On April 27th, 2012, the United States Marine Corps will submit their Final Environmental Impact Study and light the fuse that starts a chain of events to close 160,000 acres of the Johnson Valley OHV area. The Johnson Valley OHV area is home to the King of the Hammers race, AMA off-road races and one of the main areas off-roaders in Southern California can ride.

If the area is closed, less than 2% of the Southern California desert would be open to OHV use!

Without your help the future of the Hammers is unclear! There’s more information in the included video, but to do your part visit the SaveTheHammers website below.

More info at: http://www.SaveTheHammers.Org

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Hammer Town, the city constructed on the Means Dry Lake Bed, is bustling with four-wheel activity leading up to the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers. Thousands of off-roaders will venture to the Johnson Valley OHV area to partake in the festivities, and many have already enjoyed the action over the past few days leading up to the main event.

The unique race has grown every year, and for 2012 new events have been added to the lineup to further cement KOH as the must-attend hard-core rock-desert race. The Smittybilt Everyman Challenge kicked off on Sunday, offering off-roaders the chance to test the Hammers course in more restrictive vehicles. John Currie took the overall victory on the 85-mile course in a TJ, while Larry McRae won the modified class in a heavily modified Poison Spyder JK.

The Off Road Business Association (ORBA) will host a free Vendor Poker Walk during Contingency for the 6th running of the King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley.   Five freshman members of the trade based OHV advocate group will be hosting the poker walk. Participants may enter free of charge by visiting any one of the participating vendors booths between 10:00 am and 4:00pm on Thursday February 9th 2012. The winner will be announced at 5:00pm at the SXSPerformance.com booth #V42 in Hammertown.

Participating vendors are as follows;

RuffStuff Specialties Booth V24

SXSPerformance.com Booth V42

Trail Gear Booth V45

Poison Spider Customs V43A

Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems Booth V20.

Participants will have the opportunity to draw an additional card by making a donation to ORBA when they turn in their playing card at the SXS Performance booth. “Our goal is to raise awareness of the type of work ORBA does for OHV users through its work with lobbyists. Off-Road industry leaders apply a different perspective when dealing with legislators, and we feel that the community needs to understand that process. This interaction between ORBA membership and the end users is a great first step in bridging the gap and showing consumers the work the off-road businesses do to keep public lands public.” said ORBA President Fred Wiley.

Participants will be required to visit each of the five listed vendors to draw a single card, and then turn in the completed playing card in order to win. The player with the best poker hand will win a prize pack assembled from each of the ORBA vendors who are participating in the Poker Walk. No vehicle travel is required, and entry is limited to one per person. Donations will benefit the effort to stop the 29 Palms base expansion into Johnson Valley OHV area through Savethehammers.org.

Round 9 of the AMA/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series will be hosted by AMA District 37′s So Cal MC on Sunday October 9th.  With a 4-month break in the series, racers are gearing up for the last two rounds, both of which are taking place in the Johnson Valley OHV area of the Southern California desert.  This weekend’s race will be located at East Anderson/Anderson Dry Lake (marked from Camp Rock Rd).

The upcoming Round 9 will be a 3-loop format, 100 miles total and is sure to be a favorite for all the racers who participate.  So Cal MC is pulling out all the stops and have been scouting their loops for the past few months, which will consist of all the various terrain types that Johnson Valley has to offer.  Loop 2 will have an alternate gas pit at race mile 40.  The location is easily accessible and maps to this location will be provided at sign-ups.  With some cooler weather to come this week, it is sure to be an awesome race weekend!

So Cal MC will also be hosting a kid’s race on Saturday Oct 8th at 3:00pm.  Come on out and cheer on the kids – our future desert racers!
Leading the points in the Overall Pro Class is FMF/ KTM’s Kurt Caselli, who is currently in the lead by 28 points over 2nd place racer, Purvines Racing’s David Pearson, followed by Monster Energy/ Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott who follows Pearson by 13 points in the third place position.  All of the racers who participate in this series are the best of the best and it will come down to the wire in many of the other recognized AMA National classes, including the “C” class racers who are now also recognized by the AMA.  Current results can be found at www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com
Current leaders for all other National classes (from the AMA website):
Cordis Brooks/200A, Ben Meza/200B, Austin Newman/200C,  Skyler Howes/250A, Brett Landfield/250B, Brenden Crow/250C, Jeff Trulove/Open A, Austin Aube/Open B, Colton Jones/Open C, Dan Capparelli/Vet 30+A, Dennis Maurer/Vet 30+B, Raymond Gray/Vet 30+C, David Klein/Senior 40+A, Wayne Ellis/Senior 40+B, Robert Orendain/Senior 40+C, Michael Whitcomb/Super Senior 50+A, Tom Albright/Super Senior 50+B, Richard Sidelau/Super Senior 50+C, Dale Parriott/Masters 60+, Shayla Fulfer/Women A/B, Alyssa Barger/Women C, Andy Lagzdins/ATV A, Andrea Bosemer/ATV B, Christopher Peatross/ATV C.

Holeshot awards at Round 9! The first person to the end of the bomb run in each of these 3 classes will win a pair of Alpinestars Boots/Tech 8′s:  Intermediate row, Novice Row, and ATV row.

Round 10 (final round) will be hosted by AMA District 37′s 100′s MC on Sunday October 23rd so mark your calendars!

