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From: Advocates for Access to Public Lands
As you know, AAPL supports the Partnership For Johnson Valley (PFJV) in
their efforts to save one of the best OHV areas in the California desert.
They have created the petition above to convince Marine officials of the sheer numbers
of JV users who will be harmed by the loss of JV to OHV use.
They have collected 1200 signatures in the first days of the petition and let's double that amount for them!
Part of the Governor’s latest budget proposal is a $90M loan from the OHV Trust Fund to help balance the state budget!
Although we understand that the state is in the grip of the worst budget crisis in history, this loan is not a solution to the problem!
Why? The law requires that this loan must be repaid within 2 years, so all this does is delay a real solution to the budget problem.
Similar tactics have been tried in the past. In recent years the state budget was often balanced by borrowing billions from constitutionally protected trust funds reserved for highway construction and repair of local streets and roads. Local governments united to oppose this borrowing gimmick and the governor and legislature agreed to stay away from borrowing from local government trust funds this year. Unfortunately this commitment does not extend to our OHV Trust Fund.
Apparently Wonder Valley residents don’t feel that our local authorities are capable of handling the multitude of criminal off roaders that harass, intimidate, and threaten the Wonder Valley residents. So some have petitioned the State Parks Department of OHV to intervene. Last Friday three members of State Parks in Sacramento converged on Wonder Valley to investigate and determine what action if any should be taken. Could it be that these trumped up charges are simply not true or highly exaggerated, and maybe even provoked by certain persons jumping out in front of a passing rider.
For Immediate release
January 11, 2009
What was to be a routine meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the Twentynine Palms MCAGCC chaired by Harry Baker turned into an emotional discussion about the economic impacts the military's proposed expansion would have in Lucerne, Johnson, Yucca Valley and surrounding communities if tourism was removed from the region.
"This is a Route 66 scenario" said one of the business owners concerned about local impacts on tourism that could turn our communities into ghost towns.
Johnson Valley – 189,000 acres of 1986 state designated open access territory for public use. It’s the place we camp, ride, work, live and take for granted that it will always be there. It takes in Means Dry Lake, Melville Dry Lake, Soggy Dry Lake, Anderson Dry Lake, Galway Dry Lake, MDR/MORE coarse A and B, Multiple mining claims, Multiple Motorcycle club coarse, the HAMMERS, multiple organized and non-organized outdoor activities.
The BLM has withdrawn this public land as part of a environmental impact study requested by the US Department of the Navy for expanding Twenty-nine Palms Air Ground Combat Training Center. In two to five years this land we take for granted could be gone, closed to public access and use.
As part of a large group made up of various user groups, we support the need for adequate military training. We must identify for the BLM, the Military and federal legislators the value that this area has for us on all levels. We must make requests for the military to strongly consider expansion to the lands east contingent to the existing base for training needs.
If this effects you or has value to you in any way there are three things you must do.
The Morongo Basin Search and Rescue event was a huge success, in spite of a healthy breeze that persisted the weekend. The organizers gave us a front row seat at the main base. we handed out hundreds of flyers, gathered signatures for our ordinance efforts and talked till we were blue in the face.
Recent meetings with the Supervisor, Congressman Lewis, Senator Feinstein and the Partnership have resulted in the Supervisor's call for a de-designation of less than wilderness quality areas in eastern San Bernardino County. This de-designation would, according to Mitzelfelt, "facilitate the expansion toward an area with little conflict with desert residents" and "save the BLM's largest public OHV area for continued use."
Ordinance 3973 remains high on the agenda, the staging permit issues is currently under protest, we are taking it to the next level. Interestingly the documents that support our argument such as letters and news release from county staff and stakeholder members are being rejected by county council. It seems to me that when the professionals resort to technicalities to uphold a ordinance the majority doesn't want they must be afraid of something or someone.
The fight of 28.0403 vs PC602.2 is right around the corner, we think that county’s name change game (Land use issue as opposed to trespass) is another technicality that’s not right if even legal.
At our last FOGR meeting Deputy Sheriff Rick Collins explained that the county assumed jurisdiction of all dirt roads, easements in the county. Making them vehicle code applicable. Your private easements in unincorporated San Bernardino otherwise know as CSA roads were simply taken by the county council stroke of a pen. Oh but don’t ask them to be responsible for road road maintenance or safe conditions there-of. A special thanks to Deputy Sheriff Collins for taking the time to address our members.
This just in from PFJV. Twentynine Palms Base Expansion Withdrawal Notice will be published in the Federal Register early next week. That notice will include the announcement of two BLM public information meetings to discuss exactly what the withdrawal means. Explanation of terms, study timeline, etc.
Those two meetings are 'tentatively' scheduled for October 23 & 24. Locations and time to be announced, but they will most probably be held at LARGE facilities in towns at the east and west ends of the base.
Scoping meeting dates will also be announced shortly, these meetings will probably happen in the late November/December timeframe, and it has been said that there will be at least three.
The yellow line is the boundry of the OHV area.
The blue line in what the Marines are looking to take.
Link to full map: http://www.29palms.usmc.mil/las/docs/MCAGCC_Study_Area_20080821.pdf
Link to Marine Corps. press release: http://www.29palms.usmc.mil/las/pr_08_004.asp
Link to application for withdrawal of public lands: http://www.29palms.usmc.mil/las/docs/blmpkg13aug08.pdf