(Click above for enlargement…..the light blue spot in the above map is Groom Lake – Area 51.
(photo, courtesy of Las Vegas Review Journal)
(Click map below for enlargement):
Updated information on the planned Air Force’s big land grab of Alamo Road and the surrounding Desert National Wildlife Refuge (i.e., a large portion of land southeast of Area 51). There will be a public meeting on October 20 in North Las Vegas.
by Henry Bream, LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL – – October 10, 2016:
With public meetings set to start this week, officials at Desert National Wildlife Refuge say they still don’t fully understand the Air Force’s plan to turn the heart of their preserve into a training area.
Refuge manager Amy Sprunger and her boss, Christy Smith, worry that the proposal will disrupt bighorn sheep and other wildlife in the area and cut off public access to some of the most popular backcountry destinations. But they said it’s hard for them to evaluate the plan because there is so much uncertainty about it.
“We really don’t know. It’s uncomfortable,” Sprunger said.
“We’re concerned,” Smith added. “We’re just really concerned.”
In late August, the Defense Department unveiled plans to add 301,507 acres to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Indian Springs, a restricted military proving ground that already covers more than 2.9 million acres in Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties.
Roughly 278,000 acres of the range expansion would be carved from the federal wildlife refuge 30 miles northwest of Las Vegas, which has seen about half its area come under military control since World War II.
The proposed action also could renew — perhaps indefinitely — the military’s hold on land previously withdrawn from public use for the test range, an annexation currently set to expire in 2021.
Refuge could lose land to Air Force expansion.
Air Force officials will hold five scoping meetings this month — Wednesday in Beatty; Thursday in Tonopah; Oct. 18 in Caliente; Oct. 19 in Alamo; and Oct. 20 in North Las Vegas — to gather public input on the plan. Congress will have final say over the range expansion, but no vote is expected until 2018 or later.
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