CALIFORNIA - Help To Stop The 29 Palms Base Expansion

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August 06, 2012 3:49 PM

The folks over at the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC), forwarded a very important action alert from the CAMRC (California Motorized Recreation Council) on Johnson Valley. We wanted to make sure all BRC members and supporters take action. CAMRC wrote: The next month could be the most important 30 days in the last three years of this fight. Please help us activate every OHV enthusiast in the United States with this message. We couldn't have said it better. As we mentioned in our previous update, this effort is taking place on

CALIFORNIA - HELP TO STOP THE 29 PALMS BASE EXPANSION

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The folks over at the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC), forwarded a very important action alert from the CAMRC (California Motorized Recreation Council) on Johnson Valley.

We wanted to make sure all BRC members and supporters take action.

CAMRC wrote:

The next month could be the most important 30 days in the last three years of this fight. Please help us activate every OHV enthusiast in the United States with this message.

We couldn't have said it better. As we mentioned in our previous update, this effort is taking place on several key playing fields. The CAMRC's action items will assist both on the administrative playing field (the Environmental Impact Statement) and the political playing field. 

CAMRC has a unique action item. Check it out:

We need every off-roader to participate in a targeted outreach. One phone call or fax a day is all we ask. Talking points can be found below. Contact name is underlined. Congress is on recess this week, they should be in the District Office. Every off-roader must participate!

CAMRC also has an excellent set of "talking points" folks can use when making calls.

As a community, it is critically important that we not lose Johnson Valley. So even if you've never visited this epic area, we strongly encourage you to take action.

I've pasted CAMRC's action alert below. As always if you have any questions or comments please call or email.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
brbrian@sharetrails.org
(208) 237-1008 EXT 102

PS: Don't miss the Off-Road.com article by Josh Burns. Its got all the details from the action alert and a  very cool video. Don't miss.

PPS: Donations are being taken to support efforts to save Johnson Valley on CMRC's website:
http://savethehammers.org (click the donate now button on the left)


Aug 3, 2012

Final EIS for Johnson Valley released

Written by CAMRC.
 


WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP THE 29 PALMS BASE EXPANSION
AUGUST 6-15, 2012

HOW TO HELP:
Monday August 6, 2012 Call:
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) or District Director Tevor Daley Los Angeles 310-914-7300 fax 310-914-7318

Tuesday August 7, 2012 Call:
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 22) or District Director Vince Fong Bakersfield 661-327-3611 fax 661-637-0867

Wednesday August 8, 2012 Call:
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA 25) or Deputy COS Bob Haueter Santa Clarita 661-254-2111 fax 661-254-2380

Thursday August 9, 2012 Call:
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA 41) or District Director Rachel Khalili Redlands 909-862-6030 fax 909-335-9155

Friday August 10, 2012 Call:
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA 45) or District Director Marc Troast Palm Desert 760-320-1076 fax 760-320-0596

Monday August 13, 2012 Call:
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA 44) or District Director Jolyn Murphy Corona 951-784-4300 fax 951-784-5255

Tuesday August 14, 2012 Call:
Rep. David Drier (R-CA 26) or District Director Mark Harmsen San Dimas 909-575-6226 fax 909-575-6266

The next month could be the most important 30 days in the last three years of this fight. Please help us activate every OHV enthusiast in the United States with this message.
We need every off-roader to participate in a targeted outreach. One phone call or fax a day is all we ask. Talking points can be found below. Contact name is underlined. Congress is on recess this week, they should be in the District Office. Every off-roader must participate!

The US Marine Corps has posted the final EIS on their website here: http://www.marines.mil/unit/29palms/las/Pages/default.aspx

USMC Preferred Alternative:
Alternative 6 was selected in the DEIS as the preferred alternative and slightly modified in the Final EIS: it is the optimal alternative for the Marine Corps considering operational and environmental impact factors together. Developed in response to public comments it was designed to rpeserve public access to important off-road recreation areas during periods when MEB training did not require use of those lands. The Preferred Alternative would allow for reopening to public recreation use approximately 40,000 acres of the acquisition area for ten months a year. The land would fall under management of the Marine Corps under this proposed plan.

A Q&A document with higlights of major changes in the final EIS is posted at http://www.marines.mil/unit/29palms/LAS/Documents/V7_FEIS__FAQS_120725.pdf

Public comments are due by August 27

For context, issuance of the EIS has been anticipated for months.
Nevertheless, Congress is still expected to enact the 2013 Defense Authorization Act that will include a provision requiring the Marines to undertake a study on alternative ways to share the land with the OHV community. The House has included the provision in its version of the bill, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein intends to sponsor the provision when the Senate takes up their version of the bill, thereby guaranteeing it will be in the final law. Although the Marines have put forth their EIS, Congress must ultimately enact legislation authorizing any transfer of land from the BLM to the Marines.

Johnson Valley OHV Area Talking Points

ISSUE: Marine Corps plans to acquire 160,000 acres of BLM land next to Marine Corps Ground Air Combat Center (MCGACC) Twenty Nine Palms eliminates most of the land available under the California Desert Conservation Plan (1980) available for to off highway (OHV) recreation impacting OHV activity and the local and national economy.

  • Johnson Valley OHV recreation area is 189,700 acres that develops at least 300,000 visitor days per year and is world renowned as an OHV recreation area.
     
  • Economic impact: BLM estimates $71.5 million annually into the local economy and $191.2 Million into the national economy.
     
  • USMC has a new requirement for MEB level maneuver training and intends to acquire 160,000 acres of this the land from BLM and conduct live fire on all but 40,000 acres - permanently closing access to 120,000 acres.
     
  • Local authorities and State authorities and thousands of citizens are opposed to the transfer of this land.
     
  • USMC is well into the EIS process and could issue a Record of decision as early as this summer.
     
  • Options other than those in the Draft EIS need to be considered:
    o    Permitted use of land from BLM (like at other BLM sites used for training)
    o    Other BLM land in the region (not necessarily adjacent).
  • More time needed for deliberation and seeking options on both sides and with the State.
    o    Not urgent since Marines have been deploying to combat for 10 years without this extra range - should have more time to seek a broader solution set.
    o    Once live fire starts the land is permanently lost. We need to find accommodation for OHV needs and that will require BLM and State officials.
  • The US House of Representatives passed an Amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that requires, prior to transfer, the Secretary of the Navy to provide a report on the new Marine requirement for this land and on the economic impact and on other potential solutions to the elimination of recreational land.
     
  • In spite of this Congressional interest, the Secretary of the Navy just entered the final Environmental Impact Statement into the Federal Register and can now within a short time announce his "Record of Decision" to acquire this land.
     
  • The intent of the House of Representatives was to slow this down to have a better look at it. The Navy has run roughshod over the House and ignored their intent. The House should be angry. We are.
     
  • Please call the Secretary of the Navy and tell him to stop this provcess until all the stakeholders - including federal legislators - have had their voices heard.
     
  • If the Marines went through 10 years of war without this extra land, it surely could wait a few months until all interests could be accommodated.

You can learn more about the effort to save the Johnson Valley OHV area by visiting savethehammers.org


Specialty Equipment Market Association

 

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