Bureau of Land Management Approves Piute-Eldorado Area of ​​Critical Environmental Concern Management Plan and Environmental Assessment

LA VEGAS – The Las Vegas Bureau of Land Management field office has finalized the management plan and environmental assessment for the Piute-Eldorado Area of ​​Critical Environmental Concern. The management plan includes installing roadside fencing to reduce wildlife mortality and directing wildlife to culverts for safer movement under roads, repairing and improving signs that mark roads designated official roads in 1998, restoration of disturbance caused by vehicles leaving designated roads, increased monitoring and control. invasive plants, improving areas around natural springs that have been damaged by feral livestock, and cleaning up dumps. The master plan does not recommend changes to the designation of open or closed roads. Additionally, changes to limits, speed limits, mining, and special use permit limitations were not addressed.

Funding for these restoration activities comes from compensatory mitigation fees paid by developers of solar installations in the Dry Lake Solar Power Area located northeast of Las Vegas. Since 2017, BLM has collected data and developed ideas to improve the condition of multiple resources including vegetation, wildlife, soil and visual quality, while maintaining high quality turtle habitat and recreational experiences. for public land users.

“We welcome public input and feedback on the draft management plan and environmental assessment,” said Shonna Dooman, Las Vegas Field Office Manager. “We look forward to implementing the plan that will improve critical habitat for the endangered desert tortoise and provide a high quality visitor experience.”

During the comment period on the draft documents, BLM received 74 submissions of comments, and these were incorporated, as appropriate, into the final environmental assessment and the final conclusion of no significant impact. . A summary of public comments and responses to substantive comments can be found in Appendix D of the document.

The Piute Valley-Eldorado Area of ​​Critical Environmental Concern is the largest known area of ​​high-density desert tortoise habitat in Nevada and provides habitat for a multitude of other species, including bighorn sheep and populations of rare plants. Hunting, bird watching, camping, hiking and off-road vehicle travel are popular recreational uses within the 330,000 acre area.

More information, including all documents, is available at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2018028/510

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