Latest news from the BLM. http://t.co/hxnHfXzxY0
May 15, 2013 is a historic day for OHV users. While it may not have shook the earth like a SCORE Trophy Truck racing across the desert, it is a very important landmark in the race to save the Johnson valley OHV area. The “Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area Establishment Act,” (HR 1676) sponsored by Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA) was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee, with minor changes from its original form. The only amendment was a change in the days the United States Marine Corps would be able to use the area under a permit from 42 days per year to 60 days per year.
Rep. Bishop (R-UT) commended Rep. Paul Cook for introducing the legislation. He noted that the issue was not easy to deal with and that the bill does a good job in balancing needs. He observed that the bill is as close to ideal as possible in the face of challenging issues such as addressing the needs of OHV users. On its path to becoming a law, the bill has been sent to the House Armed Services Committee, Chaired by Rep. Buck McKeon, who is a bill co-sponsor.
The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) California Desert District is soliciting nominations from the public for eight members of its Dumont Dunes Subgroup of the District Advisory Council to serve a three-year term. Members provide advice and recommendations to the Council on the management of the Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area in eastern San Bernardino County north of Baker, Calif. Selection and appointment of subgroup members is by the DAC with the concurrence of the Designated Federal Official. Persons wishing to apply for consideration as a member of the Dumont Dunes Subgroup of the DAC should submit their application no later than June 10, 2013.
Today Jeff Knoll represented us and our partners in the California Motorized Recreation Council by testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee regarding the bill to save Johnson Valley.
I would like to thank Jeff for traveling to Washington to testify before the committee. An archive of his testimony should be available within 24 hours. Here is a link to where it should be when available: http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=330323
A written excerpt of his testimony is available for download at this link
On April 18, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) presented a revised proposed fee schedule for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area DAC Subgroup (DSG). The handout containing the new permit fee schedule for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) can be found on the BLM website at ISDRA Business Plan Summary. BLM is in the process of incorporating this new proposal into the ISDRA Business Plan which will be published for public review on May 31, 2013.
The ISDRA Business Plan Summary released on Thursday states that the ISDRA Business Plan and Fee Proposal are being carefully revised in response to public comments. It also says that the purpose of the summary is to share the progress they are making and give an idea about what to expect in the final business plan.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Marine Corps’ proposal to expand the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California:
“The training of the U.S. Marine Corps is vital to the safety of the American people, and the exercises taking place on the Twentynine Palms base enable our Marine forces to defend our nation and its allies throughout the world. However, I can’t support the expansion plan offered by the Marine Corps, which would hand them ownership of Johnson Valley. Marine Corps ownership would prevent many public-space activities, including big public off-highway events like King of the Hammers, from taking place. Offroaders and other users of Johnson Valley make huge contributions to the economic well-being of the Morongo Valley, and losing that revenue during slow economic times would be devastating.
JOHNSON VALLEY, CA - FEBRUARY 28th, 2013: With just under a week until federal sequestration cuts are set to go into effect, the Secretary of the Navy is curiously seeking Congressional approval to move forward with base expansion at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California. Spanning nearly 600,000 acres, the combat center is the largest Marine base in the world with a comparable land mass to Rhode Island. Despite strong public opposition and a potential sequester that will cut tens of billions from the Pentagon budget this year, the Marines are asking Congress to approve an acquisition of 168,151 additional acres; roughly the land equivalent of the country of Singapore.
The majority of land targeted for expansion is an extremely popular recreation area in Johnson Valley, CA. The expansion will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. More than $120 Million alone will be required to buy out existing mining claims. The Marines also estimate the expansion will require adding 110 new personnel despite looming budget cuts.