Donate to the victims of the accident at the California 200
Here is the new comment form distributed at the past scoping meetings,
feel free to print them out and distribute to business, Events, ETC
Easy to use, Save Johnson Valley
Please help us save the Johnson valley OHV area. The largest OHV open area
in the country is facing threat of closure due the expansion of the 29
Palms Marine base. Your letters are needed to help hold the line and
continue the freedom that Johnson Valley affords OHV users the opportunity
to enjoy. Please consider attaching the above link to your email blasts,
face book posts, and websites. To hold the line in Johnson Valley OHV
enthusiasts will need to reach outside its community and activate the
public on this matter. While we all agree that our armed forces should be
given every opportunity to prepare for whatever threat our country may
face, there are alternatives that with your help the Marine Corps can
explore for expansion to the east, and protect this nationally recognized
OHV open area.
Thank you for your time, and commitment to the protection of our countries
few remaining open use OHV areas.
In addition There is a contest on Pirate4x4.com in which they are giving
away prizes for writing letters.
Please help us keep this in the public eye
Submit comments directly to following link
Link to the 3-26-11 BLM DAC meeting
Articles of interest regarding Johnson Valley issue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2009
Marines Release new
Click on map for high resolution PDF map
Proposed 29Palms Training Land/Airspace
Project Description Paper Number 5 – November 2009
Alternative 6 (West/South)
About 140,000 acres west/19,000 acres south
Maneuver would start from the east on the
current MCAGCC base and the south
study area, and the MEB battalions would
converge on an objective in the west study
No dud-producing ordnance use in 40,000
acres in the south of the west
study area; this 40,000 acres would be open
for public use when MEB training not
United States Marine Corps
Division of Public Affairs
Date: November 23, 2009
Contact: HQMC Media Branch, POC:
Capt Brian Block
Telephone: (703) 614-4309
HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS (November
23, 2009) – The Marine Corps continues to study reasonable alternatives
for potential land acquisition and airspace establishment to meet its
Marine Expeditionary Brigade sustained, combined-arms live-fire and
maneuver training requirements at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Approximately 20,000 stakeholder
comments were received on the alternatives that were presented to the
public during the public scoping period held from October 2008 through
These comments and other
stakeholder input have helped the Marine Corps further refine the issues
and study alternatives. An additional alternative, Alternative Six, has
now been developed that accommodates public access to some of the lands in
the West Study Area when Marines are not using the area for training.
A range of reasonable alternatives
(Alternatives One through Six), as well as the No-Action Alternative, has
been finalized for inclusion in the Environmental Impact Statement.
The Marine Corps and the Department
of the Navy are scheduled to publish a Draft EIS evaluating alternatives
for meeting our MEB training requirements in September 2010. Following
this release, there will be a 90-day public comment period.
A final EIS that takes into account
public comments will be issued in July 2011. A Record of Decision will be
made public in October 2011, after which any request for public land
withdrawal to support MEB training will be submitted to Congress. Any
non-federal lands acquired would be purchased at fair market value. Any
request for establishment of related special use airspace would be
presented to the Federal Aviation Administration for rule making.
Maps depicting the study areas, the
study alternatives and other project information on the project may be
viewed at the MCAGCC web site,
http://www.29palms.usmc.mil/las/. This site is regularly updated to
reflect the most recent project developments and information.
Proposed Action alternatives Per Marine
Pictures are high resolution
alternative six has been revised as of 11-25-09
The latest revision "6" is under review by the
Wednesday, March 18,
Senator Feinstein Announces Intention to Introduce Measure to Protect
Former Catellus Lands through a Monument Designation
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the author
of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act, today announced her
intention to introduce new legislation to establish a national
monument to preserve hundreds of thousands of acres in the Mojave
Desert. The former Catellus lands were previously donated to or by
purchased by the Department of the Interior for conservation.
“The former Catellus lands between the Mojave National Preserve and
Joshua Tree National Park were purchased by or donated to the federal
government so they would be protected forever. I feel very strongly
that the federal government must honor that commitment,” Senator
“That’s why I am very concerned about wind and solar development
proposals intended for these lands. I’m a strong supporter of
renewable energy and clean technology -- but it is critical that these
projects are built on suitable lands. The former Catellus lands
shouldn’t be eligible for development.
So, I intend to introduce new legislation to protect hundreds of
thousands of acres of these former railroad lands through a national
monument designation. This would provide lasting protection for these
lands and prevent development, while allowing existing uses to
continue. I also intend to work with local stakeholders to determine
whether other local desert lands may be suitable for federal
protection at this time.
