Navy Plans to Close 600,000 Acres East of Fallon

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Baja_Joe, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Baja_Joe

    Baja_Joe Gone Riding....

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    The Navy wants to expand their operations East of Fallon NV. Attached are the links below. The main area they want will kill off some of the best OHV in the area. Area B-17 will close off public access to the area East of Fairview Peak, South of Hwy 50, West of Hwy 361, and all the way south down to Gabbs, NV. Again, 600,000 acres closed for good.

    For those that ride out in the area, this will severely impact Middlegate Station and some really great access to public lands for recreation. Middlegate Station is a historic pony express station stop where there is still today an operating hotel and restaurant and gas station. Many use Middlegate as a staging point for weekend rides. Closing B-17 Area will be detrimental to this local business, those who work there. And kiss goodbye the "roller coaster" and all others in the area.

    Congress has the final say if I read this right. So it will go for a vote. Please call your local Congressman and let them know to vote no.

    There is a public meeting Monday October 3rd in Fallon NV. I plan to go.

    BRC website
    https://sharetrails.org/alert/nevada-navy-applies-to-blm-to-expand-fallon-range-training-complex/

    Please send comments to the BLM at
    E-mail: BLM_NV_FRTC@blm.gov

    Navy Website here
    https://frtcmodernization.com/

    Please send comments to the Navy on the EIS here
    https://frtcmodernization.com/Public-Involvement/Submit-Your-Comment

    Maps are here (Note B-17 in dark blue)
    https://frtcmodernization.com/porta...NAS_Fallon_B17-Dixie_Valley_Modernization.pdf
    #1
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  2. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I live in nor cal and have gone to meetings like this. Usually people show up in force who are in favor of the closures,and nobody who wants the closure stopped shows up. Over and over and over. Nobody gives a s*it till it happens.
    #2
  3. ramjet

    ramjet Long timer

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    I like to maintain a more positive attitude and take action. Be sure and read what is posted above on the BRC website. Call not only your Congress people but those in other states as they will vote on the proposal also.
    #3
  4. soarseeker

    soarseeker Been here awhile

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    Hey thank you @Baja_Joe for posting this and @nvklr for directing us to it. I would have missed it completely. I won't be able to make the meeting, but the rest of the options I will most assuredly do. Thank you again guys!
    #4
  5. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Not true, they all go along with local senator & Congressman who always vote for where the money is. Military vs Recreation, waste of time to fight it. We are losing thousands of acres between Barstow & Ridgecrest.
    #5
  6. ramjet

    ramjet Long timer

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    I understand what you're saying, Jerry, but I will let my voice be heard. I'm compelled to act on what I believe in and join those here and organizations like Stewards of the Sequoia and Pacific Legal Foundation (and others) that give clout to my message and money. And remember, today is Constitution Day. Please consider Baja_joe's message and this if you will:



    Note: I have no personal or financial interest in any of these organizations.
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  7. Baja_Joe

    Baja_Joe Gone Riding....

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    I know that fighting the big GOV may seem a daunting task. I have heard a reference to being cannon fodder once before. I must like the abuse.

    But its always worth putting in a few minutes of effort. Please call and email your Rep. Tell them that the expansion is not needed. And the "trade" is not for "like in kind". They are taking prime grazing land (literally) and giving us rocky cliffs. And closing access to historic areas and landmarks.

    Tell your Rep that the Navy already has an entire valley right next door to bomb the shit out of, Dixie Valley. And that they already perform exercises all over the open public land already. You see the Navy driving around at night and hear low flying helicopters performing night maneuvers. And they even perform flight training all over the skies in the area already. So we are all already coexisting in this area with no issues.

    Imagine your favorite riding area, the one you ride often and have been doing so for +30 years. And then suddenly the GOV wants the area. Not to protect but to bomb the shit out of, pretty much fubar. And they say they will give you this other land as a trade. But this other area (North of Hwy 50) is not like the rolling hills of the area that is being closed. It has steep mountains and the only good areas to recreate are private ranches. Its not an area you can ride.

    I hope some of you call. You do not need to live in Nevada to care about GOV land grabs. I hope the great residents of Nevada will take umbrage that the GOV is taking the State's Land and closing it to public access.

    Even if you live out of state, your State Rep will vote on this in Washington DC. Make the call.

    Thanks,

    Baja Joe
    #7
  8. squidchief

    squidchief Long timer

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    Sorry man but I have to wave the bullshit flag on this one. Let's take another look at it:

    The main area they want will kill off some of the best OHV in the area: Not even close. That's all graded dirt roads for the most part. A little bit of trail east between Fairview and Middlegate, but that's also in the area NOT being asked for.

    this will severely impact Middlegate Station : Not even for a second is this true. Sure, some people occasionally stage out of Middlegate to ride but there's plenty of riding area to the other three points on the compass.

