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Old 02-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Can't take the day off, but can I call? Any little bit helps?
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:55 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:40 AM   #28 (permalink)
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OK, it's go-time.

I have one call scheduled, and working on calls with the 2 others.

I am being sent up the ladder, through the Legislative Assistants first.

At first, I thought I was being brushed-off, but then I realized that the LA's do have more time to talk to me and understand what I am asking for than the Rep and Senators will. My plan is to engage each of the 3 LA's and bring them completely up to speed and hopefully make them my ally. From there (if they're an ally), I will plan to have them sit in on my call with their respective Congressman. When I'm giving the Congressman my 3-5 minute spiel, my hope is that they can look across their desk to the LA and get a nod that what I'm telling them is the gospel.

I need a higher resolution version of the "takeover map" that is on the front page of the savethehammers.org site. Can someone email it to me? I can make it into a .pdf if it isn't already.

I also plan to put together some smaller scale maps to show these people generally where I'm talking about. These Montanan Congressional aides have no idea where in SoCal I'm referring.

I'm guessing everyone else will benefit from this material, so I'll make it available to all of you. Talking points are good....visual aids will be even better.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:41 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Update:
I am playing phone tag with a Legislative Assistant in Sen. Tester's office.
I left a message with an LA in Rep. Rehberg's office, and sent a copy of the scheduling request below.

I have this email in to Sen. Baucus' scheduling person:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Good Afternoon,


I would like to schedule an appointment for a call with Sen. Baucus on March 14 or 15.

I am highly concerned about the US Marine Corps' plan to expand the 29 Palms Marine Base into the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area.

*The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Amos, has noted that the future Marine Corps will be a leaner expeditionary force, not America's 2nd land army.
*The current Federal budget situation would make such an expansion questionable.
*Johnson Valley is a one of a kind multiple-use public access area in the entire Nation! I wish there were an area like Johnson Valley in Montana, but there isn't. I travel there annually to see friends and family and to recreate in the wide open desert.

Prior to this call, would it be feasible for me to discuss the content with one of the Legislative Assistants in your office? It might be most productive to go over the basics with them so that they can brief the Senator before my call--and sit in on the call if that works best for them, so I don't spend Max's valuable time on the call only explaining the situation.


Best regards,
Shawn Baker
Kalispell, MT
Anyone please feel free to copy/paste if you like.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:44 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Great job Shawn.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:22 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Note to self: Here's one of the letters I wrote in June. Going to dust it off, check it for current accuracy, and use it when communicating with the L.A.'s.:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner
To whom it may concern:

I am a patriotic American and an off-road vehicle enthusiast. I support the need for America's fighting men and women to have realistic training areas. However, I DO NOT support the acquisition of the Johnson Valley OHV area for our Marines to train.

Multiple-use recreation has been constantly attacked by environmental groups, and we have been forced into ever smaller and smaller areas. Johnson Valley OHV area is THE premier OHV area in the entire country. Its closure to off-road use is unacceptable. The military has the ability to take nearly any area necessary for training—please select another area.

I travel to the Johnson Valley OHV area annually, and spend thousands of dollars of my hard-earned money each trip. When several tens of thousands of people visit the area each year for rockcrawling, mining, desert racing, motorcycle racing, and camping in the desert with their families, the impact of our use is beneficial to every community along the way when we stop to stock up on food, fuel, snacks, parts, etc. The economic impact of this closure to the nearby California communities Yucca Valley, Landers, Lucerne, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and Barstow will be terrible.

Finally, just as has happened when environmentalists have closed our trails, responsible off-road enthusiasts are forced onto ever smaller areas, and even though we go to great lengths to Tread Lightly and minimize our impact on the environment, our impact is cumulative. The vast majority of us are patriotic supporters of our armed forces—please do not take so much from some of your biggest advocates.

I am in full support of a realistic training area for the Marines.
I am in full opposition of using THIS area to train Marines.

This is far from a “not in my backyard plea”. Please do come to Montana to train. I am certain there are lands here similar to Afghanistan.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:38 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karstic View Post
Anyway to get some statistics from Hammerking/Ultra4 on number of visitors over the week of KOH?

How much $$$ went into the local economy just from services (environmetal services, tent/equipment rentals, value of swag,etc) ordered by the event organizers?

How many arm bands were sold over the week?

Maybe get some input from the local business and how their business were affected?
X2......where can this info be found? i know some of it would just be an educated guess. but the arm bands sold should not being a problem getting an exact number. also how much was raised at koh for the defense fund? this is ammo i would like to take a march 14 meet.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:50 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbycj5 View Post
X2......where can this info be found? i know some of it would just be an educated guess. but the arm bands sold should not being a problem getting an exact number. also how much was raised at koh for the defense fund? this is ammo i would like to take a march 14 meet.
We are still developing the economic impact report (our own) for the area around JV. That part of the report is not my job, but it's being done and I hope we can be told those numbers soon. (Remember that questionaire we had running about how much people spend in JV?)

One thing you CAN tell your rep is that KOH this year drew tens of thousands of people to the area. (I am guessing 30k this year maybe...)

IMO, the biggest arguments to be made is that how can we be expanding a base when:

1. The focus of the Marine Corps is chaging back to thier orginal role as a spearhead from beign used as a 2nd land Army....therefore their training will change.

2. With the current defence budget, WHY are the Marines downsizing everywhere else with the exception of this base expanstion..
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:56 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Area map to show your Senator/Congressperson (or their Legislative Assistant).


