STATE LAND-USE PLAN TO GUARD LARGE AIRSPACE MILITARY FLIGHTS, TESTING TO BE ENSURED.
PALMDALE -- At the urging of Antelope Valley and Kern County leaders, state officials are preparing a joint land use study aimed at protecting the airspace used by California military bases, including Edwards Air Force Base.
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research, in conjunction with Kern County, is preparing a joint land use plan to protect the R-2508 airspace, a massive restricted air corridor that stretches from Edwards along the Sierra Nevada. The airspace is used by 15 military bases and has been dubbed by Antelope Valley leaders as arguably the most important block of flying territory used by the Department of Defense.
``This type of study to protect R-2508 is something we have suggested for some time,'' said Alis Clausen, who serves on defense support committees for the Antelope Valley Board of Trade. ``We're delighted to see this.''
Covering a wide range of terrain, including Death Valley, the lowest point in the United States, and Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental United States, the area provides a variety of testing and training opportunities for aircraft and their pilots.
The objective of the study is to protect the military mission while allowing compatible civilian growth in the study areas. The study is aimed at implementing recommendations to avoid or mitigate incompatible land uses.
The study area includes portions of Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, San Bernardino, and Tulare Counties. The study area includes Edwards, the Army's Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County and the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, next to Ridgecrest in Kern County.
A committee of elected leaders from affected communities is being assembled to oversee the study. On Wednesday, Palmdale selected Councilman Tom Lackey to be its representative; Lancaster will choose a representative at the council meeting on Tuesday.
Lackey, who was raised in Boron, a small community just outside the base's northern border, said he wants to ensure the area's continued military involvement.
``It's an integral part of the Antelope Valley,'' Lackey said of Edwards. ``I'd like to be part of the preservation. It has such a rich history of military involvement.''
As an example of how planning can help protect military and industry interest, Antelope Valley officials point to a height-restriction map for wind turbines. In that case, the military, local governments, and the wind energy industry worked together to come up with a map to show where wind turbines could be built and at what heights to avoid impacting low-level flight corridors.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Oct 8, 2006|
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