A thousand-mile swath of destruction?

The ORV boosters are pushing an event that could be more destructive than the infamous Barstow to Vegas Race, banned a dozen years ago.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tonopah Field Office, will conduct an environmental review and hold two public meetings to gather public comments on a proposed off-highway race.

The race, planned for August 20-22, 2009, is called the “Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno Off-Highway Race” and covers 1,000 miles of Nevada’s high desert. It begins north of Pahrump and runs through Beatty, Tonopah and Hawthorne before finishing southeast of Dayton.

The Best in the Desert Racing Association, which is seeking a special recreation permit from the BLM to conduct the race, bills it as the “greatest long-distance, off-road event in this decade on U.S. soil.”

As many as 350 vehicles could be entered, including motorcycles, ATVs, dune buggies, high clearance SUVs and 4×4 trucks. The race route uses a combination of existing smooth and rough dirt roads on public lands in Nye, Esmeralda, Mineral, Lyon, and Douglas counties.

The full press release, from the pro-ORV Blue Ribbon Coalition, is below the fold. Some of the proposed route would apparently follow the Amargosa River, under consideration for Wild and Scenic status.

Kinda gives the lie to the whining from the ORV set about how they’re being squeezed off our public lands. Apparently they want every square inch.

BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

Comment Needed On Planned 1,000-Mile Vegas to Reno Off-Highway Race

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tonopah Field Office, will conduct an environmental review and hold two public meetings to gather public comments on a proposed off-highway race.

The race, planned for August 20-22, 2009, is called the “Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno Off-Highway Race” and covers 1,000 miles of Nevada’s high desert. It begins north of Pahrump and runs through Beatty, Tonopah and Hawthorne before finishing southeast of Dayton.

The Best in the Desert Racing Association, which is seeking a special recreation permit from the BLM to conduct the race, bills it as the “greatest long-distance, off-road event in this decade on U.S. soil.”

As many as 350 vehicles could be entered, including motorcycles, ATVs, dune buggies, high clearance SUVs and 4×4 trucks. The race route uses a combination of existing smooth and rough dirt roads on public lands in Nye, Esmeralda, Mineral, Lyon, and Douglas counties.

The proposed course includes routes that have been raced upon in the past. It would include 24 pit areas, several stop check locations and several highway and road crossings along the route. Time trials for the race will be conducted Aug. 18 on a five-mile course on the Upper Knight Ranch Road near Las Vegas.

The BLM will prepare an environmental assessment that analyzes the impacts of the proposed race and will accept written public comments until March 6, 2009.

The agency also plans to gather comment at two public scoping meetings to be held in Beatty and Goldfield (see schedule below). Both meetings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  * February 24, 2009, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Beatty Town Hall, Beatty, NV

  * February 25, 2009, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Goldfield Community Center, Goldfield, NV

The meetings will be in an open house format and may include a brief presentation.  At each meeting, there will be comment forms for your use.

Representatives from Best in the Desert and the BLM will be present to answer questions you might have.  If you would like your name removed from this project’s mailing list, please contact Eric M. Williams, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, at (775)482-7800.

The BLM prefers that written comments be mailed. Written comments on the scope of the EA must be post-marked or delivered by 4:30 p.m. on March 6, 2009.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment-including your personal identifying information-may be made publicly available at any time.

Written Scoping Comments Should Be Mailed To:
    Bureau of Land Management
    Attn: Eric M. Williams
    Tonopah Field Office
    1553 South Main St.
    PO Box 911
    Tonopah, NV 89049

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MARCH 6, 2009

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