3 Bars Ecosystem and Landscape Restoration Project
The Setting: The 3 Bars Ecosystem in central Eureka County, Nevada spans approximately 725,000 acres and includes portions of three major mountain ranges (Roberts Mountain, Simpson Park Range, and Sulphur Spring Range). Many factors are contributing to the overall decline in land condition of this area. The gradual loss of sagebrush, bitterbrush, and mountain shrub communities impact wildlife species such as sage grouse, pygmy rabbit, and mule deer. Compromised riparian habitats impact the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and other aquatic species. Factors contributing to the overall decline in land health include increasing incidence and severity of wildfire, increasing expansion of downy brome (cheatgrass), increasing expansion and densification of pinyon pine and Utah juniper woodlands, and increasing human impacts.
The Preferred Alternative: Alternative A is the BLM’s Preferred Alternative. Under this alternative, the BLM would treat about 127,000 acres during the life of the project, or about 12,700 acres annually, using manual and mechanical methods, fire (both prescribed and wildland fire for resource benefit), and biological controls (primarily to control noxious weeds and other invasive non-native vegetation using livestock and classical biological [nematodes, fungi, mites, and insects]). Treatments would focus on protecting landscapes and would address multiple resource issues.
The BLM has identified site-specific treatments to be implemented under this alternative in order to improve the health of the 3 Bars ecosystem. Treatments would focus on four priority vegetation management concerns—riparian, aspen, pinyon-juniper, and sagebrush.
Following a 30-day availability and review period from October 28, 2016 to November 28, 2016 for the Final EIS, the BLM will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) for the 3 Bars Ecosystem and Landscape Restoration Project describing the alternative it selected and detailing the provisions that are part of its decision. Any comments received following issue of the Final EIS may be addressed in the ROD.