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