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Old 06-16-2008, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Saving the Hammers... Trying to make sense of the meetings

We had the open meeting with the leadership group that has been meeting with the Marines (Partnership for Johnson Valley).

The group is made up of Ed Waldhiem, Mark Howlett, Harry Baker and Wayne Nosala.

Todays meeting was attended by a significant number of people representing a majority of the user groups. Cal4Wheel, CORVA, ORBA, AMA (National and D37), NAXJA, ACORA, Friends of Giant Rock, Friends of Stoddard Valley, Friends of Johnson Valley, Friends of Panamint Valley... and a smattering of Benders and Rock Brawlers thrown in for good measure.


First thing on the agenda was a review of the timeline of past events and a walk through of the pitch given to the Marines a couple of weeks ago. The pitch was fairly represenative and accurate in the facts. It was 'pitched' professionially and recieved very well by the group.

The first real roadblock was stumbled upon when we asked to have a copy of the pitch. PFJV's position is that they need the Marine's approval to release the pitch. This is stemming from the fact that there is a map in the pitch that was provided by the Marines. It was suggested to remove the map, as it's already widely distributed on the internet, and provide the balance of the pitch to the attendees so they could disseminate the information to their local groups. There was no resolution to that request. It is my opinion that PFJV should be proud of that pitch. It was well put together and delivered very well.

There is a significant amount of 'history' between the leadership of PFJV and the common leadership of the other groups. A significant part of this goes back long before this issue existed.

Both sides of the fence ardently agreed that we need to put the past behind us and move forward.

The meat of the meeting centered around next steps and the inclusion of all parties in the leadership and direction of this group.

It was agreed that we basically have three segments of resources.

The steering group is large and evolving, it involves any and everyone that has input.

The working group is more narrowly scoped representing the large user community groups both offroad and non-wheeling entities... Film Commision, Rocketry, Rock Hounds...etc. The size of that group should be 7-10 and it will help layout strategy and planning for the future.

The 'presenting' group, is the senior leadership of PFJV. They will be the group that takes the message outlined by the steering and working group and meets and works directly with the military, BLM, Congress..etc They are our voice.

The biggest disconnect of the meeting came when PFJV was pressed to include outside influences into the presenting group. Mark Howlett initially disagreed strongly and in the end, the issue was not resolved.

A future meeting was planned to convene the 'steering' group and layout, or at the least, discuss the bylaws of PFJV to understand what the groups mission is. That meeting will be held 7/2/08 in the evening. I will post up more details when I have them. I'm assuming the roster of the 'presenting' group will also be a topic of conversation.

We are anticipating a reponse from the Marine Corps soon regarding the initial pitch.

The Marine Corps have also invited a significant cross section for a base tour in late June. I will be attending that tour along represenatives of most of the major user groups.


The above, with the exception of my noted opinion, are the facts that happened today. What does it mean? If you asked the 20 some odd people in the room today what their thoughts were, I'm confident the majority were pleasently suprised by the content of the pitch, but rather confounded by the leadersip of PFJV to acknowledge or accept outside influence or participation.

We need them...whether we like it or not. They need us... whether they will admit it or not. They have the 'keys' to the table right now. We need to be a united front.

In polling the leaders of the various groups, they feel the same, but are growing increasingly wary of the current situation.

I'm fairly confident I'm not cut out for this political world. As evidenced by this and other posts, I'd rather everyone knew the facts and made up their own mind, but I do believe this is a fight we can win.


Sincere Regards,

Dave
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update, Dave. Very well written.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To clarify. Were all the details of the pitch shared with the group at the meeting, or are only the select 4 privy to the details of the pitch?
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dave-

Thank you for your cander and honesty in assessing the meeting. I was unable to attend as my family and I were recovering from this weekend's Forest Fest in Big Bear. One thing did strike me as a bit dismaying and that was the fact that we were not given adequate notice of the meeting. I was e-mailed by Harry Baker on Wednesday night and asked to RSVP by Friday. I, along with many others in my club (Inland Empire 4 Wheelrs) viewed this as very unprofessional. Also, like most people, I work during the day, so holding the meeting at 10 a.m. during the work week is in my view, counter productive to the cause. Granted, these concerns are small ones, but they add to the already uneasy feeling many have about the motivation to form two seperate groups, Friends of Johnson Valley and Friends for the Preservations of Johnson Valley.

