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BLM seeking comments on Desatoya Mountains environmental assessment


blm_logo-150x150-3431971-6736137The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Desatoya Mountains Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project. Treatments would be implemented over a ten-year period on approximately 32,000 acres of public land in the Desatoya Mountains within Churchill and Lander counties of central Nevada.  The public is invited to comment on the plan through April 4, 2012.

The treatments are needed to restore balance between sagebrush, riparian, and woodland plant communities, all of which provide certain resource values to the landscape including habitats essential for a wide variety of wildlife. Sagebrush habitats required for sage-grouse and other important wildlife species are being lost or degraded due to a shift from sagebrush to woodlands and are at risk from potential large, intense fires.

The greater sage-grouse, a BLM Sensitive Species, is also a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act. In December 2011, the BLM issued Interim Management Policies and Procedures and a Land Use Planning Strategy to guide management for greater sage-grouse habitat during the next two years as the BLM embarks on and completes a 10 state process to conduct analyses through Environmental Impact Statements and amendments to incorporate greater sage-grouse conservation measures into land use plans and land management plans.

The Desatoya Mountains Ecosystem Management Plan was signed by the BLM in 1999. The purpose of the plan was to conserve, restore, and maintain the ecological integrity, productivity, and biological diversity of the Desatoya Mountains Ecosystem. Objectives of the Plan include continual removal of excess wild horses, improvement, protection, and maintenance of water sources, and maintenance and improvement of sage-grouse habitat. This project will help to meet these and BLM’s National Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy objectives.

Links to the EA and related documents are located on the BLM website at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa.html.

Interested individuals may send written comments to BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701, Attn: John Wilson, or for wild horse specific comments Attn: John Axtell, or you can e-mail comments to [email protected].  Comments may also be sent via Fax to 775-885-6147.

Public comments submitted for this project, including names and addresses of commentors will be available for public review at the Carson City District Office during regular business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For further information please contact John Wilson, Project Lead, at 775-885-6191. For wild horse specific information please contact John Axtell at 775-885-6146.

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