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Reducing America's pine nut forests to biomass fuel


Folks, these are  notes .   I check and the biomass plan document is no longer on the server,  One shouldremember the first Mt. Wilson plan(NV 040-99-007 ) , 10,000 acres wereslated for aerial application of  herbicide.

State Legislature meeting minutes addressing chipping issues dated 4/07/00and 4/05/01 follow the excerpts of the biomass document.

    The last document is the 06/01 minutes from RAC.

Gregory Morris
Future Resources Associates, Inc.
2039 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 402
Berkeley, California
(510) 644-2700
February 17, 1994




Pinyon-Juniper Resource Assessment

Biomass Harvesting and Processing Technology

Pinyon-Juniper Havesting & Processing Technology

Pinyon-Juniper Transportation Options

Pellet Fuel Manufacturing

Market Assessment

The California Biomass Fuels Market

The Nevada Biomass Fuels Market

The Residential Pellet-Fuel Market

Cost Analysis

Harvesting and Processing Costs

Transportation Costs

Sales and Marketing Costs

Total Costs

Commercialization Analysis

Commercial Potential for Eastern Nevada's Pinyon-Juniper Biomass Resources

Steps in Achieving the Commercial Potential for Pinyon-Juniper Biomass



Appendix 1: Annotated Bibliography

Commercialization Analysis

At the present time the only use of EasternNevada's Pinyon-Juniper resources for energy applications is limited tothe small scale production of firewood for use mainly by the local ruralpopulation in traditional wood stoves and fireplaces. No mechanized harvestingand processing into energy products is being undertaken, and the BM isnot currently engaged in any large-scale land-clearing operations, despitetheir desire to see such activities undertaken. Thus the industry whosecommercialization potential is the subject of this study must be createdfrom scratch.

This section considers what the most promisingcommercial markets might be for energy products from Eastern Nevada's Pinyon-Juniperresources. The long-term commercial potential is first analyzed, to determinewhether there is a reasonable possibility for the ultimate commercializationof energy from Pinyon-Juniper biomass. Then steps in reaching the ultimatecommercial potential are considered, in order to determine how best toachieve the commercialization of this resource.

Commercial Potential for Eastern Nevada'sPinyon-Juniper Biomass Resources

The most immediately available market forNevada's Pinyon-Juniper biomass resources is the California biomass fuelsmarket, which consumes approximately 7.5 million BDT per year of fuel.There is a clear interest on the part of the California market in the developmentof new fuel sources, and the quantities that would be likely to be producedin Nevada could be absorbed easily into the California market.

California biomass power plants are currentlypaying in the range of $35 - 40 per BDT of fuel. The cost analysis presentedin the previous section suggests that it will cost a fuel producer in therange of $45 - 55 per BDT to deliver fuel to the California market froma permanent chipping operation in Nevada. This cost is about 25 percenthigher than the current fuel price. Moreover, with many of the Californiafacilities facing the prospect of seeing their revenues fall significantlyover the next five-to-ten years as fixed-price energy contracts with theCalifornia utilities expire, the long-term prospects for the price of biomassfuels in the California market are highly uncertain. It is difficult tosee how the California fuels market can be a suitable target for a sustainable,full-scale biomass energy production industry in the Pinyon-Juniper woodlandsof Eastern Nevada.

A more limited production operation thatcould make use of idle harvesting and processing equipment in Californiaduring the summer would be of interest to many California fuel producers.The cost analysis suggests that fully costing out such an operation, forexample one harvesting for approximately three months each summer in Nevadaand producing approximately 20,000 BDT per year of fuel, would cost $50- 55 per BDT to deliver fuel product in California, clearly too much tobe of interest. On the other hand, if the fuel producer were willing toforgo charging any rent or capital related costs to the operation, on thebasis that these costs must be paid for the equipment anyway, even if theequipment were sitting idle in California, the delivered cost of fuel inCalifornia would be on the order of $45 per BDT, still a little too highto make economic sense, but possibly close enough, considering the uncertaintyof the cost projections at this stage of development, to stimulate furtherinvestigation of this option.