These former Catellus land acquisitions were financed by $40 million
in private donations from The Wildlands Conservancy, $18 million in
Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations and approximately $5
million in a price reduction from Catellus, a real estate subsidiary
of the former Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroad. The private
parties contributed this large sum of money in the belief that this
land will be protected and conserved. Building huge solar facilities
on these lands is untenable and unacceptable. Bottom line: the former
Catellus lands must be protected from development.”
Senator Feinstein recently expressed her concerns about development
proposals intended for the former Catellus lands in a letter to
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, which is available below.
Protecting the Former Catellus Lands
The national monument designation would ensure that hundreds of
thousands of acres between Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave
National Preserve are protected in perpetuity. Large-scale
development would be prohibited within the monument in order to
protect the biological and aesthetic integrity of the region and
guarantee public access for hunting, hiking, camping and exploring
scenic back roads.
The 600,000 acre Catellus agreement was one the largest nonprofit land
acquisition donations to the United States in history. Most of the
Catellus lands were acquired and donated to the federal government
between 1999 and 2004. It included nearly 100,000 acres of land to
the National Park Service, over 210,000 acres in 20 wilderness areas
to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and hundreds of thousands of
acres of important habitat for threatened and endangered species.
The BLM is currently reviewing 130 applications for solar and wind
energy development in the California desert, covering more than 1
million acres of public land. Several of these applications are
located in the eastern Mojave Desert on or near property previously
owned by Catellus. The California Energy Commission has estimated that
approximately 100,000 to 160,000 acres of desert lands would be needed
for the state to meet its 33 percent renewable energy goal by 2020.
Senator Feinstein was the lead sponsor of the 1994 Desert Protection
Act, which provided lasting federal protection for nearly 9 million
acres of pristine desert land in Southern California. It established
Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave
National Preserve. It remains the largest parks and wilderness bill
to impact the lower 48 states.
Contact: Gil Durán or Laura Wilkinson (202) 224-9629
Wednesday, March 18,
Letter from Senator Feinstein to Secretary Salazar
Pasted below is a letter written by Senator Feinstein to Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar, outlining her concerns about the development
proposals for the former Catellus lands:
March 3, 2009
Honorable Ken Salazar
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
Dear Secretary Salazar:
As the author of the California Desert Protection Act, I am
writing to express my strong opposition to the leasing of former
railroad lands in the eastern Mojave Desert by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM). I also want to make you aware that I am currently
preparing legislation to ensure the permanent protection of these
lands, which were donated to the federal government for conservation.
As you may know, hundreds of lease applications have been
submitted to the BLM for the development of renewable energy projects
in the California desert. While I strongly support renewable energy,
it is critical that these projects move forward on public and private
lands well suited for that purpose. Unfortunately, many of the sites
now being considered for leases are completely inappropriate and will
lead to the wholesale destruction of some of the most pristine areas
in the desert.
Following the passage of the Desert Protection Act, I worked
closely with the Department of the Interior, the Wildlands Conservancy
and Catellus (the real estate arm of the Union Pacific Railroad) to
develop a plan to conserve hundreds of thousands acres of privately
held land that checker-boarded much of the eastern Mojave. As part of
that agreement, Catellus reduced the selling price of its land, the
Wildlands Conservancy contributed $40 million in private donations,
and the federal government provided $18 million in Land and Water
Conservation Fund dollars to acquire and donate approximately 600,000
acres to the Department of the Interior. As you can see in the
attached map, these lands generally cover the area between the Mojave
Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.
The significance of the Wildlands Conservancy-Catellus agreement
cannot be overstated. It represents the largest nonprofit land
acquisition donated to the American people in United States history.
This included the donation of nearly 100,000 acres of land to the
National Park Service, over 210,000 acres in 20 BLM wilderness areas,
and hundreds of thousands of acres of important habitat for threatened
and endangered species. Beyond protecting national parks and
wilderness from development, the conservation of these lands has
helped to ensure the sustainability of the entire desert ecosystem by
preserving the vital wildlife corridors.
Though the Wildlands Conservancy-Catellus agreement and the use of
federal conservation funds demonstrated the clear intent of all
parties to preserve these lands in perpetuity, I have been informed
that the BLM now considers these areas open for all types of use
except mining. This is unacceptable! This policy has also led the
State of California to include large swaths of former Catellus lands
as potential renewable energy zones as a part of its Renewable Energy
Transmission Initiative draft proposal. It is important the
Department of the Interior act as soon as possible to rectify the
situation before more time, effort and money is wasted by government
agencies and private industry pursuing projects on these lands that
will never come to fruition.
I urge you to direct the BLM to suspend any further
consideration of leases to develop these former railroad lands for
renewable energy or for any other purposes. Furthermore, I would
welcome the opportunity to work with the Department of the Interior on
legislation to protect these areas and encourage energy development on
more suitable lands within the California desert.
Thank you for your time and consideration of my request. I look
forward to working with you on these issues.
