Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Hammers (Johnson Valley, CA) Needs Us


Contact: Kurt Schneider

E-mail: kurtuleas@pirate4x4.com

El Dorado County: October 28, 2008

Pirate4x4.com unveils online letter generator to fight for OHV access
Pirate4x4.com uses newest campaign for Johnson Valley and the Hammers to announce letter generator.

The largest Off-Road website in the world, Pirate4x4.com has added a new tool for OHV enthusiasts to voice their opinions on route closures across the nation.

Piate4x4.com's new letter generator will enable Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts of all types to send out letters via e-mail to many different decision makers at once. Unlike many "form letters' campaigns that have been used in the past, this new letter generator allows users to type their own personalized letters and then send them off to several pre-determined e-mail addresses at once.

The current Pirate4x4.com letter campaign with the generator focuses on the United States Marines Corps expansion in to the Johnson Valley OHV area in Southern California. The Johnson Valley area is currently maintained by the BLM, and it contains the Hammers trail system which is considered a "Mecca" for OHV enthusiasts. The area is also used by many different types of recreationists including a broad range of motor-sports and hobbies; motorcycle and MX enthusiasts, ATV riders, sand-buggies, rally cars, hikers, campers, rock-hounds and RV-ers. Johnson Valley is also the home to the famous "King of the Hammers" 4x4 race that is held every year in the valley as well as many other sanctioned desert races.

The Marine Corps base at 29 Palms is now proposing a land withdrawal of 180,000 acres from the BLM in order to increase its training facilities for live-fire drills. This expansion would effectively shut the public out of this area and erase one of the most important trail systems for OHV users off the map forever.

This particular effort is not the first time Pirate4x4.com members have been active in land-use issues. The Pirate4x4.com letter generator has also been used for several issues important to the OHV community including addressing the Boxer/McKeon Wilderness Bill, The Greenhorn OHV area, and helping to defeat a Smokey the Bear OHV public service announcement that portrayed OHV users in a bad light.

On March 12, 2008, the website also held a "virtual rally" to show opposition to the proposed expansion. During a 4-hour period, almost 1,500 participants voiced their opinion while over 27,000 views of the rally were registered. In the first hour of the rally, traffic on the website was so heavy that many rally participants could not log onto the website to voice their concerns, post family photos, and pleas for its traditional uses to be left alone. The rally thread currently has been viewed by over 57,000 people. To view the rally responses, please visit www.pirate4x4.com/jv

Pirate4x4.com is the largest off-road website in the world with over 110,000 members and a million visitors to the website a month.

The Pirate4x4.com letter generator can be found at: www.pirate4x4.com/letters

If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Kurt Schneider, e-mail Kurt at kurtuleas@pirate4x4.com


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