In order to avoid the high cost of railtransportation of the biomass fuels into California, a local market forbiomass boiler fuels in Eastern Nevada could be established by developinga small power generating facility there, either by one of the existinglocal municipal utility companies, or as an independent power producer.The cost analysis suggests that fuel could be produced and delivered tosuch a facility from a permanent chipping operation based in Eastern Nevadafor a cost of about S24 per BDT, in quantities of approximately 45,000BDT per year. This is enough fuel to supply an efficient, base-load biomasspower plant producing approximately 6 MW of electricity for the grid, asize range that is commensurate with the needs of the local municipal utilitycompanies in the Eastern Nevada region. Figure 8 shows a pictures of atypical biomass-fired power plant located in California.

Figure 8

Click here toexpand figure.

A biomass-fired power plant smaller thanabout 10 MW fails to take full advantage of economies of scale that arerealized by larger facilities. On the other hand, there is a great dealmore used woodfired biomass power-generating equipment available in thissize range, offering an opportunity for cost savings in the range of about20 - 30 percent of total installed cost as compared with facilities employingall new equipment. Although a pre-feasibility study for a power facilityin Eastern Nevada is beyond the scope of this study, generic data are usefulin establishing a preliminary interest in a project of this type.

Typical costs of electricity productionfor a 6 MW, 45,000 BDT/yr biomass power plant employing all new equipmentcan be estimated as follows:

· Fuelcomponent (45,000 BDT/yr, $24/BDT): 2 ¢/kWh

· Operationsand Maintenance: 2 ¢/kWh

· CapitalRecovery ($10 million total cost): 3 ¢/kWh

· Totalcost of electricity production: 7 ¢/kWh
· Assumingthat the Section 1212 Grants Program contained in the 1992 National EnergyPolicy Act is funded by Congress, the cost of electricity production ina small biomass-fired power plant owned by a municipal utility companywould be reduced by 1.5 ¢/kWh, to approximately 5.5 ¢/kWh. Thecost could be reduced even further by the employment of used equipmentin the facility and by the use of tax-free, low cost funding that couldbe arranged for a municipal utility company asset purchase. Using all ofthese means, a Pinyon-Juniper fueled, municipal utility owned power plantmight be able to generate electricity for a cost in the range of about4.0 - 5.0 s/kWh. It might be possible to achieve further cost savings ona project of this type if a cogeneration opportunity could be identified.

A small, municipal utility-owned biomasspower plant has the potential to be a viable venture in Eastern Nevada.This is a promising long-term market for the region's Pinyon-Juniper resources,and would provide a variety of benefits to a regional economy that currentlyis ailing. The benefits would include new long-term employment opportunitiesin both fuels production and power plant operations, as well as constructionjobs during the building of the facility and the environmental benefitsof limited clearing of some of the dense stands of the Pinyon-Juniper woodlands.Indeed, it is the desire to achieve the environmental benefits of limitedclearing operations on an on-going basis that provided the stimulus forthe performance of this commercialization study. The production of 45,000BDT per year of Pinyon-Juniper fuel would entail the annual clearing ofapproximately 2,000 - 2,500 acres of P-J woodlands, or approximately foursquare miles. Probably four to eight different sites would be harvestedeach year. The power plant could be expected to operate for 20 to 30 years.

The pellet fuels market is also a commercialpossibility for Pinyon-Juniper energy products, assuming that these resourcescan be converted successfully into a high-quality fuel product. Pelletfuel retailers in the Las Vegas market report paying wholesale prices fordelivered pellet fuel of about $170 per ton, as compared with the projecteddelivered price of pellet fuel produced from Pinyon-Juniper of approximately$125 per ton. Although the local market currently is limited in size, adrop in the price of pellet fuel could be a major stimulus to the market,which already is growing rapidly. In addition, the regional market is alreadywell established. The only major question as to whether the pellet fuelmarket is a suitable commercial possibility for Eastern Nevada's Pinyon-Juniperresources is the technical one concerning whether a suitable product canbe made from the raw material. This technical issue must be addressed beforeany further efforts are made to develop this application.

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Steps in Achievingthe Commercial Potential for Pinyon-Juniper Biomass

Cost Analysis
Commercial biomass fuels production from Eastern Nevada's Pinyon-Juniperresources involves several distinct steps, each of which contributes tothe total production cost of the finished fuel product. The major fuel-productionsteps include (not all steps are necessary for all products):

Biomass Harvesting and Processing

Tree Cutting

Hauling of the Trees to a Landing Site

Chipping of the Trees to Produce Whole Tree Chips

Grinding and Extrusion of the Biomass to Pellet Fuels
Transportation of the Wood Chips

Truck-hauled Chip Vans

Rail Transportation
Sales and Marketing of Product

Harvesting and Processing Costs
The costs of harvesting and processing Pinyon-Juniper biomass intofuels can only be estimated roughly at this time. In order to determineaccurate and reliable costs it will be necessary to conduct actual on-groundharvesting trials in Eastern Nevada's Pinyon-Juniper woodlands. Such trialshave not been conducted yet. The cost data developed for the purposes ofthis report are based on making a series of assumptions and analogies toother biomass harvesting and processing operations, and are intended forpreliminary planning purposes only.

