansion to the east, and create a “whole” area for their training activity.

This area, like the eastern part of the Sheephole Wilderness, was never recommended suitable by BLM’s inventory, and more importantly, was not deemed of sufficient value or naturalness to be recommended over other dune systems in the region such as Kelso. In fact, when wilderness inventory was done, it was not deemed to have wilderness character and thus was not even a Wilderness Study Area (WSA), and thus was not even addressed as part of the form and published Wilderness Report. It too, was part of the general military training in WWII and probably again in the 1960’s. I cannot speculate why it was even included in the 1994 CDPA, and its de-designation now, to provide an appropriate eastern boundary for the Marine Corps training, seems appropriately in the National interest.

(see link labeled "San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelts letter to Dianne Feinstien office" to the right for full letter)

We feel this is the best course of action in that it solidly meets the needs of all concerned.

Should this proposal be found acceptable to the Marine Corps, then this petition in its entirety will be sent to each Congressman and Senator who's constituency is represented
Links to the petition I was talking about...TJ

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SaveJohnsonValley-SpecificPlan/
 

aphantomduck

Well-Known Member
From the maps I've seen here Meg, the Wildlands folks are proposing something to the effect of a National OHV Recretion Area, not a National Recreation Area.

I've never seen such a designation (the former) by Congress before.

So I'm not understanding the press release you wrote. The NRA designation was not what the Wildlands folks provided to the staff of Senator Feinstien a few weeks ago.

Further, the press release kinda reminds me of inviting us all to dinner, but not telling us where we should meet.

We have no poposed area maps of what is being asked of us and no proposed text of how this place will be managed.

I support the concept of this proposal, however.

Until we get answers to the questions I pose here and a good map of the proposed National Whatever Area, I for one will not be writing Congressman Lewis about anything.
 

TomJeeps

Well-Known Member
I agree with DUCK yeah it's a good concept but just what is it? Calling it a National OHV area could just be simple word smithing, call it what you want but just what kind of regulations go with it? To say No Net loss means we get something that we can actually use, just like we had at Johnson valley in the past, which also means it just goes on managed as is was regardless of nomenclature...TJ
 

Broncodawg

Well-Known Member
Good questions as you never know what you are really getting until it is mapped and defined.

As a motorized access advocate, I have to work with greenies to get things accomplished with the forest circus and the inside scoop from the greens is that they realize that if much more of the desert is closed, that motorized people are just going to find new pristine areas to ride. They apparently really do support keeping JV open to ride so the growing sport has places like JV to go to.

Here's a link to sign and automatically send off a letter to Jerry Lewis that is easy.
After filling in your info, simply click "preview and send", read it and then click "send" once more and done deal. While you're there, think about joining an org. like BRC to help keep the fight alive.

http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/

Thanks
 
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