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.
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.).