Johnson-Valley-Hammers-3-1-13WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook’s (R-Yucca Valley) plan to create the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area was included yesterday in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), according to a release by the Off Road Business Association. Originally introduced earlier this year as a stand-alone bill, the legislation was co-sponsored by Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Cook stated, “This legislation has cleared an important hurdle. Support for it was overwhelmingly bipartisan. My concern has always been about public safety. The Johnson Valley is one of the few places left for off-highway vehicle recreation. This is a balanced approach which protects public safety while still allowing for recreational use.”

AMA-logo-230PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The National Defense Authorization Act, which includes language to create the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in California to protect it from a military takeover, has cleared the U.S. House, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

On June 14, the House approved the authorization bill, H.R. 1960. The measure now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

The legislation includes language written by Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.) to protect Johnson Valley from a takeover by the U.S. Navy that would virtually end riding there. The Navy wants to expand the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms into the 189,000-acre Johnson Valley area, which is a long-standing and popular area that is across the San Bernardino Mountains from Los Angeles.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The U.S. military can’t spend a dime on expanding a Marine base into the popular Johnson Valley off-highway vehicle riding area in California until the Navy files a report on off-highway riding with Congress, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

On Jan. 2, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310), triggering a hold on spending and a 90-day deadline for the military to report to Congress on how its proposed expansion of a Marine base at Twentynine Palms, Calif., would affect off-highway riding at Johnson Valley.