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At today’s Board meeting, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution supporting Congressman Paul Cook’s bill H.R. 1676, the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Establishment Act.

The Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area is the largest OHV Area in the country at 188,000 acres. It has become one of the most popular OHV areas in the nation with 250,000 people visiting last year.

It is also a significant source of revenue for the local economy. The OHV recreation in the County has a current economic impact of $70 million annually which supports local jobs in Lucerne Valley, Johnson Valley, and the High Desert.

Under the Department of the Navy’s Land Acquisition, the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center would acquire 167,971 acres with most of the acreage taking up approximately 80 percent of the Johnson Valley. Withdrawal of the majority of the Johnson Valley for military training would have a tremendous economic impact on the County.

On April 23, 2012, U.S. Representative Paul Cook introduced H.R. 1676 which would designate approximately 188,000 acres of public land as the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area.  The land would be designated for public recreation when the lands are not in use for military training and for natural resources conservation.  The Act would authorize short-term military training on portions of the lands twice a year.

“This bill is a well-thought out plan that allows OHV use to coexist with limited military operations but in a way that best protects the safety of our residents, our local economy, and our small business owners,” stated Supervisor Ramos.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution of support for this bill and added the Johnson Valley OHV recreation area designation to the 2013 Federal Legislative Platform.

Information on this resolution can be found under Consent Item 4 at http://cob-sire.sbcounty.gov/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=2249&doctype=AGENDA.

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