Washington, DC – The California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC), an umbrella group of the eight largest OHV access groups in California, has agreed to contract terms with the Livingston Group, LLC in Washington, DC to help stave off the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine Base. The move comes on the heels of the expected April 27th, 2012 release of a Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) by the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps wishes to annex approximately 160,000 acres of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area, which is the largest open OHV area in the United States and contributes over $70 million dollars into the economy of the surrounding High Desert communities annually.

The Marine Corps proposal would limit motorized recreation to less than one percent of the entire California Desert, a move in which the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) contends will cripple the already battered off-road manufacturing industry, and increase the likelihood of resource damage and safety concerns at the remaining OHV areas. “Our industry has continued to grow at steady pace since the late 1970s, while in that same time period we have lost 48% of the recreational opportunities in the California Desert.” Fred Wiley, the president of the Off-Road Business Association went on to say, “While we support the training needs of our military, it is a bitter pill to swallow losing such a massive piece of our public lands, considering the limited time the Marine Corps plans to utilize this portion of the desert.”

CYPRESS, Calif. – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has taken a leading role in supporting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas by GRANTing nearly $2 million through its OHV Access Initiative since 2008.  This financial support has proven critical in areas such as building bridges over fish-baring streams, improving thousands of miles of trails, and renovating staging areas.

In addition to financial support from the OHV Access Initiative, Yamaha employees out of the company’s Cypress, Calif., headquarters have taken on a personal obligation to support this mission as well.

Earlier this October, more than 60 employees, family members and friends convened in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) volunteering more than 200 work hours and kicking off a long-term restoration project at the popular Cactus Flats staging area near Big Bear Lake.  Volunteers reached some initial restoration goals through weeding, grubbing, seed collecting, planting native shrubs, watering and other important clean-up projects.

“It’s exciting to see so many Yamaha employees volunteer their weekend and get their hands dirty in support of our local mountains and OHV areas,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV and SxS group marketing manager, who participated in the volunteer project and helps spearhead the OHV Access Initiative.  “The San Bernardino National Forest Association has a model OHV program that garners thousands of volunteer hours every year.  We’re happy to do our small part for our local trails, and we encourage OHV enthusiasts across the country to continue to keep their riding areas safe and sustainable, as well as look to our OHV program for support.”