Save Johnson Valley OHV! Link to Petition - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 27th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Save Johnson Valley OHV! Link to Petition

Hi,

I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:

"Save Johnson Valley OHV - Specific Plan"
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/S...SpecificPlan?e

I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old January 18th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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Another call for help to save the Johnson Valley OHV area, this time from the marine base expansion. Please show your support.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...ublic/5r0C7Xw4
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  #3  
Old February 14th, 2013, 10:51 PM
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When I was stationed there in '84 and '85 I had a CJ 7 and we used to wheel all over Johnson valley. I hope they don't close it off. Good luck and Semper Fi.
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  #4  
Old March 20th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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Honestly, i know this issue is of at DC right now, California wants to sell it to get the money, but with sequestration hitting the Marine Corps hard right now, I wouldnt bet on the funding. Additional problems are that the area from Landers to Lucerne up to Barstow, even if bought by the Marines, is complicated because it's final corridor for LAX traffic, and that airspace is heavily used by the FAA for that purpose. That means, no fighter planes dropping bombs, or howitzers or mortars lobbing rounds. Additionally, with the draw down in Afghanistan and no other large scale desert conflict on the horizon, I think (IMHO) that MCCAGC 29 Palms will see a reduction in rotating units through it and the need to expand the R2501 complex will not be necessary. I'm all about standing up for what you believe in, Save Trestles and all that, but I think the JV OHV area is safe.

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  #5  
Old March 20th, 2013, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Thiessen View Post
Honestly, i know this issue is of at DC right now, California wants to sell it to get the money, but with sequestration hitting the Marine Corps hard right now, I wouldnt bet on the funding. Additional problems are that the area from Landers to Lucerne up to Barstow, even if bought by the Marines, is complicated because it's final corridor for LAX traffic, and that airspace is heavily used by the FAA for that purpose. That means, no fighter planes dropping bombs, or howitzers or mortars lobbing rounds. Additionally, with the draw down in Afghanistan and no other large scale desert conflict on the horizon, I think (IMHO) that MCCAGC 29 Palms will see a reduction in rotating units through it and the need to expand the R2501 complex will not be necessary. I'm all about standing up for what you believe in, Save Trestles and all that, but I think the JV OHV area is safe.

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I'm a ground guy but from what I remember MCCAGC writ large is problematic at times for deconfliction with the LAX traffic and FAA; this space doesn't fundamentally change the issue.

The funding issue, and to a lesser degree the public outcry, may be the thing that stops it-but the end of Afghanistan and the reduction of units probably won't be. Forecasting ahead what the Marine Corps is trying to do is get space to exercise as a full blown Marine Expeditionary Brigade (so 3 maneuver units supported by the rest of the MAGTF)...we're hanging our hat on that capability for the nation, if we can't exercise it in a place the Indians didn't want we're kinda screwed b/c everyone else who has had a cross to bear has removed a lot of the other viable options CONUS or near CONUS. So even if less units rotate through for predeployment training, the forecasting out for major exercises will still find the way to get 3x Bn's there with HQs and the rest of the supporting cast-and you can't rent the area to make all that happen for just a few months every couple years. I'm not saying it b/c I really care one way or another, I have equities in both camps in theory, I'm just providing insights from a guy who has MARPATs hanging in his closet.

Bear in mind I'm a bit away from the campfire with these discussions, but that is the narrative I've heard when I do check in on things.

r-
Ray
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  #6  
Old March 21st, 2013, 12:26 AM
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I left TNP a year and a half ago as a FAC and they were all talking about pulling in JV OHV back then and it sounded like a sure thing... i was surprised it hadn't happened already. I called Range Control this afternoon (Bearmat) to make sure I have my facts straight and their Civ director is forwarding me the latest powerpoint plan that they have there and Ray i'll shoot it to you if you PM me your global.

For the rest, I'll be happy to forward on anything that is not sensitive. I like the rest of the Marines in the forum have a foot in both camps too.
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  #7  
Old April 10th, 2013, 03:02 AM
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Ok,

Gents, no real great answers as far as the marine developments on JV OHV, but, feel free to look at what the MC puts out publicly. I'm sure many of you haven't seen this, and I think it'll answer a lot of questions you have from the MC side. Click through the side bar on the right for specific information. My contacts at Range Control (Bearmat) only have this to go off of. Like I said before, stand up for what you believe in. Don't expect this to happen tomorrow.

http://www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff...quisition.aspx
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  #8  
Old April 24th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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Possible compromise solution:
The Desert Sun (Palm Springs)
April 23, 2013

Bill checks takeover of Johnson Valley off-roading area

By K Kaufmann

A new bill set for its first hearing in Congress on Friday would put a hold on the proposed expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms into a prime off-roading area in Johnson Valley, while still allowing the Corps to train in the area twice a year.

