ROP Broadcasting student Makayla Ogdahl reviews the reaction to Marine Corps expansion plans into JohnsonValley, and the status of a NationalOHVPark designation for the area…

In early 2011, the Marine Corps expressed their interest in overtaking 168,000 acres of land known as the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area – an expansion which would mean the permanent loss of half the California desert available to the public. Angered, citizens rallied together and raised over $35,000 thanks to volunteers in and out of the Save The Hammers program. They hoped this would be enough to get a federal bill passed into law which would make JohnsonValley a NationalOHVPark. On April 23, 2013, Representative Paul Cook proposed a plan to create this new National Park. Cook’s plan would designate Johnson Valley OHV area specifically for recreational use, including – but not limited to – off-highway vehicle use, camping, and hiking. Marine Corps activities would be permitted to take place twice annually, but could not include explosives that could be left behind. As of June 14th, 2013, the plan passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 315-107, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (also known as the NDAA). The NDAA now moves on to the Senate, where, if passed, will move to the President’s desk for his signature.

Reporting for z1077, I’m ROP Broadcast student Makayla Ogdahl.

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