Membership Update – January 7, 2017
We would like to wish you a happy and joyous New Year and wish many days of fun wheelin’ for you! Current Issues:
- Expansion of the Navy’s Fallon Range Training Complex – The US Navy has applied to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to continue to use the site of the Fallon Range Training Complex and to expand it to include more than 600,000 acres of additional public land. As a result of the Navy’s withdrawal application, the BLM has segregated the proposed expansion area from appropriation under the public land laws. The two-year segregation is obligatory while the Navy prepares an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on its expansion and extension proposals for the Fallon site. On November 9 th , 2016, we, along with Greg McKay, Chairman of the Nevada Commission on OHV (NCOHV); Jenny Scanland, Secretary of the NCOHV: Don Amador, Field Representative, Sharetrails/Blue Ribbon Coalition; Doug Holcomb, Pine Nut Mountains Trails Association and Eric Anderson, Motorcycle Industry Council, met with representatives from the US Navy. The Navy team made a presentation about what training goes on at NAS Fallon, and the need for the expansion to accommodate modern weapons training for the next twenty years. The presentation was very complete and we came away with an understanding of the situation. The deadline for comments on the expansion was set at December 12 th , 2016, and N4WDA submitted a letter that included suggestions that, because the B-16 range is used for Navy Seal training, primarily small caliber weapons and no airborne ordinance is involved on this range, that the expansion area be shared with the public when no active training is being accomplished. We also suggested that a small shift be done to the B-17 range that would allow access to a major trail and move the airborne training further from Middlegate, a popular OHV area on US 50. Finally, we supported a suggestion by Sharetrails/Blue Ribbon Coalition that a section be added to the authorization Bill that Congress designate a suitable section of BLM land, acreage equal to that lost to the expansion, as a dedicated OHV area to be managed as such. It wil be several years before the final bill goes to Congress, so we wait and see.
- Nellis Air Force Base Expansion – Like the NAS Fallon Expansion, Nellis AFB is also asking for 2,900,000 acres to expand their weapons range (aka Area 51). This consists of expansion of the area between US 95 and the existing range from Creech AFB at Indian Springs to just south of Beatty. Another area wraps from the southern edge of the existing range southeast to near Alamo, which is a heavily used OHV area. Like the NAS Fallon response, we asked that a section be added to the authorization Bill that Congress designate a suitable section of BLM or USFS lands, acreage equal to that lost to the expansion, as a dedicated OHV area to be managed as such. Once again, we will wait and see.
- Washoe County Lands Bill – Washoe County, in cooperation with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) are preparing a bill request whereby certain public lands would be withdrawn for various purposes. We have attended several Washoe County Commission Meetings and, so far, nothing has been submitted to either Senator Heller or Representative Amodei. We have written a letter to Senator Heller asking him, since he is the senior Senator from Nevada, to do away with Senator Reid’s unwritten law that every Nevada lands bill have a Wilderness Component. We urged him to consider Wilderness areas on their own merits. We also asked him to urge Congress to move on the 53-year- old release of the Wilderness Study Areas (WSA’s) per the procedures sent forth in the Wilderness Act of 1964. We are also writing a similar letter to Congressman Amodei. We will continue to write letters to the County Commissioners urging them to drop the Wilderness component from the desired land transfers in the Reno urban interface (which also has some problems with access to areas withdrawn from BLM.
- S. 22/H.R.243 – Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei have introduce the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act, legislation that prevents the threat of executive action designating or expanding national monuments without Congressional approval or local support. This, because of President Obama, using his powers under the Antiquities Act, recently designated the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Southern Nevada (a favor to Senator Reid before his resignation). Both monuments had heavy opposition by locals and by the state Congressional representatives. Instead of these monuments being brought before Congress (the normal way), President Obama decided to use his heavy hand and unilaterally designated these monuments before leaving office. There is a move already to have President-elect Trump or Congress override these designations after the inauguration.
- January 26 th – N4WDA Board of Directors Meeting. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend and we’ll send directions to the meeting site. Remember, all our meetings are open to our membership and to the public as well. We just need to know how many folks will show up.
- March 17 th through 19 th , the Off-Road Expo at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. We will have vehicles on display and our membership booth present so stop by and say HI! to those of us that will be working in the booth. Also, probably on Saturday afternoon, we will hold an open meeting where the members and the public can see and talk with the Board of Directors.
- KTMB and Pine Nuts Mountains Trails Association clean-ups, dates and times to be determined.
- We will set a date for the 3 rd Annual N4WDA Swap Meet, so start diggin’ your junk out and bring it to the meet where you can trade it for someone else’s junk. Lots of fun!!
- Four Wheel Parts has asked us to support their Grand Re-opening of the Sparks store on February 18th and their Madness in March event on March 11 th . We will be there, weather permitting…