The decision on two appeals on the Mountain City, Ruby Mountains, and Jarbidge Ranger Districts Combined Travel Management Project Record of Decision was affirmed today by Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor.
In her letter to both appellants, Higgins found that the issues raised in the appeals were adequately considered in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, record of decision, and associated project documentation.
The two appeals were reviewed by an independent team of Forest Service specialists. One appeal was from the Center for Biological Diversity; they opposed the number of roads being designated and the decision permitting continued motor vehicle use on trails inside Inventoried Roadless Areas. The other appeal was from Elko County; they opposed the decision because of potential effects to the economy of Elko County and because of the prohibition of motor vehicle use off designated roads.
Simultaneous to the team review, an Appeal Reviewing Officer made a recommendation to Jeanne Higgins to affirm the decisions made by Wendy Fuell and Gar Abbas, the two District Rangers for the three Ranger Districts regarding the Combined Travel Management Plan in northeast Nevada. Higgins then reviewed all of the appeal material and also affirmed the decision.
The decision designated approximately 900 miles of unauthorized roads and trails across the three Ranger Districts in Elko County. These miles are added to the current 1,085 miles of National Forest System roads and trails that are open for motor vehicle use, bringing the Forest transportation system on the National Forest System lands up to around 1,990 miles. The decision also approved the use of motor vehicles to retrieve legal taken elk up to one-half mile from a designated road or trails between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Learn more about this release by contacting Wendy Fuell, Mountain City District Ranger, at 775-738-5171, or Gar Abbas, 775-752-1700.