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Johnson Valley OHV Area to Remain Open
California’s Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, the largest open OHV area in the United States, is no longer on the chopping block. According to the American Motorcyclist Association, the area will not be taken over by the military thanks to language included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 that was approved by a U.S. House-Senate conference committee.
U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.) had the language inserted into the bill. According to the AMA, Cook’s language ensures the safety of the residents in the Johnson Valley area while providing an adequate training area for the U.S. Marines stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Johnson Valley OHV Gets a Reprieve
According to a report from the American Motorcyclist Association, the U.S. military can’t spend any money expanding a Marine base into the Johnson Valley off-highway vehicle riding area in California until the Navy files a report on off-highway riding with Congress.
On Jan. 2, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310), triggering a hold on spending and a 90-day deadline for the military to report to Congress on how its proposed expansion of a Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif., would affect off-highway riding at Johnson Valley.
The language was inserted into the bill by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) with support from Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).
Tin Benders 4×4 Club Trying To Save Johnson Valley OHV Area
California’s OHV community is fighting hard to save the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area from being taken over by the Marines. One group, the Tin Benders 4×4 Club, is donating funds to help ensure civilians can continue using the largest OHV area in the United States.
The Tin Bender Jamboree attracted approximately 400 people and 110 Vehicles were officially registered for the event and therefore eligible for the free prize drawing. Roughly $10,000 was raised for the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC), which is leading the fight to save Johnson Valley as a premier destination for off-road motor sports events and family recreation. The Tin Benders $9,500 donation was pushed to $10,000 with a $500 donation from Mike Ruzicka, who donated art work for the event T-Shirts.
“This land is very important to all of us, we need to do everything we can to protect it” says club member and off-road racer Eric Anderson.
California OHV Groups Hire Lobbyist to Save OHV Area
California’s OHV community is fighting to save the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area, the largest open OHV area in the United States.
The California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC), an umbrella group of the eight largest OHV access groups in California, has hired the Livingston Group, LLC in Washington, DC to help stave off the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine Base. The Marine Corps wants to annex approximately 160,000 acres of the Johnson Valley OHV Area, which currently brings in more than $70 million annually to the economy surrounding the High Desert communities.
The Marine Corps proposal would limit motorized recreation to less than one percent of the entire California Desert, a move in which the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) contends will cripple the already battered off-road manufacturing industry, and increase the likelihood of resource damage and safety concerns at the remaining OHV areas.