Recognizing the need to balance critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise with high-quality visitor experience, the Bureau of Land Management Las Vegas Field Office will hold two virtual information forums to involve the public in the early stages of a Draft Management Plan for the Piute-Eldorado Valley Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).
Piute-Eldorado Valley ACEC is the most extensive area of high-density desert tortoise habitat known in Nevada and it provides habitat for a host of other species including bighorn sheep and populations of rare plants. Hunting, birdwatching, camping, hiking and Off Highway Vehicle travel are popular recreational uses within the 330,000-acre ACEC.
Virtual information forums will be held on Tuesday, June 22 and Thursday June 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. PST. To register for the June 22 information forum, please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/150836918083066640 and to register for the June 24 information forum, please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7735564994621509648. The meetings will be recorded and posted on the ACEC’s webpage.
More information, including the Draft Management Plan and fact sheet is available at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/plans-development/nevada/piute-eldorado-acec.
Management activities recommended in the draft plan include installing roadside fences to guide wildlife toward culverts for safer travel beneath the roadways, repairing and improving signs that mark official routes designated in 1998, restoring disturbances caused by vehicles driving off designated routes, increasing monitoring and control of invasive plants, improving areas around natural springs that have been damaged by feral cattle and cleaning up trash dumps. The management plan will not recommend changes to the routes designated as open or closed in 1998. Additionally, changes to the boundaries of the ACEC, speed limits, mineral extraction and special use permit limitations will not be addressed in this ACEC plan.
Each information forum will include brief presentations on the Draft ACEC Management Plan followed by a question and answer portion and finally a comment period. Comments will be accepted until July 11, 2021 and will be incorporated into the final plan slated for completion in July 2021. An analysis of the environmental effects guided by the National Environmental Policy Act planning process will include another opportunity for public input in fall 2021.
“This plan proposes to improve and enhance critical desert tortoise habitat in Piute-Eldorado Valley Area of Critical Environmental Concern while maintaining access to designated routes,” said Shonna Dooman, Las Vegas Field Office Manager. “Funding for these restoration efforts plan comes from compensatory mitigation fees paid by solar facility developers in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone 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 tortoise habitat and recreational experiences for public land users.”
Those unable to attend the meetings, or who wish to provide comments outside of information forums, may email BLM_LV_PiuteEldoradoACEC@blm.gov until July 11, 2021.
Before including your address, phone number, email, address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.