Thanks to Steve "lttlbddy" Gardiner for sending it my way.
I also have the 8Mb .pdf from him.

Edit: I made a nice medium resolution version of it that is about 2MB in either .jpg or .pdf.
PM me and I'll email it to anyone who wants it.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by MT4Runner; 02-17-2012 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Can`t think of a better 1st edict !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The North Jersey Jeep Club(NJJC) is in on helping our west coast breathren. At our monthly meeting tonight, Kevin Ledder of Miller Motersports has asked me to help coordinate NJJC in doing this and to help folks schedule appointments to get the most exposure and to join the King and crew to Save the Hammers.
At tonites meeting in which the King and his crew and car will be at our meeting, as they are members of NJJC..
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:58 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Started the process with one Senator's office:

She suggested I talk to someone from the CA delegation.
I mentioned that "some of my friends from CA" were already going to talk to their own Senators and Representatives. I wanted to bring this up with Sen. Tester, Sen. Baucus, and Rep. Rehberg, because I am their constituent, and I didn't believe that the CA delegation would be as concerned about me as a non-constitutent. She agreed.

I noted that the Commandant of the Marine Corps is making his force smaller and more mobile, that current budget restrictions shouldn't lead toward an expansion of any bases, that I am a patriotic American who would love to see the Marines training in MT--just not in JV.

She asked if I had a personal connection to JV.
I told her that I travel there annually to recreate with friends and family (even if the family is teh family of my friends!) I explained that JV is a former WWII bombing range, and that it is not pristine wilderness. I tied in a comment that we in MT have to stay on trails to protect ecologically sensitive areas, but that JV is wide open desert (even though we know the better trails are the existing ones!!).

Johnson Valley is the nation's "gem" in OHV recreation.

I asked what her role was. She is a Dept. of Defense fellow, working under Sen. Tester's Military Legislative assistant. I told her that because this is a prime area for responsible OHV recreation that she might also want to mention it to the Environmental staffers in Sen. Tester's office--this is an area where responsible multiple use occurs, and displaces pressure on more environmentally sensitive areas.


The followed up with this letter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Good Afternoon, Lori,

Thank you for your time on the phone today.

Attached is a map of the existing Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area boundary, shown in yellow. The Marine Corps' preferred alternative is the red hashed area. This annexation would take over the "better half" of the public area, and close it from public use.


As an aside, I have traveled to Johnson Valley and "The Hammers" trails each of the past four years. It is an incredible gem for responsible off-highway vehicle recreation. Each February, the "King of the Hammers" race is held, and this is an update from one of the BLM's Barstow Field Office staffers about the race:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/new...e_hammers.html
The BLM California Desert District and nearby Field Offices are a great asset in making public lands such as Johnson Valley accesible for responsible public recreation.

I look forward to your boss' response, as well as the response from Sen. Tester's Environmental staffers.

Best regards,
Shawn Baker
Kalispell, MT
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:25 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Set the hook in the 2nd office. Trying to reel him in.

I sent an email and left a voicemail last week for one of Rep. Rehberg's staffers. I called again this morning and spent a good 10 minutes with him. I think I raised some very good points.

It's funny, this is the 2nd time I've been asked, "Why didn't you contact the California representative for this area?"

"I contacted my own Representative, because I am his constituent. I have friends in California who are contacting their Representatives as they are constituents. Because this is a military and a budget issue, we need all of our Representatives to be aware of this issue."

He's going to get in touch with the California delegation staffers.
Who is the CA Representative for this area?
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:37 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karstic View Post
Anyway to get some statistics from Hammerking/Ultra4 on number of visitors over the week of KOH?

How much $$$ went into the local economy just from services (environmetal services, tent/equipment rentals, value of swag,etc) ordered by the event organizers?

How many arm bands were sold over the week?

Maybe get some input from the local business and how their business were affected?


We had bands on ~12,000 people.

Sherrifs, BLM, and CHP estimate race day attendance at 30k

Last year we did a poll and the estimated local revenue was 1.8 million with 20k estimated attendance.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:05 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Thanks Dave. I'm sure the CA delegates know this, but I'll let my MT reps know just how big it is to that local economy.

Local revenue would be to Lander, Lucerne Valley, and Barstow, or including out to 29 Palms and Apple Valley, too? "Greater San Bernardino" area?
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Who is the CA Representative for this area?
Looks like Jerry Lewis, CA 41st Congressional District?
http://jerrylewis.house.gov/

He is Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.


Looks like he has HUGE political sway in appropriating budget for the 29Palms take-over. Has anyone been in direct contact with him or his office to see how he stands on our JV issue??
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:40 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Looks like Jerry Lewis, CA 41st Congressional District?
http://jerrylewis.house.gov/

He is Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.


Looks like he has HUGE political sway in appropriating budget for the 29Palms take-over. Has anyone been in direct contact with him or his office to see how he stands on our JV issue??
Yes, and there is a redistricting going on that will shake this all up.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:01 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Looks like that area is subject to frequent redistricting.
It also appears that that area generally votes conservative.

This typically means pro-military and not often pro-environment.
Neither of which is necessarily pro-access.
A shakeup is good!!

The thing that concerns me is that for the Rep local to that area, voting against the expansion could be seen (or construed) as not being pro-military = political suicide, so it's even more important for all of us to hit our own Representatives.
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