    They are taking prime grazing land (literally) and giving us rocky cliffs. And closing access to historic areas and landmarks. There is no "prime grazing land" in this area. Not one bit. Also, "they" aren't giving us back anything. I also don't know of any "historic areas or landmarks" out there either. The Cox mine area isn't affected and neither is the Shoal Project site. Granted, there are some old abandoned mining interests in the area that are cool to check out when out riding in the area, but really.....

    The Navy is not looking for more land to "bomb the shit out of". This is land that is pretty much already gated off to be used for search and rescue training, land navigation, tactical ground mobility, convoy escort, and electronic warfare training. It is a non-ordnance training area. No live firing would be allowed in the area. From what I see of the maps, it's the area due south of the existing B-17 bombing area that has been fenced off for pretty much forever and Bell Flats/Bell Canyon that is also gated and fenced off. The National Guard and Army reservists have been using that area a lot lately. I don't see them grabbing much new land, though yes, there is some being grabbed.

    The area you are talking about is NOT 600, 000 acres but is actually 53,547 acres for the Bravo-17 expansion.

    A little background info. The conflicts we are currently engaged in overseas are in areas that look surprisingly similar to this region of Northern Nevada. There are unique issues in these areas of conflict that can be duplicated surprisingly well in the military training areas of Northern Nevada.... including the areas the Navy is looking to expand in to. Area specific training is invaluable to those putting themselves in harms way in Afghanistan and Iraq and their surrounding areas.

    Yes, I'll be bummed to see some of this land closed off the public. I too enjoy riding out there. It's also pretty decent Pronghorn Antelope hunting area and home of the worlds largest annual Tarantula migration. But, there's millions upon millions of acres within a stones throw of this area that is just as good to ride in, and if me riding somewhere else can help an American Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine survive in an overseas hostile environment, then I guess I'll start riding and hunting across the street.

    You are 100% correct when you say that attending these public comment meetings are important. Yes, we must maintain oversight of our public lands and not just hand stuff off to the government without asking questions, but show up to these meetings with an open mind. Before you call your congressman or representative asking them to do something, attend the meeting on Oct 3rd, if it's the Fallon one you want to attend, and find out a little more details. find out what the expansion is for BEFORE you say it's not needed. An INFORMED populace is what's needed, not just an active and concerned one.

    See you at the meeting, might even join you for a beer afterwards to discuss what we hear.
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  9. Baja_Joe

    Baja_Joe Gone Riding....

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    Hi Don,

    Thanks for the reply. Its all good with me. We all have different views and understanding of what is going on. I have read through the docs and have overall concerns that closing more land is not required to train people. My opinion. And specifically the NEW CLOSURE AREA called out in dark blue on the map for B-17.

    You and I obviously ride on different parts of the terrain out there. If all you know is the roads, you have missed out. Too bad cause like most of these meetings and closures, you will never get the chance.

    I am not sure how you can arrive at the conclusion that the new dark blue B-17 area is already closed. Yes, south Dixie Valley was closed years ago. But the area east of Fairview Peak Mtn range, West of 361 (Gabbs Hwy), and south all the way to Raw Hide Dry Lake, has been OPEN to public access.

    Middlegate Station is a lot more than a bump in the road. Most weekends the place is packed with dirt bikers and SxS staying at the motel or the parking lot is full of toy haulers. Closing this area will impact the local area businesses.

    Bell Flats/ Bell Mountain is currently OPEN and has been used by cattle ranchers for as long as I have been riding out there. There is always cattle and water tanks all over. Yes, Bell Canyon that leads east to west into the south Dixie Valley aka Fairview Valley (east of hwy 839) has been closed for a long time.

    True that the new B-17 area that I am most concerned with is 53,000 acres. But the 100,000s acres technically will become public lands again. And the Navy is requesting to CLOSE them again for decades along with expanding the closures.

    My beef is they already have 100,000s acres out there. The trouble is that enough is never enough for any and all branches of the government. We see them training in the open public lands right now. Why close more area? Why not keep it open and use it when they need it? Just like they are doing today?

    /\ /\ This my main point.

    Don't get me wrong, the armed service men and women who volunteer for these jobs needs support and training. I willingly pay tons of taxes and love to see the planes and smell jet fuel just like any other American. Just tell me when the base expansions will stop. Its not just this one land closure that concerns me.

