USMC Takeover of Johnson Valley--please help! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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USMC Takeover of Johnson Valley--please help!

Sad.. If this happens, I will possibly never have opportunity to wheel there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
We're in the 11th hour of this battle.

We have 2 approaches we have to simultaneously follow.

First, go to the 7 Days to Save the Hammers campaign and place a call/send a fax/email to a CA representative once a day this week. We are in the middle of a national budget crisis, and our representatives need to know that our we see our country’s debt as our #1 biggest national security threat and the Marines increasing their land for training, while decreasing their numbers is not a responsible expenditure. Tell them they need to oppose this spending because of our fiscal crisis, or we’ll expose them for not being fiscally responsible.

Second, the Secretary of the Navy has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Public Comment on the Proposed Land Acquisition at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, CA. We are in the 11th hour. Once the Record of Decision has been recorded by the Secretary of the Navy to allow withdrawing the land from public use and BLM Management, Johnson Valley is pretty much lost to us.

The Final EIS was published July 27, 2012. There is a 30-day waiting period after the publication of the Final EIS, so we have until August 27 to submit our comments.

We need your comments to maintain our standing in this fight.

There were 18,000 letters sent through the Pirate letter generator. Chances are good that you sent one or more, and you will have valid comments to comment on again.
  • You may not feel that your comment is "the" one we need to keep our area open, but it may be "the" one that the California Motorized Recreation Council or Blue Ribbon Coalition needs to carry into court.
  • You may not comment on any new information.
  • You must comment on their responses to your previous comments.

You need to find your own comment or comments in the Final EIS. Go to the link below to get to the Land Acquisition/Airspace Establishment Study.

http://www.marines.mil/unit/29palms/...s/default.aspx

Click on Appendix N.

Look for your name.

I found it helpful to print out the pages my name was on.
In the 2nd column, it lists the number of your comment.
In the 3rd column, it lists the page number your comment is on. Your comment may be in one of several files—Appendix N part 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4, or 4a.

Read their response to your comment.
They have a lot of “canned” responses. See if they actually responded to your words. If not, comment on:
• Any inaccuracies or discrepancies
• Comment on the adequacy of the analysis
• Comment if they have properly identified ways to mitigate significant impacts.
o If you have commented on OHV recreation being displaced from Johnson Valley, this is one of our number one arguments. The Final EIS has acknowledged that there will be a significant impact to OHV recreation, but they have FAILED to identify any reasonable ways to mitigate this impact. In other words, they have failed to tell us where else we can go and legally recreate that will have any sort of terrain similar to Johnson Valley, and they have failed to identify any ways to solve the problem that will come up when several thousand of us descend on another OHV recreation area.
• You can disagree with their interpretation of the impacts.
• If their response does not seem to address your comment, you can question that but always tell them to do something.
• If you make the statement: "Your response doesn't address my comment.", they will not be required to respond. You need to tell them that they didn't address your comment and tell them what they need to do about it.


Address your comments to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest
Attn: 29Palms EIS Project Manager
1220 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92132-5190

Remember, your comments are due August 27. 19 days from today.

If you have any questions, please post up on the 7 Days to Save the Hammers Facebook page, or PM me.

http://youtu.be/jF0dI7zWriU
http://www.facebook.com/events/213378082121681/

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post #2 of 27 Old 08-08-2012, 02:07 PM
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Everybody is highly encouraged to support....they are taking donations as well to help with legal fees to challenge the expansion.





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post #3 of 27 Old 01-15-2013, 12:44 PM
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There is a Petition setup for this over here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...ublic/5r0C7Xw4

25k signatures are needed in order to get it under the Presidents desk. And while I really don't agree with most things he has done, maybe he will decide the USMC doesn't need to spend all those millions. And really, they don't "need" it. And I am saying that as a Marine.
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-15-2013, 01:27 PM
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Fucking Marines. Oh wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohchief View Post
If people don't take a stand now,you'll be bitches under their thumbs tomorrow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
I think too much of a pressure variant between Earth and outer-space... lack of oxygen... something like that.
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-15-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Sams Misguided Child View Post
Fucking Marines. Oh wait.
That's what I was thinking! I've been out to MCAGCC a couple of times. Desolate.
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-16-2013, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuka View Post
There is a Petition setup for this over here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...ublic/5r0C7Xw4

25k signatures are needed in order to get it under the Presidents desk. And while I really don't agree with most things he has done, maybe he will decide the USMC doesn't need to spend all those millions. And really, they don't "need" it. And I am saying that as a Marine.