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Old 06-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The issue with allowing outside influence into to the "presenting group" WILL be what makes or breaks this organization.

Mark Howlett is an excellent presenter/speaker. But he is a terrible communicator. With that said, he seemed to be the only one being completely honest.

I agree that these issues CAN be resolved and we CAN form a united front. We just got to get past all of the power plays and greed.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey Dave,


Thanks for the update.


Its both comforting to hear that they are doing a decent job and discouraging to hear their discomfort with outside participation.


It sounds like overall it was worth while. I'm sure that there are still a lot of issues to be ironed out.


Did anything come up that those of us too far away to attend the meeting can do to help or participate?

Thanks for keeping us updated.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm fairly confident I'm not cut out for this political world. As evidenced by this and other posts, I'd rather everyone knew the facts and made up their own mind, but I do believe this is a fight we can win.


Sincere Regards,

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I think you're doing fine Dave. Thanks for all your effort! Sorry I missed it.

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Old 06-16-2008, 08:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To those at the meeting today, PFJV is in a fund raising mode. At this point would you support this group financially?

http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44728
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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To those at the meeting today, PFJV is in a fund raising mode. At this point would you support this group financially?

http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44728
Several groups have approached me (on behalf of FRIENDS of Johnson Valley) in the last few weeks regarding making donations. My standpoint is that we have nothing that needs money right now. We'll need it for sure, but why muddy already unclear waters by adding the almighty dollar into the equation.?
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Several groups have approached me (on behalf of FRIENDS of Johnson Valley) in the last few weeks regarding making donations. My standpoint is that we have nothing that needs money right now. We'll need it for sure, but why muddy already unclear waters by adding the almighty dollar into the equation.?
I personally think it is premature to donate funds, but I wanted opinions of those in the meeting.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am one of the members of the Tin Benders that was there. I think Dave hit the nail on the head here. This was the impression I got also.

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What does it mean? If you asked the 20 some odd people in the room today what their thoughts were, I'm confident the majority were pleasently suprised by the content of the pitch, but rather confounded by the leadersip of PFJV to acknowledge or accept outside influence or participation.

We need them...whether we like it or not. They need us... whether they will admit it or not. They have the 'keys' to the table right now. We need to be a united front.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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To those at the meeting today, PFJV is in a fund raising mode. At this point would you support this group financially?

http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44728
Nobody gets funds from me unless there is a basic outline of what expenses are anticipated and who will be accountable.

That said, I am willing to print flyers for FOJV or PFJV if someone provides artwork. I can have as many as needed at the next FOPV meeting.

Dave, I am glad you are making the time to participate in the upcoming PFJV meeting/tour.

Steve G
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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To those at the meeting today, PFJV is in a fund raising mode. At this point would you support this group financially?

http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44728
I would not.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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To clarify. Were all the details of the pitch shared with the group at the meeting, or are only the select 4 privy to the details of the pitch?
The pitch was a power point presentation, they showed it to us at the meeting. Was that all there was to the Pitch? We were told it was.

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Old 06-16-2008, 09:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The pitch was a power point presentation, they showed it to us at the meeting. Was that all there was to the Pitch? We were told it was.
I thought the "pitch" was well put together but would rather have not even known about it once I found out it couldn't be made public. I'm not sure what purpose holding that information back can serve. It seems to be "that's the way the Marines want it" is the main justification.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I wouldn't reccommend giving them a dime until they can supply and clear set of bylaws that spell out how the money will be spend/dispursed and who will be accountable. As of this afternoon, PFJV could NOT answer ANY pointed questions on how or who or when or why. Until they can persent themselfs as a group with their act together, NO MONEY!
With that said, at the meeting I volenteered to be on the steering committee.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Artistically/visually, the pitch was well put together.

I do have some concerns about assumptions that were made in developing some of the user-day numbers. Economic impact data was skewed to a "state-level". That does not translate to local economic impact.

The maps of the proposed expansion area highlighted the military installations and wilderness. It did not add critical habitat to the issues.

Granted, this proposal was put together in a short time frame. There is much to do.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A future meeting was planned to convene the 'steering' group and layout, or at the least, discuss the bylaws of PFJV to understand what the groups mission is... I'm assuming the roster of the 'presenting' group will also be a topic of conversation.
I hope so, but I wonder.

