Over the years California off road enthusiasts have seen dramatic reductions in public land available for off road use. Whether its budget cuts, legal issues, or environmental issues, the bad news keeps coming. Reduction in public land for off road vehicle use not only limits where enthusiasts can practice their sport, but restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and other local businesses that depend on visiting off road enthusiasts suffer too.
One of the prominent proposed OHV land use reduction issues is the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine Base. The Marine Corps is planning to annex approximately 160,000 acres of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area. This is the largest open OHV area in the US and adds over $70 million dollars to the local economy annually. Johnson Valley is also home to the King of the Hammers, the premier Ultra4 event. The expansion has been contested by the off road community for a couple of years now. As part of this effort the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC), an umbrella group of the eight largest OHV access groups in California, recently agreed to contract terms with lobbyists, the Livingston Group, LLC in Washington, DC to help stave off the expansion of the 29 Palms Marine Base. The next step in the Marine base expansion hinges on the outcome of a Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS), which is to be released today April 27th, 2012.
We, along with quite a few Californians, are very interested to see the outcome of the study.