Partnership For Johnson Valley hosts meeting with local businesses and Military representatives from Twentynine PalmsJan 12, 2009
AAPL supports the Partnership for Johnson Valley and the CTUC in their efforts on behalf of all the users of Johnson Valley, one of the premier remaining OHV areas left in the California desert and now threatened by the USMC's need for more desert training land. PFJV is working with the Marines to identify alternative locations to satisfy the Marines needs.
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.
Ed Waldheim, President of the California Trail Users Coalition and a Director of the Partnership, was visibly shaken and genuinely concerned that the emotion of these local retailers could never be channeled through typical scoping methods . Range Expansion Program Manager Joe Ross, assured us he would relay this overwhelming concern demonstrated by local business owners to the upper military brass and that every comment carries weight. He noted that socioeconomics will be one of many important items to be fully analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
One very important key element discussed was the volume of scoping comments that have been received so far by the Marines. As of today, just under 900 Emails and about 500 hard comment letters have been received. This number of comment letters to the military is disappointingly low.
The Partnership is urging the public to send letters to the military regarding this issue. The more the better. Unique comments and ideas are openly welcome from all types of tourists, multiple users and local residents. All substantive comments that are received will be incorporated into the Dra ft EIS, scheduled for release in spring 2010.
Comments can be as simple as one sentence, or as many words as you would like. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING COMMENTS IS JAN 31, 2009.
Download comment form here http://pfjv.org/Mcom.pdf
Comments may be submitted in writing by sending a letter to:
Mr. Joe Ross, Project Manager, 29Palms Proposed Training
Land/Airspace Acquisition Project, MAGTFTC/MCAGCC,
Bldg. 1554, Box 788104, Twentynine Palms, CA 92278-8104;
by an e-mail to SMBPLMSWEBPAO@usmc.mil ;
or by voice mail at 760-830-3764
All meetings of the PFJV are open to the public, and the military is regularly invited and in attendance. Harry Baker said, "I've been very gratified that Marine Corps representatives accept our invitations and take time out of their busy schedules to attend. They have shown an impressive willingness to be open, honest and listen to all stakeholder concerns during their planning process."
About The Partnership for Johnson Valley: The leadership of the Partnership For Johnson Valley has been cooperatively working with the military and the affected Stakeholders in an effort to explore alternatives to the proposed land expansion. The PFJV is a division of the 501(c)3 California Trail Users Coalition. The Mission of the Partnership is to unite the many people who enjoy the diverse activities available in the multiple-use open access area of Johnson Valley. The Partnership's charter is to promote responsible recreation and the use of desert resources through conservation and education. The goal of the Partnership is to ensure public open-access to the area in the present, and for future generations who Live, Work, and Recreate in Johnson Valley. F or more information and updates, please visit www.PFJV.org
Mojave (Wonder Acres) CA 93501
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