The U.S. Bureau of Land Management would provide an “intermediate” level of resource protection under its preferred alternative in the proposed long-range management plan for 4.8 million acres of public land in the Carson City District.
The bureau is accepting written comments on the plan through March 27.
The district covers Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey and Washoe counties in western Nevada and parts of Alpine, Lassen and Plumas counties in eastern California.
The proposed plan includes five management alternatives, including one that stresses resource development such as mining and energy development and one that focuses on strategies to preserve and protect the ecosystem’s health and resources.
The bureau says its preferred alternative calls for a mix of management actions to resolve issues, and it reflects “a combination of goals and objectives for all values and programs.”
“The management strategy would be accomplished by using a variety of proactive and prescriptive measures that would protect vegetation and habitat and would promote the continuation of multiple-use management,” the bureau adds.
The bureau’s preferred alternative proposes eight areas of critical environmental concern totaling 82,770 acres. Such a designation provides a higher level of protection to natural and historic resources.
The district currently has six such areas totaling 21,800 acres. Under the preferred alternative, the designation would be removed from two areas and added to four areas. The latter include the proposed 49,000-acre Fox Peak Cultural Area of Critical Environmental Concern and 6,600-acre Churchill Narrows Buckwheat Botanical Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
The bureau proposes maintaining 564,000 acres of existing wilderness study areas and making 1,400 acres along the East Fork Carson River eligible as wild and scenic river study segments.
The agency’s preferred alternative also calls for 4.8 million acres to continue to be available for livestock grazing and for a decrease in wild horse and burro herd areas from 1.2 million acres to 1.07 million acres.
The bureau also favors an increase in areas closed to mineral material entry from 564,200 acres to 1.8 million acres and an increase in land identified for disposal from 179,700 acres to 267,000 acres.
Public meetings on the plan will be held today in Sparks, Thursday in Fallon, Jan. 20 in Hawthorne, Jan. 22 in Minden, Jan. 24 in Carson City and Jan. 29 in Yerington.