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We have another oportunity to stop the takeover of our invaluable Johnson Valley Open Area

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We have another oportunity to stop the takeover of our invaluable Johnson Valley Open Area by the government on next Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at 5PM, at the Lucerne Valley Senior Center. The Senior Center is at 10431 Allen Way and sits just south of, or behind, the Library. Marine Major Valerie Hodgson will update us and hopefully WE will feedback to her and stop this ill conceived plan from progressing.


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  • Published: 2 years ago on January 4, 2013
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  • Last Modified: January 4, 2013 @ 12:17 pm
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About the author


My family has owned property in the Morongo Basin for over thirty years and I have been riding in the MB (and elsewhere) for as long.


  1. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    Email from Bill Lembright…

    Just a reminder of tomorrow night’s LVEDA (Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association) meeting regarding the possible 29 Palms Marine Base expansion up to 16 miles further west into Johnson Valley. Details below. Hope to see you there. Bill

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Bill Lembright
    Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 7:47 PM
    Subject: 29 Palms Marine Base Expansion

    We have another oportunity to stop the takeover of our invaluable Johnson Valley Open Area by the government on next Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at 5PM, at the Lucerne Valley Senior Center. The Senior Center is at 10431 Allen Way and sits just south of, or behind, the Library. Marine Major Valerie Hodgson will update us and hopefully WE will feedback to her and stop this ill conceived plan from progressing. Attached is an encouraging e-mail from Chuck Bell and Betty Munson explaining how Congress is putting the brakes on the proposed expansion until further analysis can be performed. This is promising, so please don’t give up the fight. We may prevail! Bill

    From: Chuck Bell
    It’s true. Under the radar with all the fiscal cliff negotiations, House and Senate met and pushed through the authorization bill that contained the text of the house bill calling for the study. It is in the conference report and the expectation is that it will be signed. They give Lewis no credit for it, but his folks were involved to. Bartlett carried it because it was his committee.
    > Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 2:48 PM
    > Subject: Base Expansion story
    > http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/News/12-12-19/California_s_popular_Johnson_Valley_riding_area_may_get_reprieve_from_military_base_expansion.aspx
    > California’s popular Johnson Valley riding area may get reprieve from military base expansion
    > December 19, 2012
    > PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Riders who use the popular Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Area in California may not lose most of the area to a Marine base expansion after all, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.
    > The military is barred from spending money on expanding the Twentynine Palms military base into Johnson Valley until it completes a report on how the expansion would affect off-highway riding, under a military spending authorization bill approved by U.S. House and Senate conferees on Dec. 18.
    > “The report to Congress would cover the impact on off-highway vehicle recreation in the Johnson Valley region, along with alternatives for achieving the goals of the military and the OHV recreation communities,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “This report would allow for more time to, hopefully, come to a solution that meets the training needs of the military while maintaining access for motorized recreation.”
    > The language, included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310), was offered by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) with support from Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.). House and Senate negotiators worked out their differences over the bill in a conference committee and then sent it to their respective chambers for final approval. Once approved by both chambers, it goes to the president to be signed into law.
    > “The AMA, in partnership with the California Motorized Recreation Council and The Livingston Group in Washington, D.C., that was hired by the CMRC to move the legislation, worked long and hard to get this important report required before the base expansion can proceed,” Allard said.
    > The California Motorized Recreation Council is a non-profit association comprised of the leadership of the largest off-highway vehicle recreation organizations in California. CMRC membership includes, the Off-Road Business Association, California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, AMA national, American Sand Association, California-Nevada Snowmobile Association, AMA District 36 (Northern California, Northwestern Nevada) and AMA District 37 (Southern California) Off-Road.
    > “I particularly want to thank Rep. Bartlett and Sens. Feinstein and Udall for their efforts,” Allard said.
    > “This was truly a team effort involving many southern California motorized groups and their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., as well as other representatives in Congress,” Allard said.
    > In July, the Department of the Navy released a final environmental impact statement for the expansion of the Marine base. The preferred alternative would allow public use of only 40,000 acres of the 190,000-acre Johnson Valley OHV area, and for only 10 months a year.
    > It’s all part of an effort by the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms to expand its land holdings to allow for more live-fire training. The Marine Corps is part of the Navy.
    > The proposed expansion needs congressional approval. The military had hoped to begin training on the land in 2014.
    > Several years ago, the Navy began the formal process to take over some 365,906 acres of public land near San Bernardino to use for live-fire training for the Marines.
    > At that time, the Navy filed an application with the U.S. Interior Department seeking control of the public land, which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Navy also wants priority for some 72,186 acres of non-federal land in case the federal government acquires it.
    > —————
    > Comment: The headline does not match the story. I highlighted the “alternatives” statement.
    > We hope the OHV groups are not willing to give up any of JV, but you’ll notice we were not included in the list of stakeholders. We were not even asked by anyone except the California Off-Road Association, and I don’t know how much input they had in this language.
    > A recent informal survey of Johnson Valley residents and weekenders was 100% against the takeover of any of the OHV area, and they think the idea of “shared use” is laughable.
    > The Go East alternative would still subject us to noise and vibration, but we hope from further away. Further away is better.
    > The No Action alternative is absolutely the best for residents, businesses and visitors alike, and the Marines could make it work if they wanted to. After all, they’re Marines.
    > Anyway, that’s my opinion. Please reply with yours, we’ll expand this survey.
    > Betty

