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Comments sought on military range expansion near Fallon

Updated May 6, 2018 - 12:53 pm

The Bureau of Land Management is gathering public input on plans to more than triple the size of the Navy training range near Fallon, which would involve cutting off public access to almost 770,000 acres of federal land.

The BLM is conducting an environmental assessment in connection with the proposed change 385 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The Navy has asked Congress to expand the 224,000-acre training range near Fallon Naval Air Station by adding federal land in Churchill, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and Pershing counties.

The request comes at the same time the Air Force is pushing to add another 302,000 acres to the Nevada Test and Training Range, a secure area north of Las Vegas that already covers more than 2.9 million acres in Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties.

Roughly 278,000 acres of that expansion would be carved from the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, about half of which is already under military control.

Air Force officials have said the additional land is needed to increase the capacity of the range and to allow for staging realistic combat exercises using the latest weapons systems.

The Navy has offered similar reasons for wanting more land at its Fallon Range Training Complex.

All deploying naval strike aviation units train at the Fallon range before deployment. According to the Navy, the range is already too small to realistically train using today’s advanced weapons systems while also maintaining public safety.

Written comments on the Navy’s proposed expansion will be accepted through Aug. 2. They can be sent by email to BLM_NV_FRTC@blm.gov; faxed to 775-885-6147; or mailed to BLM Carson City District, Attn: NAS Fallon FRTC, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701.

Documents associated with the proposal are on the BLM’s planning website at https://go.usa.gov/xQXTw.

For additional project-specific information, contact project manager Colleen Dingman at 775-885-6168 or cjdingman@blm.gov.

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