Battle Mountain, NV -- The Battle Mountain District, Mount Lewis Field Office published a Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the 3 Bars Ecosystem and Landscape Restoration Project in the Federal Register on September 27, 2013. The 3 Bars Project includes numerous habitat enhancement and hazardous fuels reduction treatments within a 750,000-acre area of Eureka County, west and northwest of Eureka, NV. The BLM is seeking public comments on the Draft EIS during a 45-day public comment period which will close on November 12, 2013.
The BLM has scheduled two public meetings. The first public meeting will be held in Eureka on October 15, 2013 at 5 p.m. at the Eureka Opera House, 31 South Main Street. The second public meeting will be held in Battle Mountain on October 16, 2013 at 5 p.m. at the Civic Center, 625 South Broad Street. Comment forms will be available at the meetings. Representatives from the BLM will be present to answer questions.
Important public uses of land in this project area include: livestock grazing operations, recreational use, pine nut gathering, Tribal gathering of pine nuts and other traditional medicinal and edible plants, wildlife forage and habitat, wild horse forage and habitat, recreational use of the Pony Express National Historic Trail, and water usage by people, plants and animals in the area.
The BLM held a scoping period to identify issues to consider in the development of the EIS. A wide range of issues was identified during scoping, including the BLM’s proposed treatment approaches for the restoration of the 3 Bars ecosystem. Other concerns included the impacts that treatment actions would have on the spread of invasive species, the viability of wild horses and livestock, preservation of old growth woodlands, and protection of habitat for wildlife and special status species. All relevant issues identified through public scoping have been considered in the preparation of the Draft EIS.
These comments influenced the development of several 3 Bars Project resource management alternatives. Based on the comments and National Environmental Policy Act review requirements, four alternatives addressing restoration and management of the 3 Bars ecosystem are evaluated in the Draft EIS. The All Available Methods Alternative, which is the preferred alternative, proposes treatments and treatment objectives that meet previously identified resource management goals. These goals pertain to wildlife and habitat enhancement, fire and fuels management, control of weeds, woodland and rangeland values, wetland and riparian restoration, wild horse protection, Native American concerns, and cultural resources.
Copies of the Draft EIS are available at the BLM Battle Mountain District Office in Battle Mountain, NV. The document can also be downloaded from the 3 Bars Project website accessed through a link on the Battle Mountain District’s webpage at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/battle_mountain_field.html.
Comments may be submitted in writing at the public meetings; by mail: BLM Mount Lewis Field Office, Attn: Chad Lewis, 3 Bars Project, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820; by fax (775) 635-4034 (Attn: Chad Lewis), or by e-mail to 3Bars_Project@blm.gov.
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 the public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.