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ELKO: Forest Service publishes environmental impact statement for road projects

By ThisIsReno

USFS NEWS RELEASE

ELKO — The Mountain City, Ruby Mountains, and Jarbidge Ranger Districts in northeast Nevada have published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Combined Travel Management Project that began in January of 2009.  This project designates roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use across the Mountain City, Ruby Mountains, and Jarbidge Ranger Districts.

The preferred alternative, as identified in the FEIS, would designate approximately 2,042 miles of National Forest System (NFS): these NFS roads and NFS trails will be open for motor vehicle use and allow motorized big game retrieval only for legally taken elk. This preferred alternative would accommodate the needs of the recreating public, access for mineral exploration, and access for livestock management.

The FEIS is the result of several years of study by the Forest interdisciplinary team, a team of resource specialists that review the project for potential on-the-ground impacts prior to implementation, and ongoing public involvement efforts by the District Rangers.  Input from the public, county and tribal governments, and multiple organizations were considered as the Districts developed the alternatives and revised the DEIS, which was published in May of 2010.

“The Forest is releasing the FEIS for 45 days prior to publication of a Record of Decision,” said Gar Abbas, Jarbidge and Ruby Mountains District Ranger.  “We wanted to ensure that interested parties had this additional time to review the FEIS,” said Abbas.

The FEIS includes five alternatives, which were developed to meet the purpose and need of the project, and to address comments raised during the public comment period.  The five alternatives are:

  • No Action Alternative (2,171 miles of open National Forest System NFS roads and unauthorized routes);
  • The Proposed Action Alternative (2,042 miles of NFS roads and NFS trails open to motor vehicle use);
  • The Current System Alternative (1,021 miles of NFS roads open to motor vehicle use);
  • The Forest Visitor Map Alternative (1,567 miles of NFS roads and NFS trails open to motor vehicle use); and,
  • The Reduced Resource Impacts Alternative (1,480 miles of NFS roads and NFS trails will be open for motor vehicle use).

The FEIS is available in several formats.  A CD copy of the FEIS and maps can be requested from the Forest Service Offices in Elko, Wells, or Sparks, Nevada.  Hard copies of the FEIS are available in very limited supply and include a CD of the document and maps.

The FEIS and maps can also be downloaded off the Internet from any of the following websites:

Hard copies of the FEIS and maps are available for viewing at the following locations:

  • Forest Service offices in Elko, Wells, and Sparks, Nevada,
  • Elko County offices in Elko, Nevada,
  • Jarbidge Fire Station, and,
  • Public libraries in Elko and Wells, Nevada.

 

 

Learn more about this release by contacting Gar Abbas, Jarbidge and Ruby Mountains District Ranger, at 775-752-3357, or Troy Phelps, Acting Mountain City District Ranger, at 775-738-5171.