DATE: December 9, 2005
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2006-05
SENSITIVE BIRD SPECIES DRAFT EIS AVAILABLE
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko Field Office announces the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for sensitive bird species on eleven grazing allotments in Elko County, Nevada
BLM prepared the Draft EIS in response to an order issued by Federal District Court (Nevada) Judge Howard McKibben in August 2004. The order was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Committee for Idaho’s High Desert (now Committee for the High Desert) and Western Watersheds Project which appealed the final multiple use decisions for the Sheep Allotment Complex, Owyhee Allotment, and Big Springs Allotment.
The Draft EIS analyzes the impacts of grazing to raptors (including burrowing owls) and sage grouse in the Sheep Allotment Complex and the Owyhee Allotment, and sage grouse in the Big Springs Allotment. The Draft EIS also evaluates impacts to springs, seeps, riparian areas, upland habitat, and land use plans as they apply to these sensitive bird species.
The Sheep Allotment Complex includes nine grazing allotments, totaling 466,524 acres in the southeast corner of Elko County, south of the city of West Wendover, Nevada. The Big Spring Allotment totals 482,616 acres and is located north and west of the Sheep Complex. The Owyhee Allotment is in the northwest portion of Elko County and is 371,431 acres. A range of alternatives (including the no-action alternative) was developed to address sensitive species defined in the Federal Court order and issues identified during the public scoping process. Mitigating measures were considered to minimize environmental impacts and to assure the proposed action does not result in undue or unnecessary degradation of public lands.
Public comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted during a 45-day comment period ending January 23, 2006. A public open house to accept verbal and written comments is scheduled for January 11, 2006, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the BLM Elko Field Office, 3900 East Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801.
Copies of the Draft EIS are available at the BLM Elko Field Office. To comment on the Draft EIS or for questions/more information about the project, please contact Lorrie West by phone - (775) 753-0200, by email – firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail - 3900 Idaho St., Elko, NV, 89801.