The Humboldt County Road Department Free Use Permit Renewals, Community Pit Designations, and Expansions Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed in July of 2009. That EA analyzed the impacts associated with 27 gravel pits throughout Humboldt County, 23 of which were designated as “community pits.” With the designation of 23 community pits, public individuals can obtain contracts to remove gravel much quicker and easier than before. Since the completion of the EA, sales have been completed to the public from certain material sites that warrant the designation of community pits, but were not analyzed it the EA. These pits include: the Donna Schee, Rebel Creek, Section 4, and Valmy pits. One gravel pit, the Orovada Barber pit, was designated as a community pit based on the 2009 EA, but requires expansion to meet the future needs of the public and the Humboldt County Road Department (HCRD). The public uses these pits for maintenance of agricultural pivots/fields and property improvements. The HCRD uses the Orovada Barber pit for the maintenance of county roads. Mining of the material is usually completed using a front-end loader, backhoe, or excavator, and it is typically hauled with belly-bump or end-dump trucks. Mining and removal of material could take place any time of the year. The proposed community pits are described below in further detail. Existing roads would be used to access the pits.
Additionally, as part of the Proposed Action, the stipulations that were developed for the EA would be amended to more adequately address community pit sales, while still protecting valuable natural and cultural resources. The stipulations currently attached to community pit sales were really developed for the HCRD, and not public individuals. The current stipulations include reclamation measures but a reclamation fee is collected from each community pit sale specifically for BLM to complete the reclamation once the pit has been exhausted. Therefore, the amended stipulations would clarify the public user’s responsibilities when operating in a community pit. The updated stipulations would be attached, not only to the proposed community pit sales, but to all community pit sales in Humboldt County.