Signed. Only 4800 signatures so far. People need to sign this.
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-18-2013, 06:21 AM
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Bump!


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post #8 of 27 Old 01-21-2013, 03:36 PM
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Bump

10,438 shy of the goal.
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-22-2013, 07:37 AM
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If you have any good links to threads related to Johnson Valley or KOH on JKowners.com please PM me the links. We are assembling a newsletter with JV and KOH as the main theme.
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-23-2013, 01:07 PM
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SIGNED!!!!
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-23-2013, 01:13 PM
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Done,

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohchief View Post
If people don't take a stand now,you'll be bitches under their thumbs tomorrow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
I think too much of a pressure variant between Earth and outer-space... lack of oxygen... something like that.
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-23-2013, 01:20 PM
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Signed, number 16523
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-24-2013, 07:55 AM
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Signed! I may not ever get to go there, but i sure as hell want to save it.

I think this thing is finally coming together. Still Needed: drive shafts, frame mount rails...then done son! For a while...
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-24-2013, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybee1669 View Post
Signed! I may not ever get to go there, but i sure as hell want to save it.
out of curiosity I checked. current amount is 18,388. Nice.
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-25-2013, 12:41 PM
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USMC Takeover of Johnson Valley--please help!

20,610! Just 4,390 to go!


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post #16 of 27 Old 01-25-2013, 08:24 PM
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I signed...
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-26-2013, 03:30 PM
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Less than 3k left!

I agree... MCAGCC is big enough. Mojave Viper isn't big enough to require all of that land.
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-28-2013, 06:46 AM
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Bump ... 1800 to go!


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post #19 of 27 Old 01-31-2013, 07:34 PM
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USMC Takeover of Johnson Valley--please help!

Success! Thanks to everybody that signed!


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post #20 of 27 Old 02-02-2013, 08:03 AM
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Whitehouse Petition

Be prepared for a bullshit whitehouse response, but raising awareness is a good start, Thanks to all. Keep up the fight, USMC will destroy that jewel of the OHV community.
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/201...vG5OM.facebook

Quote:
Marine Corps’ expansion of 29 Palms gets OK
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 12, 2013 14:57:57 EST
OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The Marine Corps has cleared a final hurdle in its plan to expand the premier desert warfare training center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., a senior officer said.

The “record of decision” to expand the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center was approved by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, said Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, deputy commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“Now it’s a matter of working the details (and) key consultations,” Spiese said. The next step falls to Congress, which must approve the expansion before the process of transferring or purchasing land parcels, many of which are in federal hands, can begin.

An official announcement on the land acquisition was expected Wednesday, said Capt. Kendra Motz, a Marine Corps spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

The Marine Corps had expected a final decision to be issued in April 2012 after it received public comment on its 2011 draft environmental impact statement, which provided details of its plan to expand the existing combat center, which covers about 600,000 acres, or 295 square miles. But the original proposal drew strong opposition and more than 20,000 public comments, primarily from recreationalists and off-roaders who frequent the neighboring 189,000-acre Johnson Valley, a popular off-road vehicle spot for rock-crawling events, including the “King of the Hammers” competition held Feb. 8.

The Marine Corps then came up with a “preferred alternative” that would take 166,000 acres west and southeast of the combat center, a compromise that would close off about 40,000 acres of Johnson Valley to the public for about two months a year to support twice-annual brigade-level exercises starting in 2015. The combat center would issue permits for public access to the land the rest of the year.

An online petition asking the White House to intervene and stop the expansion into Johnson Valley had collected 27,735 signatures as of Tuesday.

Marine Corps officials say the land expansion is needed to provide enough room to train an expeditionary brigade-size force of 15,000 Marines, who would encounter more challenging training as they fight and move against targets across more than 50 miles of terrain. The MEB’s three reinforced battalions would be supported with helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, rockets and logistical support during the training, which would culminate in a final three-day combined-arms live-fire exercise.

