Lincoln County Commissioners approved a draft of a letter of protest to be sent to the Governor’s Consistency Review regarding differences between the Sage Grouse Final Environmental Impact Statement and Lincoln County’s positions as stated in comments provided earlier this year on Jan. 21.

Commissioners will meet again July 13 in a special meeting to discuss any additional changes to the language in the letter, as well as discussing other unrelated issues.

Connie Simkins, secretary of the N4 Grazing Board, said this protest letter is similar to one dealing with sage grouse issues in a previous meeting.

The letter is addressed to Governor Sandoval’s 60-Day Consistency Review of the Nevada and Northeastern California Greater Sage Grouse Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement.

It points out that proposals made by Lincoln County and the state’s plan, adopted by the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council, “are damaging to a number of the multiple uses,” are vastly different, and would, “greatly alter the Resource Management Plan that is currently in place…Changes proposed in this document will adversely affect the county, its citizens as well as its customs, culture and economy…Due to the high percentage of public lands in the county, any change in management will significantly impact how the county and its citizens do business and conduct their daily lives…The proposed action and documents were significantly changed between the draft and final versions, allowing little time for Lincoln County to react and address the new proposals.”

The Governor’s Consistency Review is to take a look at the differences between the county ordinances, county Master Plan and the county Public Land Policy Plan and what is listed in the final BLM EIS.

Lincoln County has also created a 14-page supplemental document created with the help of County Planning Director Cory Lytle and Jeremy Drew of Resource Concepts.

Simkins said that document, to be included with the protest letter, notes the differences between the Lincoln County plan, the EIS plan and explains why the inconsistencies are significant.

Lincoln County is joining with Jake Tibbitts of Eureka County to assist the Nevada Association of Counties in making a statement into the Governor’s Consistency Review. Simkins said, “For 17 Counties to make comments to the review would carry more weight than just individual counties.”