The first designated nonmotorized trails in the Pine Nut Mountains’ 400,000 acres could be under construction this time next year.
Two loop trails on the Pine Nuts’ western slope were approved by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Piñon and Juniper trails will be built by the Carson Valley Trails Association after an environmental assessment determined the construction won’t have a significant effect on the environment and doesn’t require an environmental impact statement.
The project would result in the loss of about a half-acre of sagebrush and grass, and will avoid removing any trees, Sierra Front Field Office manager Leon Thomas said.
The six-mile long trails would be maintained by the nonprofit trails association, which maintains the Fay-Luther Trail System in Alpine County.
Volunteers would build most of the project, and local donations would pay for signs and trailhead amenities, with the help of trail grants.
The loop trails replace a proposal to build a 45-mile trail along the base of the Pine Nuts from Ruhenstroth to Carson City, after the original proposal ran into public opposition. Most of the recreational use in the mountains is by motorized vehicles.
The Juniper Loop trailhead will be a half mile from Stephanie Way, and would have room to park vehicles with horse trailers. The Pinyon Loop Trailhead would be built in a similar configuration to the one at Stephanie.
Maps and other documents can be found under the “Recreation Projects” heading at www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa/nepa_archives.html