Published August 25, 2016
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – The U.S. Air Force is preparing a Legislative Environmental Impact Statement, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate potential environmental effects associated with the proposed land withdrawal by the United States of Air Force of the Nevada Test and Training Range.
The Air Force proposes to modernize the NTTR to improve the capacity and capability of the existing range. Modernization will support testing and training with more realistic and relevant capabilities to include advanced threat replication. Alternatives evaluated in the LEIS will include renewal of the current withdrawal and potential additional land withdrawal. The modernization is required to meet a rapidly changing battlespace which has outpaced the existing range capabilities and capacity in turn limiting realistic and relevant testing, tactics development, and training.
The Air Force’s proposed action includes renewal of the existing 2,949,603 acre public land withdrawal that expires November, 2021; the withdrawal and reservation for military use of up to 301,507 acres of additional adjacent public land and modification of range infrastructure to support the increased demand for testing and training. Requirements for training and testing at the NTTR have increased as a result of new test missions, F-35 training, Red Flag operations and increased irregular warfare training activities.
The Bureau of Land Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Energy, and Nevada Department of Wildlife will participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the LEIS. The Air Force has filed applications with BLM to extend the existing legislative withdrawal of public lands, and to withdraw additional land from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws, mineral leasing laws and geothermal leasing laws.
The Air Force is seeking public input to identify community concerns and issues for analysis in the LEIS. The LEIS will also help the public understand the proposed withdrawals, their potential environmental impacts, and the LEIS decision-making process. Public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations:
Oct. 12, 2016, 5 to 9 p.m., Beatty Community Center, 100 A Avenue South, Beatty, Nevada 89003.
Oct.13, 2016, 5 to 9 p.m., Tonopah Convention Center, 301 Brougher Avenue, Tonopah, Nevada 89049.
Oct. 18, 2016, 5 to 9 p.m., Caliente Elementary School, 289 Lincoln Street, Caliente, Nevada 89008.
Oct. 19, 2016, 5 to 9 p.m., Pahranagat Valley High School, 151 S Main Street, Alamo, Nevada 89001.
Oct. 20, 2016, 5 to 9 p.m., Aliante Hotel, 7300 Aliante Parkway, North Las Vegas, Nevada 89084.
Representatives from the Air Force, BLM and USFWS will attend each of the public meetings which will begin with an open house and information stations. The Air Force will provide a presentation about the project from 6:30 to 7 p.m. followed by a continuation of the open house.
For more information, or to submit a comment visit: www.nttrleis.com; write to the 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office at 4430 Grissom Ave., Ste.107, Nellis AFB, Nevada 89191; or email99ABW.PAOutreach@us.af.mil. All written comments must be postmarked or received online by Dec. 10, 2016, to be considered in the draft LEIS.