    Respect,

    Baja Joe
    #9
  10. squidchief

    squidchief Long timer

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    I definitely don't have all the answers, and just between us girls, I doubt anyone does.... and if they do, they'll never admit it or tell all. With that said, it's my assumption and hope that if they get this extra land they're talking about it'll curtail a lot of the traffic and training the military is doing on open/public land such as in and around the Stillwater and La Plata area. Just like they are doing for the SEALS and other Tier 1 groups at B-16, they took the guys off public land and put them in a closed-to-the-public area for their training. Reduces the contact they have with the public.
    Why do they need more: That's a great question, but one thing I do know is B-17, as it exists, is for air-to-ground operations. Steel death from the sky hitting targets on the ground. The roll in is typically from the north or west for the fixed wing aircraft. Closing the areas due south and east of B-17 reduces the risk of harm to the civilian populace should there be hung ordnance... although it's hard to imagine anything getting past Fairview. South of Bell Flat is a gate the leads into Bell Canyon. With the cooperation of local ranchers, the gate is locked quite often to facilitate ground mobility training with various entities.
    Unfortunately for Middlegate's sake, it's not most weekends anymore but a couple of weekends groups stay out there. I've seen groups like yours out there, and have ridden with some. There was a real big KTM group out there last year whose members I drank much beer with over the course of the evening. I'd hate to think though that groups would quit coming out just because of losing this particular riding area. There's plenty more area exactly like it just across the street in the other direction.

    Either way, it's good to see good Americans such as yourself who keep an eye on these things and are willing to step up to the plate and ask the questions. I love seeing that!
    #10
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  11. soarseeker

    soarseeker Been here awhile

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    Does the pony express trail go through the closed to the public area?
    #11
  12. squidchief

    squidchief Long timer

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    That particular section; No. It actually follows Highway 50 through that section.
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  13. Baja_Joe

    Baja_Joe Gone Riding....

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    Just an update for the few of us who are tired of the GOV taking land away. I will be at the meeting tonight to raise my concerns over closing such a huge area. I hope that all those who are for and against these land closure will come to the meetings, get better informed, and get some questions answered. See you at the meeting. If I learn any new information, I will make corrections as needed.

    To be clear, as I have stated before and here again, I support making sure the men and women who volunteer get the training they need. They take on a job that is mostly dangerous and is unfortunately very deadly. I am openly emotional when I read about domestic and foreign tragedies of the men and women who serve.

    This HUGE land closure area is no joke. They claim that new weapons and aircraft mandate these huge expansions. News flash people, these weapons have been in use for decades so why the changes now? I thought that the new weapons were more accurate right? And if they cannot hit the Fairview Valley's existing B-17 live fire range accurately then they need to close HWY 50!! And there are other areas they can choose to go train at that, are already closed to the public.

    My concerns are for the new land closures. From their website…

    More specifically, the Navy proposes to:
    • Renew current public land withdrawal of 202,859 acres expiring in November 2021 (note that this is the land already closed and they wish to continue keeping it closed)
    • Withdraw and reserve for military use approximately 604,789 acres of additional public land (note that this is the NEW LAND THEY WANT TO CLOSE)

    Note on areas that matter all Outdoor Recreationist

    Bravo-17 Range Proposal:

    • Range expansion primarily to the south of approximately 178,015 acres
    • Bravo-17 would be closed and restricted from public use

    This area is my real issue. The current LIVE FIRE range area is about 50,000 acres and has been closed for years. The new closure will remove from public access, PERMENANTLY, about 178,000 acres. FOR LIVE FIRE!!!!! It’s in their website and literature. So yes this area will be part of the BOMBING RANGE.


    Dixie Valley Training Area Proposal:

    • Expansion in all directions totaling approximately 279,400 acres
    • Ground training activities would be conducted on existing roads and trails
    • Both new land proposed for withdrawal and the currently-withdrawn land would be open to certain land uses, such as recreation or cattle grazing.

    This are will be used for TRAINING. But they are already using this area and all the area around Middlegate for training NOW. Why the changes?? Why not use the road and trails like ALL OTHER AMERICANS are required to do? If 65,000 people can INVADE the Black Rock Desert then certainly the Navy can fill out a Use Permit just like at Burning Man.

    Dixie Valley Training Area Proposal:

    • Expansion in all directions totaling approximately 279,400 acres
    • Ground training activities would be conducted on existing roads and trails
    • Both new land proposed for withdrawal and the currently-withdrawn land would be open to certain land uses, such as recreation or cattle grazing.

    This are will be used for TRAINING. But they are already using this area and all the area around Middlegate for training NOW. Why the changes?? They can train in these areas now and are using the lands already. What is the Navy afraid of?