Response from Save the Hammers..

Quote:
Save The Hammers
Marines Record of Decision Will Not Stop United Effort to Save Johnson Valley.

On February 13th, 2013, the Secretary of the Navy released their Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms California. The ROD was initially expected in September but has been delayed more than 6 months due to a united effort from both the neighboring communities to 29 Palms and the off road community to stop the base expansion onto public lands. Normally the ROD is considered the final step in the base expansion process; however, due to overwhelming opposition, the Marines still have many obstacles to overcome in their efforts to expand.

With the release of the ROD, the Department of Defense must submit a bill that requires Congress’ approval to withdraw the land from public use to be given to the Department of Defense. Congress’ approval may prove difficult for the Marines as Congress passed a separate bill requiring the Marines further investigate and submit a report to Congress exploring the negative financial impact the expansion. The bill also requires the Marines further investigate alternatives that could allow training and public use to co-exist. This report is due to Congress by April 1st. As of February 13, 2013 this report had not been submitted to Congress.

Additionally, a petition submitted to whitehouse.gov opposing the base expansion has received more than 27,000 signatures meeting the necessary requirement for a formal response from the White House. The response is expected shortly after the petition’s completion on February 14th. With a response pending from the executive branch and additional requirements from the legislative branch not yet addressed, The Marines release of the ROD seems premature as input from either branches could significantly impact the options for expansion.

Opponents to base expansion state that the Marines desired alternative will unnecessarily cost tax payers millions as well as negatively impact the economies of neighboring communities and small businesses that rely on Johnson Valley for their livelihood. “The biggest question we are asking of the Marines is why do they need this land? And they have yet to give the public a good answer.” said Dave Cole, Founder of King of The Hammers, a popular BLM-approved off road permitted special event that attracts more than 30,000 spectators from around the world, and takes place in Johnson Valley each February.

The Marines have publicly stated they are reducing their forces by 20,000 over the next 5 years but claim the expansion is needed to do larger training exercises. More than $120 Million in tax payer dollars has been set aside to buy out existing mining claims in Johnson Valley. Additional money will be spent on securing the new borders. “This land has been open to the public for so long, that there will be families coming out to recreate that will have no idea that they are trespassing on a Marine Base.” said Fred Wiley of the Off Road Business Association. Many estimate it could be 5 years before the new perimeters are secured for training purposes.

An alternative has been proposed that could meet the Marines training requirements without negative financial impact to tax payers or permanently closing public lands. The California Motorized Recreational Council (CMRC) has proposed the Marines look at Alternative 4 of the 6 alternatives currently proposed by the Marines. This alternative has the Marines training from west to east and would keep live fire training off of public lands. If the Marines chose this alternative and worked with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to obtain permits to train, the land could be co-used.

“While we are disappointed that the Marines chose to release their Record of Decision prior to submitting their report to Congress, we are confident that this Record of Decision will not be the final course of action.” Said Jeff Knoll, ORBA member and CMRC representative, he continued by saying, “The fight to Save Johnson Valley is far from over.”.

For more information, please visit: www.savethehammers.org.

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post #22 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 07:40 PM
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I really wish more people would get behind this effort. Estimates put the attendance at KOH 2013 at over 100k ... why have only 27k people signed the petition? Taking into account folks that can't sign due to not being US citizens, 27k seems really low to me out of a crowd of 100k. It seems they could just flyer the crowd or have people navigate through the crowd asking, "Hey, do you have a smartphone? Go to whitehouse.gov right now and sign this petition."

I hope Congress makes the right decision and leaves Johnson Valley unchanged...


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post #23 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 09:31 PM
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If ordnance is used out there, we'll never be allowed back in. I'm so sick of government infringement.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-14-2013, 04:04 AM
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They should look into the same options that Lewis-McChord, Hickam-Pearl Harbor, Bragg/Pope, etc that done and share resources with Ft. Irwin who already conducts desert training and has an entire base designated to JUST that. There is no need for major tax payer dollars and other expenses required to expand with a reduced budget and personnel cuts. Just my .02.

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post #25 of 27 Old 02-14-2013, 04:34 AM
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signed!


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