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Decision issued on Darroughs Hot Springs geothermal leasing project


USFS news release:

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has issued a decision regarding the Darroughs Hot Springs Geothermal Leasing Project. On August 18, 2009, Forest Supervisor Edward C. Monnig made a decision to make 160 acres of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest administratively available for geothermal leasing, subject to the condition that any lease issued must contain the stipulations to protect surface resources as described in the Record of Decision.

The Regional Forester, Intermountain Region may subsequently implement this decision by providing consent to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to offer these lands for lease. These lands lie west of State Highway 376 and are approximately 2 miles north of the town of Carvers in Nye County, Nevada. This decision does not authorize any ground-disturbing activities; such activities will have to undergo a subsequent environmental review and decision once a lease is issued.

The environmental impacts of this decision are disclosed in the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Geothermal Leasing in the Western United States (PEIS). The PEIS, completed in October 2008 by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the USDA Forest Service (FS) addresses geothermal leasing on public lands in 11 Western states and Alaska.

The PEIS responds to requirements in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reduce the backlog of pending geothermal lease applications and to meet the increasing demands for renewable energy development. One of the backlogged lease applications (BLM Serial Number NVN-074289) analyzed in the PEIS encompasses 440 acres of public and private land in Nye County, Nevada. This application includes 160 acres of lands within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and is the subject of the decision made by Forest Supervisor Monnig.

This decision is subject to administrative review (appeal) pursuant to 36 CFR Part 215. Copies of the Record of Decision and the Final PEIS are available for review at the following Forest Offices:

Austin Ranger District
100 Midas Road
P.O. Box 130
Austin, NV 89310

Tonopah Ranger District
1400 South Erie Main Street
P.O. Box 3940
Tonopah, NV 89049

The ROD is also available on-line at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/. Interested persons may also review the Final PEIS on the Internet at www.blm.gov/geothermal_eis.

For additional information concerning this decision or the Forest Service appeal process, you may contact either:

Steve Williams, District Ranger
Austin – Tonopah Ranger Districts
100 Midas Road, Austin, NV 89310;

Susan Elliott, Forest Geologist
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
2035 Last Chance Road, Elko, NV 89801

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