    So for those of you who think the huge expansion of the B-17 bombing range is for non live fire training please re read the docs on the Navy website. It’s spelled out in black and white.

    From their website:

    The Navy proposes to expand special use airspace and reconfigure existing airspace to address current training constraints.
    The airspace proposal includes requests for:

    • Expanding restricted airspace associated with the expanded bombing ranges for Bravo-16, Bravo-17, and Bravo-20
    • Additional air traffic control assigned airspace (ATCAA)
    • Additional military operations area (MOA) airspace under current ATCAAs
    • Vertical increase in airspace associated with the Reno MOA/ATCAA
    • Proposed airspace modifications would not increase the horizontal size of the Fallon Ranges, but would enhance training capabilities by expanding current airspace areas vertically.

    So they are not going to increase the training/bombing levels, only “expand them over a larger area”.

    Would training increase under the Proposed Action?
    • No, training would not increase over the level of activities analyzed in the recently completed 2015 Fallon Range Training Complex EIS. Rather, training would be distributed across the expanded ranges to fully maximize enhanced capabilities.
    #13
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  14. Smackit

    Smackit Life Is Good

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    #14
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  15. Baja_Joe

    Baja_Joe Gone Riding....

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    Change of plans.

    I will be at the Gabbs meeting Friday night.
    Could not think of a better place to have a positive discussion on the Pros and Cons of closing the area in Gabbs' backyard.
    #15
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  16. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    I live in the general area and ride out there several times a year. But I don't claim to have enough knowledge of the area OR THE SPECIFIC PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE to have a position. What I would like to do is compliment Baja Joe and Don Usserey on their well reasoned, respectful and fact based discussion. It is refreshing for these types of threads. Good job guys!!!
    #16
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  17. TemeculaTim

    TemeculaTim Timiteo Viejo

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    Agree 100% on the respectful fact-based discussion. Too bad it's not the norm...
    #17
  18. squidchief

    squidchief Long timer

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    I'll be interested to hear your take on the meeting Baja. I was in attendance last night at the Fallon meeting. I have to be at the one today in Lovelock and again at the one tonight on Reno. Disappointed I couldn't make you acquaintance last night, will not be able to make the Friday meeting but I look forward to hearing your take-away from the Gabbs meeting.
    #18
  19. Baja_Joe

    Baja_Joe Gone Riding....

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    Don, Yes I wanted to talk to you and see what the expansion was really all about. I figured what better reason to head out and roam our public lands freely, and attend also attend a meeting in Gabbs.

    I hope that the meetings are well attended and that the information can get out. And then the public can decide for themselves. I believe in the process.

    If you believe that this huge land closure is best, no problem. And if you think the Navy has grossly exaggerated how much land they need, that's ok also. I do not feel one bit less patriotic because I say hey, do you really need all this land? Lets look at the facts for which reasons you need to protect the public from stray bombs, and maybe you don't need quite so much. What are the alternatives? Maybe just close land west of the Fault Line Road to keep the public off the mountain over looking the range.

    I really am concerned as to how much land may be closed east of Fariview Peak, all the way out the highway, and then south to Gabbs. No one will get to see the final resting place of a few dedicated off roaders whose memorials are out there. And you will not be able to visit the Motorcycle Memorial. It will be a shame for so many reasons.

    By forcing riders to cross the hwy (at Middlegate), and thru the fence, this closure will put them all riding up the Gray Back Wells Road/Wash. This lonely wash will now be the only legal way to get over to Ione, Berlin, and Gabbs using OHV. The dramatic increase in traffic up this tight Caynon two track will only increase the likelihood of a head on, IMO.

    Its the old Sand Box Dilemma: Take away a huge area that was once used for dispersed use, and put the every increasing number of users into a small sand box to play. Impact (terrain and social) will be dramatically increased as more users are forced to stay in a smaller area. Then the BLM will say "look, see how bad the impact is. We cant maintain this so we will now close it." Unfortunately, this happens all the time.

    Just make sure to call your REP and let them know what you think either way.

    And at least till 2020, lets go RIDE!!!
    #19
  20. Smackit

    Smackit Life Is Good

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    Just got home from the Reno meeting, I'd say roughly 50 people attended. I learned a lot about the Navy's point of view, but little from the other people in the room. I know it's in the early stages, but I thought they would give some time for public discussion to hear why people are for or against the proposal. The impression I came away with... the Navy needs the space to safely test their fancy bombs and missiles from long distances. Some of the other expansion areas didn't seem quite so necessary.
    #20