United States Senator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2009
By Wayne Nosala
Contact Harry Baker PFJV
DIANNE FEINSTEIN STAFF INDICATES JOHNSON
VALLEY IS INFREQUENTLY USED BY RECREATING PUBLIC
The Partnership for Johnson Valley urges
users of Johnson Valley to email Senator Feinstein’s office with a
personal message to keep the 189,000-acre multiple-use area as public land
Glendale, CA - The Partnership for Johnson
Valley (PFJV) has recently become aware that United States Senator, Dianne
Feinstein has been briefed that Johnson Valley sees little use from the
public. The information, while ill-advised, supports the highly
controversial marine base acquisition of the popular Johnson Valley.
Unfortunately, the information given to Senator Feinstein’s office is
unfounded and lacks specific stakeholder-use data that has already been
disclosed to multiple public agencies including The San Bernardino County
Supervisor Brad Mitzelfeld, the US Marine Corps and adjoining townships to
“A meeting has been scheduled with Feinstein’s staff on
Tuesday, March 10th to discuss the multiple users of Johnson
as well as other issues,” says Harry Baker, Chair of the
Partnership. The PFJV leadership team have traveled throughout California
over the last twelve months advising agencies as well as stakeholder
groups regarding the possible closure of the Johnson Valley desert land.
The Partnership has documented there are over 750,000 annual usage days of
Johnson Valley from diverse groups ranging from the film Industry,
scouting organizations, equestrians, flying clubs and off highway
organized sports groups.” Closure of Johnson Valley would be a significant
loss for all of California as well as the nation, based on stakeholder
usage data. This is especially noteworthy since the Marines can expand
their training operations to the east of the existing base, public land
that is mostly unused.
The Partnership is asking all users of Johnson Valley to
email Senator Feinstein’s office a short personal message stating what
specific affect a Marine takeover of Johnson Valley would have on you,
your family, business, friends, or any other impact. Specifically, Visits
days per year, How many in your group, and how much you contribute to the
Please take a brief moment to visit Senator Feinstein’s
email message center located here:
Simply complete the fields and leave a brief message.
Senator Feinstein’s staff has informed the Partnership that they will
not accept “letter generator” type emails. Please use the above link
to leave a personal message. Alternatively, you can
letter to Senator Feinstein’s Los Angeles office at: 310-914-7318.
deadline for this urgent action is Tuesday morning.
Proposed Action alternatives Per Marine
Pictures are high resolution
Public Comment sheet. Please fill out
and send in by Jan 30
Helen Baker Interview on TORR Total Off
Road Radio. Ontario public scoping meeting 12-5-08
Marine Web Site Proposal
Mitzelfelt letter supports Marine expansion to
the East away from Johnson Valley.
Please show this letter to your elected officials and contact Brad and
tell him thanks!
Arrowhead Rd 5th floor San Bernardino CA 92415 909-387-4830
Marines Withdrawal study recorded in
Partnership for Johnson Valley
Our Mission is to unite the many people who enjoy the diverse activities
available in the multiple-access area of Johnson Valley.
Our 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 the
future generations who Live, Work, and Recreate in Johnson Valley.
By Betty Munson, President - Johnson Valley
If you were not one of the thousands of people out in the Johnson Valley
OHV area between Feb. 25 and 27, you missed the incredible action at the
King of the Hammers Race.
Billed as the Ultimate Desert Race, we don't think they exaggerate very
92 vehicles started this year, about one-third of them finished. The cars
look like strange Martian animals crawling up and over the barren boulder
trails and sometimes over each other.
And they sound like a flash flood, rattling down over grinding rocks.
Threading through impossible drops and impassible canyons, they break
loose and head out over the desert trails at speeds up to 90mph. After 82
miles, a couple of breakdowns and over 5 hours, the winner, Jason Scherer,
though first at the finish, still could not be sure he had won, the next
cars were so close behind him.
An enormous city of motorhomes grew up on the edge of Means Dry Lake. Some
people left on Friday night, but more came in and tried parts of the
famous Hammers trails in their own, usually less extreme, vehicles.
It's hard to imagine that a sport so attractive to so many people from all
over the country–indeed, the world–could be so diminished if this unique
tracery of trails is lost.
Everywhere there are rocks to climb. There are also other desert trails.
But Johnson Valley has both, in a compact area. And as many people as were
out there, the space is so open that the crowd is absorbed. There is
plenty of room for everyone.
The proposed expansion of the Marine Base at Twentynine Palms could
possibly take it all, and an amazing number of folks out there had never
even heard about it.
Helen and Harry Baker, of the Partnership for Johnson Valley, were out
there passing out information and displaying maps. We thank them for their
Their Partnership website is
up with the latest news.
And King of the Hammers videos and stills can be seen on
Got news? Call me at 364-2646.