In 2006, the Marine Corps adopted new specifications for large-scale training requirements, including the capability to perform sustained, combined-arms, life-fire and maneuver training exercises to best prepare Marines for combat operations. Adequate land and airspace to achieve these requirements did not exist at any installation in the county. Through comprehensive study and analyses, it was determined that the Combat Center was the only installation with enough potential land and airspace to fulfill these training requirements. To conduct the mandated training, the Combat Center required expansion.
In December 2013, the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (FY2014 NDAA) authorized the withdrawal of public land in Johnson Valley and south of the Combat Center to support the new training specifications. In addition to the Combat Center expansion, the law created the Johnson Valley Shared Use Area, an area designated for military use up to two, thirty-day periods per year, and to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for conservation and public recreation for the remainder of the year.
As a requirement of the FY2014 NDAA, the Resource Management Group (RMG) was established to provide for the cooperative management of the Johnson Valley Shared Use Area. The RMG is co-chaired by the BLM and the Marine Corps and is responsible for communicating land-use changes and coordinating the safe transfer of the Shared Use Area between parties.
New Boundaries The new boundaries of the Combat Center are identified with markers and warning signs for public safety. Individuals have a personal and legal responsibility to avoid trespassing onto the Combat Center regardless of the presence or absence of signs. This is consistent with all federal law and is not unique to the Combat Center. A full-size map of the current boundaries may be downloaded by clicking on the map below.
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Johnson Valley — Public Use In addition to establishing the 56,000-acre Shared Use Area that is open to the public for most of the year, the FY2014 NDAA designated approximately 43,000 acres as the Johnson Valley Off Highway Vehicle Area (JVOHVRA). In 2019, the Dingell Act expanded the JVOHVRA by approximately 20,200 acres, providing for a total of 63,200 acre for year-round recreation.
How will I know if the Johnson Valley Shared Public Use Area is closed for Marine Corps training? The Marine Corps implements a robust outreach program to ensure the public is informed of the temporary change in land use. The Marine Corps and BLM work together to inform the public in advance of military training through press releases, public service announcements, public outreach, notifications in libraries as well as other government facilities, social media and this website.
Please direct questions or inquiries on the Johnson Valley Shared Use Area or military training schedules in Johnson Valley to the Resource Management Group at 760-830-3737 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.