U.S. Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, a retired Marine colonel, authored the bill that would add a new layer of protection for the 188,000-acre off-roading area by making it an officially designated national off-highway vehicle recreation area.

"The bill means that Johnson Valley, for the first time, has recognition as a nationally significant area," Michael Fresquez, a spokesman for Cook, said in an email to The Desert Sun. "It also prevents uses other than those allowed in the legislation, making Johnson Valley a permanent home for the off-road vehicle community."

The bill was officially introduced Tuesday and will get its first hearing Friday in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.

Johnson Valley is about 20 miles north of Yucca Valley and directly west of the Twenty-nine Palms base. The Marine Corps has been moving forward with plans to annex more than half of the off-roading area for training exercises it has said are critical to its post-Middle East role as a slimmed-down, rapid response force but cannot be accommodated at Twentynine Palms without the additional acreage.

Modeled on a proposal advanced by off-roading groups, Cook's bill would instead open the off-roading area twice a year for the Marine Expeditionary Brigade, or MEB, exercises that would involve three battalions totaling up to 20,000 troops, helicopters and live ammunition.

The bill would allow live-ammo exercises, but specifically forbid the use of "dud-producing ordnance" - explosives that could be left behind without detonating.

Training exercises would also have to be scheduled so as not to conflict with large off-roading competitions in Johnson Valley, such as King of the Hammers, a week-long event that in February drew about 35,000 visitors to the region, providing a boost for high desert businesses.

In a recent news statement, Cook called training exercises at Twentynine Palms "vital to the safety of the American people," but came out in opposition to the base expansion plan.

"Off-roaders and other users of Johnson Valley make huge contributions to the economic well-being of the Morongo Valley, and losing that revenue during slow economic times would be devastating," said Cook, who also worked as executive director of the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s.

Off-roaders such as Philip Hoffman of Cathedral City also regularly speak of the unique nature of Johnson Valley with its combination of open desert flat lands and world-famous rock-crawling trails known as the Hammers.

"I think the Marines have more than enough area to train in right now," said Hoffman, who participated in this year's King of the Hammers. "(They should) leave Johnson Valley to the public. There's not a lot of areas left in Southern California with what Johnson Valley offers."

Marine officials have countered that Cook's proposal is not workable for the MEB exercises, which require more space than the 596,000 acres - more than half the size of Rhode Island - currently available on the Twentynine Palms base.

"The land expansion and associated training are absolutely necessary and essential to maintain Marine Corps readiness in the future," said Navy Capt. Tony Edmonds, director of facilities for the Marine Corps Installation Command.

"While Twentynine Palms served us well during the Korean War and subsequent conflicts, our weapons and doctrine have changed significantly over the past few years, and it is no longer big enough to accommodate the needs of the Marine Corps through the 21st century."

Under the Marines' plan for Johnson Valley, 103,000 acres of the off-roading area would become part of the base, while another 45,000 acres would be set up as a shared-use area, which off-roaders would be allowed to use 10 months a year.

The expansion plan, one of six alternatives the Marines considered as part of an environmental review, was approved by the Department of the Navy in February, a week after the King of the Hammers. Final authorization for the base expansion will be included in a Defense Appropriations bill that will go to Congress later this year, Marine officials said.

Whether Cook's bill can overcome opposition from the Marines remains to be seen, but a coalition of off-roading groups and high desert businesses are likely to provide support.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, said his office has been in touch with Cook's office and is willing to work on a bipartisan solution to the issue.

"We have been working with local businesses and constituents to find a solution that puts our communities first," Ruiz said in a statement emailed to The Desert Sun Tuesday.

Cheryl Nankervis, executive director of the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, expects her group will support the bill. The Chamber mounted an aggressive campaign this year to draw visitors from King of the Hammers to the city, and local firms have reported a bump in business ranging from 2 percent to 10 percent, she said.

Fred Wiley, president and CEO of the Off-Road Business Association, an industry group, said the days may be past when even the Marines can expect carte blanche approvals from Congress.

"I think it's important for everyone to understand we want to do this right for all the people involved, and obviously that's a very difficult thing," he said. "We think we've come close. The bill may be added to or subtracted from, but we think we're very close."
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  #9  
Old September 11th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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I want to say "YEAH"! Looks like they can still train there twice a year, that's good right?
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  #10  
Old December 12th, 2013, 09:58 PM
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Looks like we all get to get along:
http://voices.mydesert.com/2013/12/1...ohnson-valley/

I gotta say, if I ever end up out there I'd rather be offroading than doing another CAX.
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