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Martin Basin rangeland management project decision announced

By ThisIsReno

USFS NEWS RELEASE

SPARKS — Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor, today released the Santa Rosa Ranger District’s Martin Basin Rangeland Project Record of Decision (ROD) and Final Supplement to the 2009 Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final Supplement).  This document provides additional analysis of the effects of livestock grazing to the designated wilderness within portions of the Buffalo, Granite Peak, and Rebel Creek allotments, which are all located in Humboldt County.

Grazing will continue under this decision under the premise that the healthier the ecological condition of the allotment, the greater the amount of forage made available for livestock use.

The Santa Rosa – Paradise Peak Wilderness (SRPPW) was created in 1989.  It encompasses approximately 31,000 acres in the southern portion of the Santa Rosa Ranger District.  Livestock grazing has been occurring in the project area (including the Wilderness) since prior to the establishment of the Santa Rosa National Forest in 1911.

A previous ROD that had authorized livestock grazing in these allotments (released in 2009) was reversed on appeal in 2010.  The basis for the reversal was a finding that the analysis for the project had not taken a hard look at the effects of livestock grazing on the SRPPW.  The Final Supplement provides additional analysis on the effects of livestock grazing on the attributes and qualities of the SRPPW.

After considering the Final Supplement, the comments on the Draft Supplement, the 2009 Final Environmental Impact Statement, and the comments on the 2008 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Higgins decided to authorize continued livestock grazing on the Buffalo, Granite Peak, and Rebel Creek allotments.

This decision may be appealed by those who provided substantive comments during the comment period under the process outlined in 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 215.  Appeals under the 215 regulations must be filed within 45 days of the publication of the notice of this decision in the Elko Daily Free Press, in Elko, Nevada.

The decision may also be appealed by existing permittees and applicants for grazing permits for the Buffalo, Granite Peak, and Rebel Creek allotments under the process outlined in 36 CFR 251.  Appeals under the 251 regulations must be filed within 45 days of written notice of this decision.

A copy of the ROD, the Final Supplement, the 2009 ROD, and the 2009 FEIS, along with maps and other project documents, are available on the Humboldt-Toiyabe website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/htnf/martin-basin or via CD or hard copy.  Learn more about this release by contacting either Jeanne Higgins, at 775-355-5304, or Vernon Keller, Project Manager, at 775-355-5356.