ELKO — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wells Field Office is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues for the Spruce Mountain Recreation amendment to the 1985 Wells Resource Management Plan (RMP). The BLM is seeking public input to develop recreation management planning for off-highway vehicle use in this area. A notice of intent to prepare a plan amendment and environmental assessment was published in the Federal Register on July 15, which opens a 45-day public scoping period which will close on Aug. 29.
The Elko District Office is also hosting an open house on Aug. 9 beginning at 5:30 p.m at 3900 E. Idaho St., Elko.
The project area includes Spruce Mountain, located 35 miles south of Wells, and east of Highway 93, and is delineated as Nevada Department of Wildlife Hunt Unit 105. The project area encompasses 464,217 acres. Within the project area, the BLM proposes to change the 1985 Wells RMP off-highway vehicle designation from open unrestricted cross-country travel, to a limited designation. Limitations could include type or mode of travel; time or season of use; vehicle type; administrative use only; and limited to only those routes that are designated through the planning process. A defined travel network on the existing 1,799 miles of route would be established during the RMP amendment process.
The BLM is also proposing to identify the project area as an Extensive Recreation Management Area (ERMA). Management actions in an ERMA would allow for motorized and non-motorized recreation opportunity, while also interpreting and protecting valuable cultural sites; protect crucial mule deer and sage grouse habitat; and provide for visitor health and safety.
Comments will be made available to the public; therefore, personal information such as addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses may be withheld.
An environmental assessment will be prepared to analyze the affects to resources once the plan is developed. Further public review and comment will be provided at that time.
For more information contact Tamara Hawthorne at 775-753-0356, or submit comments via e-mail to spruce_wells_EA@blm.gov., or mail to: Bureau of Land Management, Attn: T. Hawthorne, 3900 E. Idaho St., Elko NV 89801.