Pinyon-Juniper harvesting and processing costs will depend to a considerableextent on the scale of the operation being pursued. This is so becauseof the high capital cost of some of the equipment that must be employed,and because of the high costs of crew mobilization and site set-up. Inparticular, any scale of operation will require a chipper that is largeenough to process whole Pinyon and Juniper trees. Such equipment has anannual wood-chip production capacity, if used on a year-round basis, ofup to 100,000 BDT. Operations that do not require the production of thisamount of material, or are not able to operate on a year-round schedule,will have to amortize the cost of the equipment over a smaller productionbase, or find a way to utilize the equipment for other purposes duringthe time it is not used for processing in the Pinyon-Juniper woodlands.

For the purposes of cost estimation, a theoretical harvesting and processingoperation must be defined. Because the chipper is the single most expensivepiece of equipment to be employed, the theoretical operation is designedaround a single chipper machine. The entire operation will be designedto ensure that the chipper is fully utilized during all of the time thatit is installed at the harvesting site. In order to process the Pinyonand Juniper trees, the chipper must be a wide-mouthed, high capacity model,capable of processing large diameter material (up to approximately 24 inches),and material with multiple perpendicular branches. The capital cost ofan appropriate chipper is about $500,000.

The chipper will be set up in an established landing site, where itwill remain during the entire harvesting and processing operation for agiven harvesting site. Harvesting will commence with the cutting of thetrees, which is accomplished with a mechanized tree shear. The cuttingcan precede the rest of the harvesting operation, and need not be coordinatedwith subsequent operations. Loaders outfitted with grapples and/or forkswill be used to move the trees from the harvesting area to the landingsite, and for loading them into the chipper. Loaders will also be usedfor loading chips from storage piles at the landing site into the chipvans, and for management of the chip piles, as necessary. Loaders and treecutters both have capital costs of about $65,000 per machine. The chipperwill be operated almost continually, except for periodic shutdowns forthe sharpening of knife blades and other necessary maintenance and unavoidabledown time. Chips will be blown directly into vans when vans are availableat the landing site, or into piles for later loading when there are novans available. It is estimated that three loaders and one cutter willbe necessary to complement one chipper machine. It is possible that fourloaders will actually be necessary. The entire crew, operating for eightto nine months per year in the mountains of eastern Nevada, is projectedto be able to produce about 45,000 BDT per year of whole-tree chips fromPinyon-Juniper biomass.

Capital and operating costs for harvesting and chipping equipment andoperations have been supplied by San Joaquin Helicopter, Inc., one of thelargest producers of biomass fuels in California, and a contributor tothis project. Table 5 shows a summary of the calculation of total harvestingand processing costs for a theoretical harvesting crew producing Pinyon-Juniperbiomass fuels in Eastern Nevada for eight months per year on an on-goingbasis, producing 45,000 BDT per year of fuel product. The estimated costof fuels production is about $15.25 per BDT, which includes all operationsbeginning with the cutting of the trees through the loading of the chipvans. No costs are assessed for the initial site survey and environmentalwork for each harvesting area, as it has been suggested that the BLM wouldbe willing to provide these services to the project in return for the benefitof having the land clearing performed free of charge by the fuel producer.The cost also does not include any component for the payment of stumpageor royalties to the BLM. Such fees will have to be determined in a negotiationprocess with the BLM. For estimation purposes, they can be assumed to beabout $0.50 - 3.00 per BDT. The BLM currently receives about $5.00 percord for firewood removed from the P-J woodlands, and a cord of firewoodis equivalent to approximately two tons of total biomass. Mechanized fuelwoodproduction operations will do a much better job of site clearance and cleanupthan firewood cutters, so the level of stumpage fees that will be assessedremains an open issue, subject to negotiation.

The assumptions with the highest level of uncertainty embedded in thecalculations shown in Table 5 are:

The actual amount of fuel that the harvesting crew can process duringthe annual eight-to-nine month harvesting season.