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If you asked the 20 some odd people in the room today what their thoughts were, I'm confident the majority were pleasently suprised by the content of the pitch, but rather confounded by the leadersip of PFJV to acknowledge or accept outside influence or participation.
I am guardedly optimistic... but I do wonder how the 'PFJV' leadership could possible be surprised that outside participation is required. A simple imagining of the other side's position would seem to be in order.

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I'm fairly confident I'm not cut out for this political world.
Man, do I disagree, Dave... you did well in the meeting and summarized well after. For a while, it sounded like they were TRYING to get you to stomp out, but you stayed in and stayed effective... I'm not sure how you could have done any better.

I know it was tough to be cool in that room -- but most people were, and that's a step in the right direction.

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Old 06-16-2008, 11:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I personally think it is premature to donate funds, but I wanted opinions of those in the meeting.
Agreed, but I'll be the first to say that HOW this proceeds affects my willingness to donate...

I'm a big fan of voting with my wallet, and will channel dollars to the group that is most fair and accountable in its governance. Having watched more than a few fundraisers online, I know others are watching and thinking the same.

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Old 06-17-2008, 07:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks for the report Dave (sorry I couldn't make it ). I'm sure we will have more developments by the time of the FOJV meeting on 6-25.

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Old 06-17-2008, 08:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Friends Groups at the Tables

Dave, you are doing an awesome job! This is not an easy process, but it is always a win-win process when the users of an area are behind you. You have a following of folks that want to keep JV alive and well. When you have a following, it's easy to lead.

The Friends group model works, and it works all over the country. And let me assure you, Friend groups that have the users as constituents (members) belong at any and every table where their trail/riding area is being discussed. Agency folks know that.

To use the Rubicon as an example, I can't imagine the County or the Feds having a planning meeting or some sort of long term scheme that did NOT include Friends of the Rubicon. Ain't happening.

As to fund-raising, I would tag along with many suggestions here. It seems too early and not directed enough. But on the other hand, if FOJV decides that the time is right, and the cause is well directed, then I'm in. There is only one real question to ask when it comes time to voting with your wallet -- and to me that is where will the money eventually go. If we're talking a possible lawsuit in the future, then put your money with someone/group that can hold up on that end of the bargain.

So my advice is to continue on your path of establishing your membership and commitment to saving JV for us, the users. Be at the table -- any table. Stand by each other and stand strong in what you are doing. Set aside boundaries (and barriers) like club names, organizations, etc. Just be FOJV.

Del
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:59 AM   #22 (permalink)
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First off, Dave, it was nice to meet you again. I'm sorry we didn't get a few more minutes to speak but hopefully soon we'll be able to catch up.

And the two gentlemen I sat between, Mike and Richard, it was also nice to meet you too! I enjoyed our quiet comments....it was nice to know we're pretty much on the same page with our thoughts yesterday.

As John mentioned in a previous post, there is still much to do. I look forward to what the future holds and most importantly I look forward to more productive meetings.

Sincerely,

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Old 06-17-2008, 10:59 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Well 1st of all it was nice meeting some new face's. I was really glad I was able to attend this meeting and I think your doing a great job Dave. I really think we have a big challange ahead of us but if we all can work together and have people that we can really trust to represent us I believe we'll have a great chance of saving Johnson Valley. I think the slide presentation was good but the communication was poor it was in my opinion pretty much our way or the highway. If I affend anyone I'm sorry but thats what I feel they pretty much said to all of us but these are my thoughts.
Thanks Richard
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Well 1st of all it was nice meeting some new face's. I was really glad I was able to attend this meeting and I think your doing a great job Dave. I really think we have a big challange ahead of us but if we all can work together and have people that we can really trust to represent us I believe we'll have a great chance of saving Johnson Valley. I think the slide presentation was good but the communication was poor it was in my opinion pretty much our way or the highway. If I affend anyone I'm sorry but thats what I feel they pretty much said to all of us but these are my thoughts.
Thanks Richard
It was good to see you at the meeting Richard, I intended to shake your hand and formally introduce myself after the meeting, but unfortunately it ran long and I had to cut out early to make another meeting in Long Beach.
I'll try to catch you at the net meeting.

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Old 06-17-2008, 09:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It was good to see you at the meeting Richard, I intended to shake your hand and formally introduce myself after the meeting, but unfortunately it ran long and I had to cut out early to make another meeting in Long Beach.
I'll try to catch you at the net meeting.

John James
yeah I also planned on introducing myself but I noticed you got up walked out and didn't return but it's cool I'll see you at the next meeting
Richard
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