Save Johnson Valley Alert
Partnership For Johnson Valley hosts meeting with local businesses and Military representatives from Twentynine Palms
What was to be a routine meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the Twentynine Palms MCAGCC chaired by Harry Baker turned into an emotional discussion about the economic impacts the military's proposed expansion would have in Lucerne, Johnson, Yucca Valley and surrounding communities if tourism and ATV's was removed from the region.
"This is a Route 66 scenario" said one of the business owners concerned about local impacts on ATVing tourism that could turn our communities into ghost towns.
Ed Waldheim, President of the California Trail Users Coalition and a Director of the Partnership, was visibly shaken and genuinely concerned that the emotion of these local retailers could never be channeled through typical scoping methods. Range Expansion Program Manager Joe Ross, assured us he would relay this overwhelming concern demonstrated by local business owners to the upper military brass and that every comment carries weight. He noted that socioeconomics will be one of many important items to be fully analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
One very important key element discussed was the volume of scoping comments that have been received so far by the Marines. As of today, just under 900 Emails and about 500 hard comment letters have been received. This number of comment letters to the military is disappointingly low.
The Partnership is urging the public to send letters to the military regarding this issue. The more the better. Unique comments and ideas are openly welcome from all types of tourists, multiple users and local residents. All substantive comments that are received will be incorporated into the Draft EIS, scheduled for release in spring 2010.
Comments can be as simple as one sentence, or as many words as you would like. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING COMMENTS IS JAN 31, 2009.
Download comment form here http://pfjv.org/Mcom.pdf
Comments may be submitted in writing by sending a letter to:
Mr. Joe Ross, Project Manager, 29Palms Proposed Training
Land/Airspace Acquisition Project, MAGTFTC/MCAGCC,
Bldg. 1554, Box 788104, Twentynine Palms, CA 92278-8104;
by an e-mail to SMBPLMSWEBPAO@usmc.mil ;
or by voice mail at 760-830-3764
All meetings of the PFJV are open to the public, and the military is regularly invited and in attendance. Harry Baker said, "I've been very gratified that Marine Corps representatives accept our invitations and take time out of their busy schedules to attend. They have shown an impressive willingness to be open, honest and listen to all stakeholder concerns during their planning process."