The number of loaders that will be necessary to complement the chipperand keep it supplied with trees.

Adding an additional loader and operator to the harvesting crew resultsin an increase in the cost of fuel production of approximately $1.00 perBDT over the projected base-case level of $15.25 per BDT. The fuel-productioncost is even more sensitive to the assumed productivity of the entire harvestingand chipping operation than to the ratio of loaders to chippers. If theproductivity of the operation is only 40,000 BDT per year, vs. the assumed45,000, the production cost increases by almost $2.00 per BDT over thebasecase level. If the productivity is actually 50,000 BDT per year, theproduction cost decreases by more than $1.50 per BDT as compared with thebase-case level shown in the table.
It is also of interest to estimate what the costs would be of a morelimited harvesting operation, for example, one scaled to the productionof 10,000 or 20,000 BDT per year. This amount of material would be sufficient,for example, to support a commercial-scale pellet mill operation gearedto making pellet fuel for the residential market. For a more limited operatingseason of this type, which would require only about six weeks to threemonths of harvesting and chipping each year, it would not be feasible toestablish a permanent harvesting crew in Eastern Nevada. The most likelypossibility would be to rent harvesting equipment from a fuel producerworking in California's agricultural regions, where biomass fuel productionis at a minimum during the summer season while crops are being grown. Thiswould be the ideal season for producing fuels in the Pinyon-Juniper woodlandsof Eastern Nevada, and it would offer the California fuel producer an opportunityto increase the annual use to be derived from his harvesting and processingequipment.

Table 6 shows the estimated cost of producing 10,000 BDT per year ofwhole-tree chips from Pinyon-Juniper biomass. Table 7 shows the estimatedcost of producing 20,000 BDT per year. During the actual harvesting andchipping operations, hourly productivity would be about the same for theselimited operations as in the larger-scale operation described previously.The major differences are that equipment rental costs would be more expensiveon an hourly basis, and the operation would need to pay for the costs ofmobilization and demobilization, which are primarily the costs of transportingthe equipment into and out of Nevada. The total cost of a limited, 10,000BDT per year harvesting operation is estimated to be about $23.00 per BDTof whole-tree chips, approximately fifty percent greater than the costsassociated with a permanently situated, eight-to-nine month per year operation.The total costs of a 20,000 BDT per year operation are estimated to beabout $20.50 per BDT.

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Transportation Costs


Table of Contents


Table of Contents


April 7, 2000

Dan Frehner began the presentation by identifyingtopics addressed by the Tri-County Group. They include:

· BLM property obtained for schoolconstruction with the assistance of Gene Kolkman;

· Economic development;

· Federal land withdrawals;

· Land exchanges and acquisitionsand exploring ways to expedite these processes;

· Noxious weed control;

· Piñion Juniper Harvest:NTS Development Corporation intends to harvest Piñion Juniper formanufacture into wood chips and other timber-based consumer goods. He expressedappreciation regarding the actions of Gene Kolkman in facilitating meetingswith United States Senator Harry Reid’s staff to reach this goal; and

· Wilderness Study Areas (WSA):Addressing the issue of removal of nonqualifying areas

ASSEMBLY Committee on Taxation

Seventy-First Session

April 5, 2001

Mike L. Baughman, Ph.D., Nevada Test SiteDevelopment Corporation (NTSDC), Lincoln County, the city of Caliente,Eureka and Lander Counties, supported the concepts of A.B. 434 anddeveloping renewable energy projects in rural areas. NTSDC worked withthe rural counties to create employment and income opportunities aroundthe Nevada Test Site. The bill created incentives for renewable energyfirms to locate to Nevada during rapidly escalating energy prices. Thedevelopment of geothermal and other renewable sources reduced Nevada’sdependency on fossil fuels and helped stabilize energy prices. The companiesproduced income, employment, and stimulated other types of economic development.The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had proposed to thin Pinyon-Juniperwoodlands in White Pine and Lincoln Counties through selective harvest.The thousands of tons of biomass produced would provide energy comparableto coal (Exhibit K). The bill needed a sunset clause because fiveyears was sufficient to attract new businesses. They were concerned aboutthe Commission on Economic Development approving or denying tax exemptionsthat did not meet the initial criteria but were in the best interest ofthe state. They felt "undue uncertainty" should not be present in a programthat was clearly designed to benefit Nevada.

