Johnson Valley OHV Press Release, YOUR HELP IS NEEDED, A call to ACTIONposted Jan 16, 2009
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Time is running out to submit your comments to the Marine Corps regarding the proposed expansion, and possible loss of the largest multi-purpose OHV area at Johnson Valley . All comments must be received prior to January 31st, 2009. Please read the press release below.
We realize that there is a lot of information to absorb regarding all of the options that were given. Most of the options took all or portions of Johnson Valley OHV. The only option that did not result in a loss of our public OHV lands was Alternate 3. Although not being considered currently, the de-designation of the Sheephole Wilderness area as suggested by Supervisor Mitzelfelt, would imminently enhance the attractiveness of Alternate 3.
We encourage you to read Supervisor Mitzelfelts letter to Senator Feinstein's office. He goes through each of the options, and then proposes a de-designation of this area based on several factors. The area in question is not quality wilderness, and was never intended to be set aside as wilderness area. Another benefit to this area of expansion is that it can be used for Air Combat Training, whereas the air space over Johnson Valley is in the flight path of the Los Angeles Basin . Overall, this is the best solution for everyone. However, the Marines need our help to de-designate this wilderness area, and that begins with sending in your comments. Please send a copy of your comments to your Congressman and Senators as well. De-designation of a wilderness area requires Congressional action. To find your representatives go to www.congress.org.
Please take a few minutes out, read the information provided and SEND IN YOUR COMMENT FORM. Now is the chance to make our comments heard! After that we will be at the mercy of the Marines and Congress.
Thank you for your continued support and interest-
Tamera and Chris Field
Partnership For Johnson Valley hosts meeting with local businesses and Military representatives from Twentynine Palms
What was to be a routine meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the Twenty-nine 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 Draft 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."
If you would like to donate to the Partnership, please send a check or money order in care of:
Partnership For Johnson Valley
3550 Foothill Blvd.
Glendale CA 91214
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 . For more information and updates, please visit www.PFJV.org