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article imageNavy proposes land grab in Nevada to enlarge bombing range

By Karen Graham     Nov 18, 2018 in Politics
The U.S. Navy on Friday released details of a plan to seize more than 600,000 acres of public land in central Nevada to expand its bombing range.
The land under threat includes rich habitat for mule deer, important desert springs and nesting sites for raptors like golden eagles. The Navy wants to add as much as 967 square miles (2,505 square kilometers) of federal land and more than 100 square miles (about 260 square kilometers) of private land to the Fallon Range Training Complex about 350 miles (560 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas.
Basically, what the Navy wants to do is triple the size of its training range, and if approved, the 1,536-page plan would transform entire valleys and mountain ranges into bombing targets. Combined with another proposal to expand the Air Force's Nevada Test and Training Range, the military is attempting to grab 1.75 million acres of public land in Nevada—an area larger than Delaware, according to the Center for Biological Diversity in a press release.
"It's outrageous that the Trump administration wants to ram another military takeover of public lands down our throats," said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
"The wide-open spaces of central Nevada's basin-and-range country are part of what makes our state so spectacular. Congress shouldn't let Trump seize hundreds of thousands of acres of public land so the military can drop bombs on our cherished wildlife and wild places."
Map of federal lands in southern Nevada  including Nellis Air Force Base Area 51 Tonopah Test Range ...
Map of federal lands in southern Nevada, including Nellis Air Force Base Area 51 Tonopah Test Range Yucca Mountain Mercury Nevada Test Site Nellis Air Force Range Desert National Wildlife Range.
Finlay McWalter
The public has 60 days to comment on the draft environmental impact statement, shorter than the 90 days normally given to comment on such a lengthy and complex document.
The Navy has scheduled public meetings in Hawthorne and Gabbs (Dec. 10), Austin and Eureka (Dec. 11), Fallon (Dec. 12), and Reno and Lovelock (Dec. 13).
“The military has a long history of trying to stymie legally required public involvement,” said Donnelly. “We’ll shine a bright light on this process and highlight the risks this bombing range expansion poses to wildlife and public lands.”
The Draft EIS is now available for public review and comment. The comment period is open from Nov. 16, 2018, to Jan. 15, 2019. The public is encouraged to submit comments on the Draft EIS during this period.
More about Us navy, Nevada bombing range, Fallon Range, public comment, Air Forces Nevada Test range
 
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