The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved the “Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area Establishment Act” (HR 1676) that would end a five-year debate on how to expand the U.S. Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, California. Under the bill, the Marines would have access to the adjoining Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area for up to 60 days a year for training exercises but the OHV area would be otherwise preserved for recreational use. The bill will now be considered by the House Armed Services Committee.
HR 1676 protects OHV activities by establishing the "Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area" under continued management by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The legislation provides for public participation in determining the dates for military activities that will be the least disruptive for OHV activities. The land is used year-round by OHV enthusiasts and is home to numerous motorized events that draw thousands of competitors and spectators to the area every year, including the famous King of the Hammers.
The SEMA Action Network (SAN) will continue to urge lawmakers to enact the legislation into law. Favorable action on HR 1676 by the House Armed Services Committee is expected in the coming weeks. SAN will keep you informed as that occurs.
For more information, please contact Stuart Gosswein at firstname.lastname@example.org.