Monday, May 23, 2011
BRC/National Group's Comment Letter on Johnson Valley DEIS
By now a lot of riders and wheelers know about the Marine Corps’ proposal to expand into the Johnson Valley OHV Area. In fact, a lot of you have already sent in comment letters and attended meetings.
On May 19, 2011, BRC sent in its official comment letter on the Corps’ DEIS. For a copy of that letter … please go to the BRC News Release below.
May 23, 2011 BRC News Release on Johnson Valley with BRC Comment Letter
After talking with a number of active and retired service members including Marines and a Vietnam-era Green Beret, I am now more firmly convinced then ever that the ill-conceived plan was not based on a strategic military “need” but rather it appears to be based on the personal agenda of several high-ranking military officials.
Not once in the original scoping document or in the DEIS did the Corps justify the “need” to boot the OHV community out of Johnson Valley.
I would encourage those of you to read the BRC comment letter and consider sending in a letter of your own before the May 26 deadline.
Here is info from an ARRA Email Alert (with suggested comments)
All DEIS Alternatives Would Restrict Access
As you have no doubt heard by now, the United States Marines are seeking to establish a large-scale training range facility at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California. To this end a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been released. Comments will be accepted until Thursday, May 26th.
The DEIS analyzes 6 alternatives for potential impacts to land use, recreation, public health and safety, air quality, noise, biological resources, cultural resources, geological resources, water resources and other resources. The preferred alternative is alternative 6.
Unfortunately, any of the proposed alternatives, including the Marines’ preferred alternative, will ultimately result in the loss of OHV access and possibly a complete closure of the Johnson Valley OHV area.
Please review the DEIS and submit comments by filling in the attached webform found here. You can cut-and-paste the following or insert your own comments. Either way it is imperative that you weigh in before the comment period closes on May 26!
DEIS Comment Link
As an off-highway vehicle enthusiast I write to urge you to support the “no action” alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement - Land Acquisition and Airspace Establishment To Support Large-Scale Marine Air Ground Task Force Live Fire and Maneuver Training. I recognize that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) notes that no action “...is not a viable alternative since it does not meet the purpose and need…” However, none of the 6 proposed alternatives, including preferred alternative 6, adequately address all issues including providing for recreation, particularly motorized recreation.
Local riders, and many from adjoining regions, have been pushed off of public lands and out of many areas of the desert for decades. While I understand that the Marines have a vital mission, there simply must be a better way to provide for adequate training while not essentially eliminating responsible access to Johnson Valley for motorized recreationists.
I encourage you to withdraw the DEIS in favor of developing a new DEIS with a broadened range of alternatives that include options that allow for the continued responsible use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs), and that recognize the vital economic impact that motorized recreation has in the area.
Also, here is a link to a BRC JV Alert
HQ believes in and supports our military. However, HQ does not believe that our military should be exempted from following the good government standards set in place for other agencies such as the Forest Service and BLM.
Thanks in advance for your continued support!!!
****PS May 24 Article on Commission JV Tour