  2. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    Email from Ken Piel…
    Subject: Attorney General Vindicates State Park OHV Division of Hiding $34 Million
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Kevin P. Rice
    To: undisclosed-recipients:;
    Sent: Fri, Jan 4, 2013 10:54 pm
    Subject: Attorney General Vindicates State Park OHV Division of Hiding $34 Million
    Released today (Jan 4, 2012):

    The Attorney General’s “Report of Investigation into Discrepancies in Financial Reports Submitted by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.”

    Link to Full Report:

    The Attorney General’s report completely vindicates prior accusations that State Parks OHV Division hid $34 million.

    CONCLUSIONS: (see attached A.G.’s Executive Summary)
    “This investigation found no evidence of intentional or systematic failure to disclose OHV fund monies…”

    “In four of the past nineteen years…events have evidently resulted in anywhere from $20.5 to $35.1 million more OHV dollars being over-reported…”

    “This investigation has yielded no evidence that any OHV monies were ever intentionally hidden.”

    “No evidence has been adduced that suggests any OHV monies have been intentionally unreported to the DOF. Instead, witnesses consistently claim the disparities in OHV fund balance reports are due to: (1) differences in how the multi-million-dollar loans of OHV monies to the general fund, now totaling $160 million, are required to be reported to the DOF and SCO; (2) reporting and timing issues relating to appropriations, encumbrances, and crediting back of funds for proposed multi-million-dollar OHV land acquisitions that were never consummated; and (3) an unintended and subsequently corrected multi-million-dollar infusion of fuel excise tax dollars into the OHV fund.”

    “The available evidence thus does not support a claim that OHV fund balances have been systematically, intentionally under-reported to the DOF over the years, as has been the case with the undisclosed monies in the SPRF.”

    “The SPRF fund balance reports involve admitted deception (intentional under-reporting) while the OHV fund balance reports do not appear to involve deception.”

    “… misconception that tens of millions of OHV dollars have been consistently and intentionally unreported to the DOF for years.”

    “…it cannot be said with any authority that any OHV funds have been intentionally under-reported to the DOF.”

    “Variances between the SCO and the Governor’s Budget for the
    Off-Highway Vehicle Fund in prior fiscal years can partially be
    attributed to timing differences for loans to the general fund, and
    errors in fuel tax allocations. These variances are in the process of
    being corrected and will be reflected in 2012-13 fiscal year
    financial statements and the Governor’s Budget.”

    * * * *

    Kevin P. Rice
    (805) 602-2616

  3. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    “The Ultra4Racing website updated for 2013, has you will want to know if you plan to come out for King of the Hammers week.

    Spectator areas are set up to let you watch the races at a safe distance from the action. Many are the same as in previous years, fairly easy to get to with good overviews. The Jumbotron in Hammertown will also be showing race action on live video for those whose vehicles can’t make it in the outback.

    The breakdown of the uses of your $20 spectator fee is listed. Your wristband gets you into Hammertown and all events the whole week if you want, and you have helped pay for a $60,000 BLM permit, $25,000 in porta-potties, and such hugely expensive things things as medical personnel, the Jumbotron, security, dust control, safety fencing. And $2.00 goes toward keeping Johnson Valley open to the public. Thank you, KOH.

    Hammertown opens Friday, Feb. 1, at Means Dry Lake off Hwy 247 on Boone Rd. Events go on all week till the BIG One, the 185-mile rock-and-sand desert race, the Griffin King of the Hammers presented by Nitto Tire.

    Check out http://ultra4racing.com/spectator/king-of-the-hammers-rules-for-spectator-safety/


  4. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    The following is part of the article posted January 9th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun – Volume 13, Issue 44

    OHV Fund didn’t hide money after all

    Allegations that California’s Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Fund failed to disclose $34 million in surplus revenue at the close of 2011 have been dismissed, following an extensive investigation by the Office of the Attorney General. A report published Dec. 31 verified that another $20 million had been kept from the Department of Finance by the State Parks and Recreation Department. However, the OHV Fund—a separate subdivision built entirely from user-generated fees—properly reported its revenues to state parks…


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