The Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council Basin and Range National Monument Subcommittee met Aug. 15 in Alamo.
The subcommittee, chaired by Susan Agee of Rachel, advises and makes recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management on land-use planning for the Basin and Range Monument.
Represented on the Resource Advisory Council are members from commercial and non-commercial interests including environmental, livestock, mining, Native American, wild horse and burro interests, elected officials and state agencies.
Agee said the meeting in Alamo developed a number of recommendations to be submitted to the next RAC meeting Sept. 22.
She said the majority opinion was that nothing should change from the existing Ely District Resource Management Plan, and that outside pressure groups should not be able to come in and tell the people of Lincoln County how to live their lives or pursue their livelihoods.
Items included as written by Agee?
Fire Management: Keep the existing Ely District Resource Management Plan [RMP] language regarding Fire Management in Basin and Range National Monument [BARNM] RMP. Ely RMP calls for fuels reduction including prescribed burns and wildland fires; wildland fire suppression based on human safety and resource protection objectives; and emergency stabilization and rehabilitation.
Soils: Ely RMP language regarding soils should remain unchanged in the BARNM RMP, which directs that soils health should be maintained to ensure future uses such as soil moisture, surface stability, nutrition cycle/seed stockpile and groundwater recharge.
Wild Horses: Ely RMP wild horse language should remain the same in the BARNM RMP. Ely RMP directs wild horse herds be maintained at Appropriate Management Levels.
Air Quality: ELY RMP wording on air quality should remain in place on the BARNM RMP. Ely RMP directs that air quality be ensured through prescribed burns to prevent major fires, and through dust abatement and enforced speed limits.
Grazing: We note that the proclamation expressly allows for grazing to continue within the Monument. Encourage but do not mandate the reestablishment of native grasses and vegetation through seeding to work towards healthier rangeland conditions. Example: replace Russian thistle with white sage.
Recreation and Visitor Services: OHV activities should be allowed on the existing roads; no change from Ely RMP.
We strongly encourage BLM to develop the Travel Management Plan for the Monument concurrent with the RMP rather than separately.
The level of visitor services should rise commensurate with the number of visitors, but for now should be limited to signage indicating no services, no cell coverage, minimal road maintenance. Emphasize BLM web site information.
City: We recognize its existence. BLM should be aware of potential visitor issues involving City. We do not believe City will have a positive economic impact on Lincoln County.
Water resources: The Basin and Range National Monument Resource Management Plan continue to manage the water resources within the Monument in accordance with the laws of the State of Nevada, the Ely RMP, and Nevada State Engineer?s Office; and Basin and Range Monument will not interfere with the State of Nevada water rights permitting process and BLM?s current land use permitting process for water development; and honor all existing water right applications, permits, and certificates located within the Monument; and BLM will continue to grant?rights-of-way for water development and scientific studies.
Lands and Realty: The Basin and Range National Monument Resource Management Plan will not interfere with any laws of the State of Nevada; we recommend that land that has been submitted for withdrawals, reservations, or appropriations through the Lincoln County Conservation Recreation and Development Act. [P.L 108-424] be honored because it predates the proclamation; and continue to move forward through the BLM process for disposal; and continue to meet the needs of the public by granting rights-of-way, permits, leases, and easements.