BlueRibbon-Coalition-Logo-9-28-12The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has extended the comment period for an additional 14 days on potential changes to the Proposed Plan as set forth in the Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (BSSG) Forest Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Impact Statement. The United States Forest Service (USFS) was the lead agency for preparing the environmental impact statement (EIS) and land use plan amendment (LUPA). The BLM, a cooperating agency, is proposing to amend the Carson City District Office Consolidated Resource Management Plan (RMP) and the Tonopah Field Office RMP based on the analysis in this EIS. Public comments will now be accepted through January 29, 2016.

Following release of the Final EIS and Proposed Plan, the BLM determined based on protests received and additional internal reviews that additional changes to and a clarification of the Proposed Plan was required. The clarification and changes include: (1) setting disturbance caps within BSSG habitat; (2) adjusting buffers for tall structures near active or pending leks; (3) adding a restriction for new high-voltage transmission lines; and (4) additional management direction for habitat connectivity. The environmental consequences of the proposed changes and clarification have been analyzed as part of the EIS/LUPA process.

The BLM has determined, however, that these proposed changes must be released for additional public comment. After considering any public comments on these proposed changes, BLM will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Nevada and California BSSG amending the Carson City Field Office Consolidated Resource Management Plan (RMP) and the Tonopah Field Office RMP.

This is the second extension of the comment period. On December 10, 2015, the initial comment period was extended for 30 days, to end on January 15, 2016.

Comments must be limited to the changes and clarifications proposed. BLM will consider the comments received prior to issuing a final ROD and RMP Amendment for public lands in the Carson City District and the Tonopah Field Office. To review the documents, go to http://1.usa.gov/1fccdry.

In candor, BRC has determined, after reviewing the documents, that it is unclear exactly what changes, if any, are being proposed for OHV activity. There is language discussing possible impacts associated with 4 mile lek buffers for OHV riding, as well as seasonal restrictions from March 15 to June 30 for OHV permitted events.  These changes have no scientific support and would severely impact OHV riders.  Again, it is unclear if the agencies are proposing these changes, but we encourage OHV enthusiasts to express frustration at this ambiguity yet make clear their strong opposition to any restrictions on OHV use beyond those disclosed in the DEIS.

BRC additionally urges the OHV community to ask the agency to adopt the sage-grouse related OHV management prescriptions that were in our December 17, 2013, comment letter to the NV BLM.

BRC COMMENT LETTER

Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
 E-mail: blm_nv_ccdowebmail@blm.gov
 Fax: (775) 885-6147
 Mail: BLM Carson City District, 5665 Morgan Mill Rd., Carson City, NV 89701, Attn: Colleen Sievers, Project Manager.

For more information, contact Colleen Sievers, Project Manager, at 775-885-6168, BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Rd., Carson City, NV 89701 or blm_nv_ccdowebmail@blm.gov.

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