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Author Topic: Johnson Valley, CA  (Read 3349 times)

Offline Twisty

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Johnson Valley, CA
« on: January 21, 2009, 08:30:59 PM »
There is a fight going down about what will happen to Johnson Valley, in CA.  The King of the Hammers race takes place there, and it is a very famous place.  The Marines are looking at taking over the area to create a training course. 

Some feel that since it is for the Marines, that it is ok to let the land go.  I believe that there are many other places that the Marines could use, so I decided to sign the petition. 

This if from my e-mail.

As many of you know, Johnson Valley OHV is being seriously considered by the US Marine Corps as their new training area. The public scoping meetings and studies have been completed. The Public Comment period ends on January 31st, 2009.


Five of the options that were offered took all or a portion of Johnson Valley, the sixth was to do nothing at all (which is unlikely)


Based upon Brad Mitzelfelts letter to Dianne Feinsteins office, we have drafted a new more specific petition that outlines an option that would de-designate a portion of wilderness area that is acceptable to the

Marines. The wilderness area in question is not considered quality wilderness area, AND has already been used for military training in the past.


We need the public's support for the Marines to even CONSIDER this option.


It is imperative that you read and sign, including your email and mailing addresses. Upon the end of the comment period, this petition will be submitted initially to the Marines, and then we will forward the

signatures and addresses to each local legislator.




Thank you for your time and support. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.


Tamera Field

Chris Field
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Offline Mitch

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 06:32:19 AM »
hasnt this been going on a for a while?
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Offline Twisty

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 09:23:19 AM »
I think so.  The Marines are moving forward with their plan to use JV though, this is yet another attempt to thwart their actions.
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Offline jps4jeep

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 11:06:50 AM »
yes, this is a long time coming.

we should offer the marines Coy hill  ???
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 11:07:10 AM by jps4jeep »
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Offline Ian

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 01:30:15 PM »
i've never been, but there are a lot of cool trails (other than the King of the Hammers) there

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Offline ayoung

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 10:46:04 AM »
interesting, i was just out there in the Mojave Desert at MCAGCC for the last 35 days...we were driving over some crazy sh!t in the HMMWVs and i kept wishing i had my jeep out there.  Marine Corps has been looking to expand 29 Palms for a while now, there just isnt enough room with the current operational tempo (the number of Battalions going through there for their pre-deployment training as increased a ton) and they are having to build a lot of new ranges just to support the training for the Marines before they deploy overseas (this will only get worse as the tempo in the Afghanistan theater increases)  That area in question is on the side of the base that currently is not used to extensively (mostly just a lot of indirect fire from artillery, mortars and fixed wing aircraft), so i imagine that is why they are trying to develop that area with more ranges.

Offline ayoung

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 08:06:10 AM »
Johnson Valley: Deal will have Marines, public sharing access
Desert Sun…K Kaufmann
A nudge from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., may have helped seal a compromise between off-roaders and the U.S. Marine Corps, ensuring that more than half of Johnson Valley’s 188,000 acres of prime off-roading trails and desert vistas will remain open to the public most of the year.
Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, recently announced the deal that would limit an expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms into the valley to 88,130 acres and create a federally designated off-roading area on the remaining 99,690 acres.
Located in the high desert about 20 miles north of Yucca Valley, Johnson Valley is an off-roading mecca known worldwide for its mix of dry lake beds, open desert and rock-crawling
trails — called the Hammers — where custom-built vehicles with massive tires fight their way up hills littered with rocks and large boulders.
But the same terrain that draws off-roaders and its location due west of the combat center also made it prime real estate for the Marines. The Corps has been working for years to expand the base at Twentynine Palms to allow for live-fire combat training exercises it has said are critical for its post-Mideast role as a streamlined expeditionary force.
Its plan for the valley, which the U.S. Navy approved earlier this year, would have appropriated more than 103,000 acres of the off-roading area for training at the base, plus another 43,000 acres that off-roaders would be allowed to use 10 months a year.
The deal, part of the National Defense Authorization Act the House passed late Thursday, would also allow the Marines to use 56,439 acres of the off-roading area for combat training up to 60 days a year but limits the kind of live ammunition that can be fired during combat exercises.
A Senate vote on the bill could occur sometime this week, said Matthew Groves, Cook’s legislative counsel.
While labeling the deal a victory, off-roaders also said the land the Marines will take includes some of the region’s most popular trails and isolated, back-valley areas.