RAC Minutes -
JUNE 21, 2001
(attendees list omitted)

Interface Issues
 - Gene Kolkman, Field Manager, Ely Field Office
Kolkman gave a presentation on the Ely Urban Interface Treatment Area. The study is
being conducted by Argon Laboratories.
BLM needs to treat areas that are being invaded by woodlands that traditionallyhave been
BLM has collected soils data to determine what species should be inareas that have been
out competed by juniper and pinyon.
Kolkman showed slides of the proposed treatment areas at Ward Mountainand Comins
Lake just outside of Ely.
This treatment will minimize the canopy effect of a woodland fire,and will restore about
20,000 acres of sage grouse habitat near Ward Mountain.
They hope to get back about 2 ½ million acres of sagebrush and4 million acres of healthy
woodlands.  Otherwise, Kolkman believes woodlands won't be therein the next 100
They are not dealing with woodlands, they are dealing with sagebrushareas.
This will not be a quick process.  BLM will hold public meetingsas Kolkman wants the
public's input.
Ken Dixon, Lincoln County Public Lands, asked Kolkman what the timeframe was to get
started.  Kolkman hopes to get started by August of this year. This information is
available to the public.
A lot of sites have native seeds.  When they open up the canopyareas, the native seeds

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
tend come back, especially sagebrush.
Selby asked how long it would take to treat the 20,000 acres. Kolkman replied 3 to 4
years, as they hope to treat about 8 to 10 acres per day.
The question was raised about the wood by-product (biomass). Kolkman answered that
some businesses such as the City of Ely and the Ely Shoshone are interested. The wood
would be given to these businesses.
Some mines have been experimenting with biomass and sludge to producetop soil.
Another company makes yule logs they export to Europe.
Selby asked what a rough dollar estimate was for treatment.  Kolkmanstated that with no
reseeding, it would cost about $200 per acre.  If they have toreseed, it would cost about
$400 per acre.  If a fire occurs, it costs several hundreds ofthousands of dollars.  BLM is
still fighting cheat grass from the Cherry Creek fire last year.
Update by Tom Kuekes, USFS - Spring Mountain National Recreation Area
The Spring Mountain National Recreation Area
 has increased its staff considerably
because of the national fire plan directives.  They have doubledthe number of fire
technicians.  These technicians will be making contact with thepublic­not just working on
fires.  Hiatt asked if these fire technicians can also educatethe public about the threat of
weeds.  Kuekes answered yes.
Kyle Canyon
- The Forest Service (FS) hopes to begin this fall with new fuel breaks.
They are in the process of assessing what type of treatment they shoulduse.
They are also taking a look at what they can do to enhance emergencyevacuation plans.
Open fires
 are prohibited as of June 15 in Clark County.  This year,for the first time, they
have implemented new restrictions that will go into effect each year. These restrictions
will help reduce the risk of fire around communities.
Wild Horses and Burros
 - In connection with the National Wild Horse Association, the
FS has hired summer help to monitor wild horses.  The first projectwill be an emergency
gather in Lee Canyon as there is a traffic safety problem and damageis occurring to the
resources.  Less than 20 animals need to be gathered.

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Recreation Fee Demo
 - Still working on this issue as they believe it is a very important
tool.  They will contract with the FS enterprise team this summer. There are a lot issues
they need to work out such as what activities will require a fee.
The FS hosted
National Trails Day
 on June 3. About 100 people were at Coal Creek and
helped construct bike trails, put of signs, etc.  Young pointedout that during this event
they discovered a lot of old barbed wire on the ground.  The equestriangroups would like
to get together and clean this area up.
Wilderness Areas
 - A process similar to the Southern Nevada Public Land Management
Act (SNPLMA) is being put together by Senators Reid and Ensign. They will be heavily
involved in wilderness issues which are part of this legislation. The FS will share areas
with BLM.  A field trip will be scheduled for the Harrison WildernessStudy Area
sometime soon.
 - The FS has six projects that were funded in Round 1 that willbe going out
for contract.  The first project to come on line is FleishmanCampground.  Most buildings
were built in the 1960s, and do not accommodate modern day camping. The Kyle Canyon
Visitors Center will get a new modular building.  This will increasetheir capacity to handle
about four times as many visitors.  This center will also havehandicapped accessability.
The FS needs to look at a larger facility for visitor contact. Thepublic is suggesting they
buy the old golf course, but it requires lots of work and reclamation. Outside Las Vegas
has proposed to help the FS with an engineering design.  Selbyasked what the asking
price is for the property.  Kuekes said he has heard about $10million, but he stated that
the price will have to come down to match the appraisal.  Thereare about 120 acres,
which is an inholding surrounded by FS. Outside Las Vegas is goingto submit a proposal
to the SNPLMA group in Round 3 call for nominations to acquire thisproperty.
Round 2 Recommendations
 - Jo Simpson, Chief, Office of Communications, Nevada
State Office ,wanted to let the RAC know that State Director Bob Abbeyis going to
Washington, D.C. next week to discuss the Round 2 spending package,and BLM will
announce the approved acquisitions after the Secretary makes an announcement.
Barbara Callihan, RAC member, asked if any consideration has been givento the Blue Tree area?
Kuekes answered that as far as SNPLMA projects, nothing is funded,but the FS is doing other
things in that area.
Nellis Air Force Base Plan (see attachment) -
Mark Morse, Field Manager, Las Vegas Field
Morse showed RAC members a proposal for the revised boundaries forthe Nevada Wild Horse
Range Herd Management Area on a map.  The remainder of the currentNevada Wild Horse Range
would have horses traveling into the area, but a herd could not beestablished outside the marked

