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Forest Service & BLM Bi-State Sage Grouse Draft EIS Released

By ThisIsReno
 blm_logoSPARKS, Nevada…The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Carson City Bureau of Land Management (BLM) District, as a cooperating agency, published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Greater Sage-Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Forest Plan Amendment on August 15, 2013.  The proposed amendments will update management direction on the Forest Service’s (FS) Bridgeport and Carson Ranger Districts and the BLM’s Carson City District and Tonopah Field Office to conserve, enhance, and restore habitat for the sage-grouse.

The DEIS includes the analysis of the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternatives.  Five additional alternatives were considered during the analysis, but not carried through the analysis because they did not meet the purpose and need or they were already reflected in the No Action Alternative or Proposed Action.

 

If the Proposed Action is selected, the land use plans for the Forest Service and BLM would be amended.

The proposed amendment provides a set of standards and guidelines developed to respond to the three following goals:

 

Goal 1:  Bi-state sage-grouse priority habitat and movement corridors are managed to bring vegetation communities to their ecological site potential and to maintain or increase the species.

 

Goal 2:  Bi-state sage-grouse and their priority habitats will benefit from standards and guidelines adopted to eliminate or reduce negative impacts and increase positive impacts from discretionary and non-discretionary actions.

 

Goal 3:  In priority habitat, fuels treatments are used as a management tool when the benefits to Bi-state sage-grouse clearly outweigh the risks; otherwise, fire is suppressed in priority habitat after life and property.

 

Comments on this DEIS will be accepted for a 90-day comment period beginning after publication of the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register.  Publication in the Federal Register is anticipated in the next week.

 

After the 90-day comment period, the Forest and the cooperating agencies will consider the comments provided, update the analysis, and issue a Final EIS and Draft Record of Decision, which will open an Objection Period.  The proposed amendment is subject to the objection procedures of 36 CFR 219 Subpart B.  (See 219.52(a)).  Interested parties can find a copy of the DEIS on our website at:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=40683.                                

 

Comments may be submitted electronically by subscribing to our electronic mailing system.  To subscribe to this new system, go online by following this link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=40683 and use the “Get Connected” tab on the right.

 

Written comments may also be sent to Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Bi-State DEIS, 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, Nevada, 89431.  Comments may also be faxed to 775-355-5399.   Questions or requests for hard copies of the DEIS may be directed to James Winfrey, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, at 775- 355-5308.