Workshop Nov. 14 to review Pine Nut trail loop
November 5, 2012
The Bureau of Land Management is hosting a Nov. 14 workshop at Pinon Hills Elementary School for input on the proposed 45-mile loop of the Carson Valley Discovery Trail on the west side of the Pine Nut Mountains.
Brian Buttazoni of the BLM, and Jeremy Vlcan of the Carson Valley Trails Association, made a presentation Thursday to Douglas County commissioners about the multiyear project which has been in development since 2007.
Next week’s meeting is the first of two. A second 30-day review of an environmental assessment is set for next summer, with a construction target date of 2014.
Buttazoni is planning and environmental coordinator for the BLM.
The agency is seeking comment on concerns or conflict of uses for the nonmotorized trail which would be open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The trail would not be accessible for motorized vehicles.
The comment period closes Nov. 25.
Buttazoni credited the Carson Valley Trails Association with making the proposed trail viable.
The trail system would include one primary trail with five loop trails on BLM-managed lands and a small portion of lands managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
There are to be two existing trailhead/access points for parking and trail information.
Eight trailhead/access points will be modified or constructed for parking and trail information.
The BLM is seeking information on any sensitive or unique resources within the proposed project area; conflicts between recreation users within the area; or conflicts with the proposed trailhead/access points.
Buttazoni said the entire corridor had been hiked, and he expected a more formal alignment next summer.
Commissioner Mike Olson asked if the Washoe Tribe had been consulted.
“We reached out to the tribe a year ago, and have a letter on record of support for the project,” Buttazoni said.
Commissioner Greg Lynn gave Buttazoni a letter from a couple who lives on Vicky Lane and were concerned about access to their property and who would maintain and police the trail.
Vlcan has compiled a list of 100 stakeholders whom he has contacted regarding the project.
“It’s a project everyone pretty much supports – hikers, horses and mountain bikers. It doesn’t limit access,” Vlcan said.
Additional meetings are planned.
Buttazoni said cultural resources were the “first on the ground field work.”
Resources considered during an internal meeting on Oct. 25 included everything from Native American religious concerns to BLM sensitive plants and animals.
The preliminary report indicated that a portion of the trail is adjacent to habitat occupied by the Carson wandering skipper, a small butterfly listed as an endangered species. According to the BLM, consultation may be required if the section is retained in the final proposal.