(Victor Valley)– – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) issued this statement following a vote by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to support his plan to create the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area: “I’m pleased to have the support of Supervisor Ramos and the entire San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. Working at the local level, they have the pulse of their constituents, and I think you find the best wisdom on land issues at the local level.
I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from residents in surrounding areas since introducing this bill, and I’m happy to see the board’s unanimous backing of my approach which first and foremost ensures public safety.” The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution in support of Cook’s H.R. 1676, the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area Establishment Act. The resolution was introduced at this morning’s San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting by Supervisor James Ramos (District 3), whose district includes the Johnson Valley area. Stated Supervisor Ramos, “This bill is a well-thought out plan that allows OHV use to coexist with limited military operations but in a way that best protects the safety of our residents, our local economy, and our small business owners.” Information on the county resolution can be found under Consent Item 4 here.
Rep. Cook’s proposal would withdraw the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) area for the purposes of recreation and designate it as the Johnson Valley National OHV Recreational Area. Recreational use would include off-highway vehicle use, camping, and hiking. U.S. Marine Corps activities would be permitted to take place twice annually and could not include any explosives that could be left behind without detonating.
A member of the House Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. The proposed legislative language is available on the Natural Resources Committee website here.