ORBA-Hammer-DC-5-14-13ORBA Marketing Director Jeff Knoll traveled to Washington DC in April at the request of Congressman Paul Cook to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of HR1676 The Johnson Valley Off-Highway vehicle Recreation Area Establishment Act.

The Bill was created based on a White Paper Knoll created as the Chairman of the California Motorized Recreation Council Save the Hammers Committee.
Read the full text of the Bill Here

ORBA is still in need of much needed funding for this special project. The CMRC Goal for June is $30,000. 100% of the funds for this project are spent on saving the Hammers.
If you can help get us to the finish line please contact the ORBA office. 661-323-1464

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.

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.

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.

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.”