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Pinenut Mountains Emergency Closure

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City Field Office, is implementing an emergency off-road vehicle closure on 2,340 acres of federal public land in the Pinenut Mountains east of Gardnerville, Nevada, to protect ancient vertebrate fossils such as the mastodon that are being damaged by off-highway vehicle (OHV) travel. Major dirt roads through the area will remain open, as will access for non-motorized uses such as hiking.

The 2,340 acre closure area contains fragile and unique vertebrate fossils that have been deemed critical for understanding the paleontological history of the western Great Basin in Nevada. Soil erosion from expanding OHV use, originating mostly from residents in new housing developments adjacent to the Pinenut Mountains, is causing these fossils to be uncovered, and in many cases, destroyed or illegally collected.

Map of Closure Area

The area has also been nominated as the Ruhesnstroth Paleontological Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) in the Pinenut Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment, a draft document that will be ready for review by the public later in 2004.

BLM Rangers and local law enforcement officials will be assisting BLM staff in placing closure and informational signs to educate local OHV riders of the reason for the closure, as well as directing them to areas and trails still available for their use. Riders on public lands in Nevada are advised to remain on existing roads and trails whenever possible to prevent damage vegetation, soils and other resources that can occur during cross-country travel.

For more information on this vehicle closure, please contact Chuck Pope, BLM Assistant Manager for Non-renewable Resources, at (775) 885-6000.

Discuss this closure in our Land Use Forums.

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