Ely, Nevada…Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger today released the Ely Ranger District’s Draft Supplement to the Westside Rangeland Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The FEIS was distributed in September 2011 along with a Record of Decision (ROD). At that time, the Forest Supervisor selected Alternative 1 (Proposed Action) in her ROD and authorized continued livestock grazing on the Blackrock, Cherry Creek, Currant, Ellison Basin, Illipah, Pine Creek/Quinn Canyon, Tom Plain, Treasure Hill, and Troy Mountain allotments. Grazing was not authorized on the Big Creek, Hooper Canyon, and Irwin Canyon allotments, which have been vacant for a number of years. The ROD was later withdrawn to allow the Forest to provide additional clarification in the FEIS.
Like the FEIS, the Draft Supplement to the FEIS discloses the effects of domestic livestock on 12 grazing allotments on the Ely Ranger District in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The Draft Supplement also provides new and/or additional information on several of the elements of Alternative 1 (Proposed Action). The Draft Supplement provides additional information on how livestock numbers for the allotments was selected, an expanded discussion on the monitoring plan, and additional information on the rationale for re-opening the Troy Mountain Allotment. The Draft Supplement also explains how and why the streambank alteration levels for Alternative 1 (Proposed Action) were adjusted and how they would be applied. To make the Draft Supplement easier to use, the Draft Supplement includes all the information from the FEIS along with the new and/or additional information inserted in bold and italicized text.
Six of the allotments addressed by this project (Blackrock, Currant, Ellison Basin, Illipah, Tom Plain, and Treasure Hill) are located on the White Pine Range and the other six allotments (Big Creek, Cherry Creek, Irwin Canyon, Hooper Canyon, Pine Creek/Quinn Canyon, and Troy Mountain) are located on the Grant-Quinn Range. The allotments are located in Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine counties, Nevada.
After considering comments on the Draft Supplement, a Final Supplement to the FEIS will be prepared and the Forest Supervisor will consider the information in the Final Supplement and the FEIS to decide whether to continue livestock grazing in these allotments.
After the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register (anticipated on January 10, 2014), comments on the Draft Supplement will be accepted for 45 calendar days. The publication date of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for the Draft Supplement. The Forest will use the objection process described in 36 CFR 218 before a final decision is made. Only those who provide specific written comments (36 CFR 218) during the 45-day comment period on the Draft Supplement or other periods of time during which written comments were specifically requested will be eligible to file an objection.
A copy of the Draft Supplement to the FEIS, along with maps and other project documents, is available on the Humboldt-Toiyabe website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/htnf/elywestrangeor via CD or hard copy. Learn more about this release by contacting either Jose Noriega at 775-623-5025, or Project Manager Vernon Keller at 775-355-5356.
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