The California Association of 4WD Clubs Inc. recently sent over information on the final comment period for the Johnson Valley OHV. More information and ways to help are outlined below:

We need every off-roader to participate in a targeted outreach. One phone call or fax a day is all we ask. Talking points can be found below. Contact name is underlined. Congress is on recess this week, they should be in the District Office. Every off-roader must participate!

USMC Preferred Alternative:
Alternative 6 was selected in the DEIS as the preferred alternative and slightly modified in the Final EIS: it is the optimal alternative for the Marine Corps considering operational and environmental impact factors together. Developed in response to public comments it was designed to rpeserve public access to important off-road recreation areas during periods when MEB training did not require use of those lands. The Preferred Alternative would allow for reopening to public recreation use approximately 40,000 acres of the acquisition area for ten months a year. The land would fall under management of the Marine Corps under this proposed plan.

The California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC), an umbrella group of the eight largest Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) associations in California, has organized a national effort to help save the world-renowned Johnson Valley OHV area in California. Mobilizing enthusiasts from across the country, and utilizing its relationship with the Livingston Group of Washington DC, CMRC has succeeded in its efforts to educate Congress about the unbelievable loss of public lands it has experienced since 1978 in the California Desert. The latest loss of opportunity stems from the 29 Palms Marine base expansion into the 160,000 acre Johnson Valley OHV area, which was created as part of the 1980 California Desert Protection Act.

Congressman Bartlett (R-Maryland), with the support of his Californian counterparts, requested additional information of the United States Marine Corps before the expansion could be approved, including a study of the CMRC proposal to allow the area be used by a permit for the 12 days a year the Marines plan to train. “We believe a better use of the area would be under a permit rather than closing the entire area. Securing the perimeter will be a colossal undertaking and the additional cost of acquisition can be reduced by simply using the area during training rather than closing it to the public,” stated Jeff Knoll, CMRC JV sub-committee chairman.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has been delayed a number of times from its expected release last February, and is expected this week. Congressman Bartlett’s Amendment 243 to HR 4310 delays the expansion until the Marines can produce a report that explores the potential to utilize the area by permit. In addition, it requires the Marine Corps to produce this required information in the next 90 days. The complete body can be viewed below.

Simi Valley, CA – March 26, 2012 – Fortunate enough to have one of the most extreme testing grounds in their backyard, GenRight Off-Road felt it was necessary to do their part to protect the Johnson Valley OHV area from the 29 Palms Marine Base Expansion.  To help fund the cause GenRight Off-Road is donating $1500 to

Currently the Marines are looking to expand the 29 Palms Marine base west into the Johnson Valley OHV area.  The current marine base is three quarters the size of the state of Rhode Island and if the expansion takes place it will be equal to the state of Rhode Island.  It’s also important to note that the Johnson Valley OHV area represents 50% of the area available for off-road recreation in California.  Closing this area would leave less than 1% of California available to OHV access.

GenRight is proud of the amount of time they spend in Johnson Valley! Wether it’s testing new products on the famous “Hammers” trails, leading trail rides for groups of enthusiasts, or preparing for the King of the Hammers there is a good chance you can find the GenRight crew in Johnson Valley on any given weekend.  “Anything we can do to help preserve the Johnson Valley OHV area for future generations is a step in the right direction and we are happy to support” Stated GenRight Off-Road owner Tony Pellegrino.

You too can do your part to help save the hammers and protect Johnson Valley.  Visit to learn more.

Mitch Guthrie – 1st Overall at 2012 UTV King of The Hammers

Mitch Guthrie, #555 took the overall win at 2012 UTV King of the Hammers in his Polaris RZR XP.  Guthrie ran a flawless race, keeping a fast pace that gained momentum with each race mile.  Todd Stephenson in the #1944 Artic Cat Wildcat took 2nd, making it an impressive first run for the Artic Cat Wildcat.