Remember, all NHHA racers are eligible for Honda, Kawasaki, Husqvarna and KTM OEM contingency. Click on the Manufacturers bike you ride above for details or you can find all the details at:  www.NationalHareandHound.com

OAKLEY, CA (May 23) – A national trail-based recreation group continues its strong opposition to a proposed military base expansion into a popular OHV recreation area in Southern California.  The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) submitted comments on May 19, 2011, that are directed to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 29 Palms Training Land Acquisition/Airspace Establishment Study.

BRC believes all of the action alternatives (1-6) are basically “closure of Johnson Valley OHV area” alternatives. The action alternatives would practically or functionally close the entire 180 thousand acre Johnson Valley OHV area to public use.

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, states, “BRC has reviewed the Draft EIS and continues in our strong opposition to the entire project including the proposed withdrawal. BRC believes the EIS is fatally flawed and is not in compliance with NEPA.”

Amador continues, “BRC believes the Corps has failed to meaningfully explain the ‘need’ in the purpose and need section.  Aside from not identifying the proper basis for an increased training land-base, the purpose and need statement blithely ignores any discussion of the balance necessitated by any project of this nature. BRC believes the EIS/project should be withdrawn and shelved given its fatal flaws, public objection to the project, and national economic crisis.”

BRC continues to encourage its members to submit public comments by the May 26, 2011, deadline.

Link to BRC comment letter

As many of you know, the Department of Defense has proposed a major expansion of the Twentynine Palms Marine base. The DOD proposal would significantly disrupt OHV use in the popular Johnson Valley OHV Area.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for the base expansion has been released for public review and comment. The comment deadline is May 26, 2011. Please see the Action Item below for tips and pointers on how to comment.

Many off-highway enthusiasts feel conflicted on this issue; on one hand they support the US Military and understand the economic importance of the Twentynine Palms base to adjacent communities. On the other hand, off-highway vehicle users have, over the years, been “crammed” into the Johnson Valley area after decades of Wilderness designation, administrative closures, and lawsuits that closed millions of acres of the California desert.

GenRight Off Road recently sent out this information regarding the Johnson Valley OHV area, a location for a number of off-road races as well as a popular weekend destination for off-road enthusiasts. Here is the collection of information they sent out regarding the area:

There is still time to act to help us keep the Johnson Valley OHV area open to the public!

As you are probably well aware, the Johnson Valley OHV area is very near and dear to our heart!  We are doing everything within our power to keep the area open to OHV use.  We ask that you please take a second and submit a comment to the Marines as to why it’s important to you.

Listed below is a summary of points taken from attending the public information meetings over the last two days.  You are more than welcome to use this information when writing your comments!

There is so much information being put forth that it is hard to digest…

1] The Marines are telling us what land they want and how they are going to get it. [FALSE]

2] There’s nothing we can do so stop from losing our land. [FALSE]

This comment period is vitally as it’s the public’s chance to voice our opinion. WE, THE PEOPLE if we want to be heard and want reaction. There is an independent company to compile our comments and put into action the alternative that is going to be the best compromise for everyone.

Originally there was a ‘No-Action Alternative’ and five Alternative plans proposed. After the first comment period in which nearly 20,000 comments were received, the Marines created Alternative 6 and named it “The Preferred Alternative” DON’T BE FOOLED as this IS NOT the preferred alternative for us OHV people! We want Alternative #3 as it leaves 100% of Johnson Valley open 12 months out of the year. Alternative #6 would only leave 44% of Johnson Valley open for only 10 months out of the year.

Furthermore, Alternative #6 has a loophole that could keep it closed to the public for the entire year. **The ’10 month open window’ is subject to a determination by the Commanding General that the area has been returned to a condition suitable for authorized public access following each Marine Expeditionary Brigade Exercise. The “compromise” is that the Marine’s only need two months out of the year to complete the ‘full scale exercise’ therefore 10 months would be open to the public. It is entirely possible that the Commanding General could declare that [due to budgetary constraints] the Military does not have the funds to “return the area to a condition suitable for authorized public access ['clean up'] therefore leaving our now limited area shut down.

Alternative #3:

This option leaves Johnson Valley OHV area untouched. Rather, it states the Marine Corp would have to move the proposition to the East of their current boundaries. This would mean that the Government would need to de-designate wilderness area. Note this particular ‘wilderness area’ was used by General Patton to train military before it was designated as wilderness. The other Alternative de-designates OHV areas that are being used by Americans for recreation, living, income and more.

The following are “comments” for Alternative #3: (reasons to expand to the East by 200,000 acres)

· No impact to OHV opportunities in Johnson Valley

· More compatible areas with the proposed action

· Less impact to local business owners

· Less impact to recreational opportunities

· Less populated

· The area has already been used by the military in the past

· Economy will be less affected

Reasons against expansion to the West

· Reduction in area for off-road and outdoor recreational opportunities

· Reduction in area for the film industry

· Negative impact on the economy

· May impact public health and safety of surrounding communities

· May affect Southern California Edison (SCE) electric transmission facilities and/or distribution facilities

· May promote illegal riding

· Potential impact on groundwater supplies and quality

· Potential impact on biological resources (e.g., desert tortoise and prairie falcon)

Keep in mind that the King of the Hammers event draws over 30,000 for their one week event and the total comments received during the first comment period was less than 20,000

IT’S TIME TO BE HEARD IF YOU WANT TO DRIVE & CAMP IN JOHNSON VALLEY WITH YOUR KIDS /GRANDKIDS.

Physical bodies and written comments at the meetings are best – but if you can’t be there please…

Click here to vote for Alternative #3

https://extranet.tecinc.com/29Palms_DEIS/