SEMA-Logo-1-3-13Diamond Bar, CA (April 23, 2013) – The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has endorsed a proposal by Rep. Paul Cook that would end a five-year debate on how to expand the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) base at Twentynine Palms, California.  Under the compromise, the Marines would have access to the adjoining Johnson Valley Off-Highway (OHV) Recreation Area for up to 42 days a year for training exercises but the OHV area would be otherwise preserved in perpetuity.

“SEMA thanks Representative Cook for crafting legislation that addresses the needs of local residents, the OHV community and the Marine Corps,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.  “It represents a commonsense, shared-use compromise that fairly protects the interests of all stakeholders.”

JOHNSON VALLEY, CA: In the ongoing effort to Save the Johnson Valley OHV area, a new campaign has emerged to raise national awareness regarding the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine base onto public lands. Volunteers have created a petition on the White House.gov site (http://petitions.whitehouse.gov) with the hope of receiving formal recognition from the White House regarding The Johnson Valley OHV area. The White House has committed to responding to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within a 30 day time frame.

The petition specifically requests the White House to deny any request by the 29 Palms Marine Base to withdraw land from The Johnson Valley OHV area and use it for base expansion purposes. The title of the petition specifically requests the White House to: “Save the Johnson Valley OHV Area. Be fiscally responsible. Stop 29 Palms Marine base expansion. Keep public lands open.” This petition will need roughly 1,000 signatures a day to be eligible to receive a response from a White House representative.