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

Trail-Gear arrived on the lakebed almost a week before the big race to make their final tweaks and get the car fully dialed in. A 9th place finish at last year’s King of the Hammers proved that the 4-cylinder, Ecotec powered engine at the heart of the #17 Trail-Gear Godspeed buggy had what it took to be a contender at the toughest off road race in the world.

“I’ll drive fast enough to put that fire out.” Those were the words of Matt Messer, owner of Trail-Gear, regarding concerns of a potential fire if any race fuel were to spill onto the turbo during refueling in the pits. It was obvious that their only options were to win or break trying. Starting at the middle of the pack in 44th position meant having to reel in a large number of other racers to move into contention.

Trail-Gear took the jump off the line and raced into what would be a high speed, low visibility first lap. The winds were low at The Hammers and the dust was like a dense fog that just wouldn’t evaporate.

Gary Feravanti limped into the pits halfway through the race on with only 1/2 of a rim on one corner and 4WheelParts owner, Greg Adler, sat for ages waiting for tire changes and other adjustments. It was nerve wracking to think what shape the Godspeed buggy might be in.

Minneapolis, Feb 15, 2011– After three years of racing “King of the Hammers”, the Jagged X team won the side-by-side class with the new and nearly-stock RANGER RZR XP 900!

Since its original debut in 2008, the “King of the Hammers” race has been deemed the toughest off-road race in the world. The course is a 42-mile combination of open desert racing, narrow goat trails and huge rock trails. For the last two years, the Jagged X team raced their desert race car and while they were in the hunt, the heavier full-blown race car came up just short of the win. This year, the team took a little different approach and raced the new and nearly-stock RANGER RZR XP 900. The unit was modified only to comply with the safety requirements and equipped with a set of Elka Elite series shocks.

With the temperature hovering in the low 20s, the Jagged X team lined up in the tenth starting position with seventeen other side-by-sides. When the flag dropped, Brandon Schueler and co-driver Mike West charged off into the California desert with a group of very-well equipped competitors. The RANGER RZR XP 900 did an amazing job of reeling in the rest of the field and by the first rock trail, the team was running in third position. Shortly after, the only car between the No. 1919 and the finish line was the two-time winner Mitch Guthrie, also driving an almost-stock, very nimble and quick RANGER RZR 800. The two were separated by only a few feet for the next 15 miles but then in the last major rock section, known as Aftershock, Schueler was able to squeeze by and capture the lead. The two swapped the lead again in the bottom of the canyon but when the dust cleared, Jagged X came out ahead by nearly five minutes ahead of Guthrie, and the rest of the field was nearly an hour back.

“The new RANGER RZR XP 900 proved once again that Polaris is the only manufacturer to build a car that offers the power, suspension and agility to win one of the toughest races in the world,” said Brandon Schueler. “Jagged X would like to thank everyone who helped us to take the crown and become the KING of the HAMMERS!”

Special thanks go out to Polaris Industries, Elka Suspension, Pro Armor, Simpson safety equipment, CR Designs, OMF Performance and Renegade Seats.

After his first crack at it last year, Rock Zombie 4×4 club member Travis Carpenter of the 4405 “land-use” team will again race the King of the Hammers off-road race and generate funds for the Blue Ribbon Coalition and off-road land use in the process. The race, which will take place on February 11th, is promoted by HammerKing Productions ( and is considered one of the toughest off-road competitions in the United States, blending off-road desert racing and hard-core rock crawling. The 120-mile course is split into two laps, with many racers struggling to finish the race.

The 4405 “Land-use” team is asking people to make a “Pledge per mile made” by Travis Carpenter to the Blue Ribbon Coalition. Individuals and companies are invited to make a pledge (see the link below). The amount of the final donations will depend on how far Travis is able to travel in the event. A flat rate may also be pledged. In 2010, the 4405 “land-use” team raised nearly $20,000 during the race-a-thon, which included major donations from the Tin Benders 4×4 club and 4Wheel Parts. As noted in the press release about the pledge event, “With the Blue Ribbon Coalition working nation wide to preserve access to motorized use on public lands, this race-a-thon comes at a key time when funds are sorely needed.”