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Old 11-23-2008, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FOJV Meeting Minutes, 11/10/08

My apologies for the delay.

Friends of Johnson Valley
6th Meeting. Monday, November 10, 2008
Sizzler Restaurant
1461 S. Rimpau Avenue
Corona, CA 92879

Meeting called to order, 7:00pm

Pledge of Allegiance

Jim Knox: Introduction

Jim reported that Dave was in Miami for work and could not attend the meeting. Jim provided an agenda and presided over the meeting.

Jerry Grabow: District 37 Fun Ride

Jerry explained that District 37 is planning to host a fun ride event to raise awareness about the future of Johnson Valley. The event will be held on December 13 and 14, 2008 at Cougar Buttes and is in cooperation with other organizations including FOJV, ORBA, AMA, CORVA, and Blue Ribbon Coalition. District 37 is obtaining the BLM permit and required insurance for the event.

The goal of the event will be to educate people on the scoping period, what it means and what they can do to be a part of the process. Events will include motorcycle loops, ATV/Rhino loops, trials bikes, rock crawlers and more. Fliers have been sent to District 37 members with their newsletter. Jerry stated that they are in the process of scheduling informational speakers, and obtaining a band to be included in the Saturday events.

The flier is available on the District 37 website at the following links.
Front Page:

Back Page:

Jerry was asked if the Marine Corps was invited to attend the fun run. He responded that he knew that the BLM has been invited and that he expected some BLM members to attend, but the he was not aware if the Marines had been invited yet.

Jim interjected that the letter generator is now available on the Pirate 4x4 website at

Jim highly suggests using the basic letter that is provided as a basis for writing your own personalized letter. Each individual can write their own letter including children. In fact we are encouraging everyone to have their children write about what Johnson Valley means to them. Writing a letter establishes the senders standing in the process. Once established they will receive updates and information from the BLM as the process continues. Jerry stated that they will have letter writing activities at the fun ride.

Helen Baker: Comment Periods and Letter Writing

Helen explained to the group that there are actually two separate comment periods currently open.

The first is the comment period is in regards to the BLM the Segregation Notice. The Segregation Notice is basically the Marine Corps telling the BLM that they have an interest in approximately 420,000 acres of land for possible expansion. The BLM will then no longer allow any new uses of the land in the application. Current activities including OHV and other uses are not interrupted during this process. The BLM is accepting comments about the proposed withdrawal action only. Public meetings for this action have already been completed. The deadline for comments to the BLM is December 15, 2008

A BLM prepared form for providing comments is available online at the following links.

JPG version:

PDF version:

The letter generator available on as discussed above is sending letters to the BLM regarding the separation action.

The second comment period is in regards to the Notice of Intent (NOI) that was recently filed by the Marine Corps. The text of the NOI is available on the Partnership for Johnson Valley website here:

The comment period for the Marine Corps NOI ends on January 31, 2009. The Marine Corps will hold public meetings regarding this action on the following dates. Exact locations have not yet been determined.

December 3, 2009, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Twentynine Palms, CA;
December 4, 2009, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Victorville, CA;
December 5, 2009, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Ontario, CA.

The comments on the Marine Corps NOI must be specific, substantive, and should address each of the 6 proposed alternatives individually. While form letters like the Pirate letter generator do help, the comments on the proposed alternatives should point out specific concerns that you are requesting the Marine Corps to study such as loss of recreational opportunities, physical impacts (noise, etc), financial impacts, and others. They should also offer suggestions for possible solutions to the problems of each alternative such as re-routing Amboy road in the east expansion area. You are also welcome to write additional alternatives that were not included in the Marine Corps NOI.

Harry Baker: Marine Corps Notice of Intent

Harry first told the group that he and Helen recently took a Major from the Marine Corps on a tour of the eastern expansion area. He said that the Major took video, pictures and recorded GPS information during the tour and even considered options that were not a part of the released NOI such as firing ordinance over the Sheep Hole Mountain Wilderness.

Harry also expressed his disappointment at the turnout for the BLM public meetings. The BLM and Marines do take notice of the attendance and we need to show them what a force the OHV and other stakeholders are.

Harry then gave a rundown of the proposed alternatives in the NOI.

Alternative #1: Includes all of Johnson Valley, approximately 188,000 acres and the south expansion area.

Alternative #2: Includes approximately ½ of Johnson Valley, about 112,000 acres of the east side, and the south expansion area. This option include live fire operations in the Johnson Valley area which would result in potential unexploded ordinance being left behind.

Alternative #3: Includes the south and east expansion areas, excluding Johnson Valley. Harry explained that potential problems with this alternative include a dry lake that tanks cannot maneuver on, and the fact that the Sheep Hole wilderness further limits the maneuvering room. Amboy road and a natural gas pipeline also traverse the area and would have to be addressed. Harry added that Senator Feinstein's current wilderness proposal may provide and opportunity to “trade” a new wilderness area in exchange for de-designating the northern portion of the Sheep Hole wilderness.

Alternative #4: Includes all of Johnson Valley and the south expansion area. This option has the Marines fighting from west to east so that there is no live fire operations in the Johnson Valley area opening the possibility of co-use of the current OHV area.

Alternative #5: Includes all of Johnson Valley, but with none of the south expansion area.

Alternative #6: Is No Action (no base expansion), which is a required alternative by law.

Jim Knox: Election of Officers

Jim explained that he is a lawyer, and that while this is not his specialty, he has consulted with some peers and has prepared the incorporation paperwork for Friends of Johnson Valley. Part of the incorporation requirements is that there be an election for Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Secretary, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Jim opened the floor for nominations. Nominations for CEO included Dave Cole and Jim Knox. Jim respectfully declined the nomination. He stated that he did speak with Dave earlier in the day and has confirmed that Dave will accept the nomination. Nominated for Secretary was Donald Gerber and for CFO was Rick Rethoret. With no other nominations Jim asked those in attendance to vote by simple verbal affirmation. With no nay votes recorded, the ayes affirmed the nominations.

Chief Executive Officer: Dave Cole
Secretary: Donald Gerber
Chief Financial Officer: Rick Rethoret

A record of the voting members in attendance is attached to these minutes or is available upon request.

Meeting adjourned approximately 8:30pm.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 8, 2008 @ 7:00pm in the same location.

Meeting Minutes prepared by:

Donald Gerber
Secretary, Friends of Johnson Valley
Shameless Plug: I am a Realtor in SoCal, Inland Empire. My wife is a mortgage loan officer. PM me for info.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Since the writing of the minutes the locations for the Marine Corps meetings have been finalized.

Shameless Plug: I am a Realtor in SoCal, Inland Empire. My wife is a mortgage loan officer. PM me for info.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Donald!
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