(Page 2 of 2)
“The trail systems we fought so hard for are still there,” said Larry McRae, an avid off-roader and president of Poison Spyder of Banning, a company that builds custom “armor” for the Jeeps and other off-road vehicles that batter themselves against the rocks in the Hammers.
“There’s a lot of open desert that’s been taken. What it takes away is some of the exploration opportunities. A lot of people enjoy the trail-making process.”
“Saying we lose 70-80,000 acres and calling that a win is tough,” said Dave Cole, co-founder of King of the Hammers, a week-long off-road racing event that yearly draws tens of thousands of visitors and significant tourist dollars to surrounding high desert communities.
The area going to the Marines also contains about 85 percent of the 112-mile course that was used for the King of the Hammers in 2013, he said. While the 2014 event, set for Jan. 31-Feb. 8, should not be affected by the Marines’ move into the valley, Cole said a new course on the remaining land will have to be developed for future races.
Residents of the small community of Johnson Valley, located across the highway from the off-roading area, also have mixed feelings about the deal. Many already experience noise and rattling windows during training exercises at the base, including recent combat exercises that ended Monday.
“I’m glad the Hammers were saved,” said Jim Hanley, 74, a Marine vet who served in Lebanon in the 1970s. “The shared use — it will bring the noise closer to us. The other night I thought something had hit the house, the noise was so bad.”
Keeping residents and off-roaders safe, while ensuring the Marines could train, were the issues allowing Cook, a retired Marine colonel, and Feinstein to find common ground during a recent meeting.
Feinstein had previously pushed the Corps to find a way to share the valley with off-roaders, representatives from her Washington office said.
The Corps also cited safety in their reasons for accepting the compromise.
“We feel this course of action is the best balance for military and recreational use of the land,” Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman, wrote in an email response to questions from The Desert Sun.
“Safety is a high priority for the Marine Corps and we want to ensure that both Marines and recreational users stay safe throughout the year.”
Many details of how the shared-use arrangement will play out are still to be determined, but Johnson Valley will not be the first time the Marines have shared land for recreational use, Krebs said.
The Marines share 45,000 acres of Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada, where they conduct mountain warfare training, and hunting and fishing are allowed on a number of bases across the country, she said.

Offline Axle

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 10:15:37 AM »
very nice, thank you sir!
85 cj-7

Offline ayoung

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 08:27:49 AM »
Compromise in dispute between Marines, off-roaders Yahoo News, May 10 | Staff

The Marine Corps and off-road vehicle enthusiasts will share a rugged patch of desert near the military base at Twentynine Palms under a compromise brokered by Congress.

Neither side got all it wanted in the nearly decadelong dispute over 200,000 acres of Johnson Valley adjacent to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in the Mojave Desert, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday ( ).

As included in the 2014 defense bill signed by President Barack Obama, about 43,000 acres of Johnson Valley will be for recreational use only, while another 79,000 acres will be for the Marine Corps. And 53,000 acres will be shared between the off-roaders and the Marines.

"We would have preferred something different. But this is probably the best we can get," said Steve Egbert, president of the 6,000-member California Association of Four-Wheel Drive Clubs, one of several off-road organizations involved in the issue.

The annual King of the Hammers off-road competition, billed as the toughest desert race in the nation, drawing more than 20,000 spectators and participants, will continue, although its course will have to be redrawn slightly, officials said.

Maj. Gen. David Berger, commanding general of the base at Twentynine Palms, told the newspaper that with the additional training area Marines will "learn to fight the way (they're) actually going to fight in a conflict, at that size level."

The Johnson Valley plan allows the Marines to use the shared area for two 30-day stretches a year for combat training. Just when those 30-day stretches will be has yet to be decided, Bureau of Land Management officials said.

The area set aside exclusively for the public will be known as the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and state Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, a retired Marine colonel, worked to bring the two sides together.

Offline Bluerocket

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2014, 09:39:22 AM »
From how that reads it sounds like relatively good news for the offroad community!
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Offline ayoung

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Re: Johnson Valley, CA
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 02:23:23 PM »
Without really knowing any more than what I read in the news, I would agree that it seems like a good compromise for all involved. 


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