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
total number of horses
 would be established based on monitoring data. The Nevada
Division of Wildlife (NDOW) and the Department of Energy do not wantwild horses on
the Cactus Flat area.  They proposed another area, which is smaller. Colonel White of the
Air Force agrees with them, as the Air Force doesn't want to loosethe Tonopah Test
Range. Morse proposed to change the area, but the Air Force said theywould not provide
water.  At the next meeting, the Air Force proposed if BLM wouldgo back to the marked
area, the Air Force would provide water.  BLM had meetings withthe wild horse groups
afterwards to see if they could live with this proposal.  Thehorse groups asked BLM to
find out if there was really a safety issue.  The initial studyindicates there has only been one
accident and it killed the horse not the person.
The Air Force will make a presentation to BLM.  BLM will not befinished with the plan in
October as earlier scheduled. Young said the wild horse group requesteda list of accidents
that have occurred with antelope because there are lots of antelopeon the test range.
BLM just finished a census count of horses and there are 1,191 horseson the Nellis Base.
BLM plans on conducting a gather there in 2002.
Stan Smith, RAC member, asked Morse that if the appropriate managementlevel (AML) is
per density, and if indeed, this area is moved to the black line onthe map, will AML come
down?  Morse said yes.  AML will be based on available forageand water.  The AML will
stay with 600 to 1,000 animals.
Hiatt commented that at the last meeting, RAC members had a discussionabout the AML
and the Preferred Alternative was controversial.  The Air Forcewill provide water at
various sites, so this changes dynamics as far as horses are concerned. How is BLM
proposing to deal with drought in these areas. Morse commented thatthis will be re-
established when they evaluate AML.
Maurice Frank Churchill went through the area five years ago duringthe drought and the
horses were in terrible shape.  He wasn't aware of the AdvisoryBoard then to tell them
there was cruelty to animals.  Through involvement with the NevadaTest Site, the tribe
does cultural clearances, and he gets a chance to look at things besidescultural.  His is
concerned for the horses.  He warned other RAC members and BLMto not let the horses
get too far out of hand.
Ken Dixon ­ Asked Morse if the Air Force is proposing to do anyfencing?.  Morse
answered no, the only thing that would be developed would be water.
Smith asked why NDOW was uncomfortable with the proposed HMA. Morse stated that
they don't agree with any movement of horses.  They differ inallowances of horses.

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Wickersham commented that the history in the area has been becauseof budget constraints,
then the animals are compromised.  BLM needs to be able to dealwith the problem
immediately­not wait a year or two when money is available. If there is a way through
this, then the confidence would be there.
Kolkman pointed out that the Ely district has 3,000 horses over AML,and they have been
hauling water to some areas already.  They have been incurringrange damage and will
spend $300 per acre to try to fix the damage.
Selby adjourned the meeting for lunch at 11:30 a.m.  Lunch wasprovided by Ely Field Office.  The
meeting reconvened at 1 p.m.
Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Plan
 - Gretchen Burris, Recreation Planner, Ely Field Office.
Ely staff  have been working with a local group called the DuckcreekBasin group, and they are
dealing more with the access issue instead of OHV use.  Jack Tribblefrom the Ely Field Office has
been the main person working on this plan.  The Duckcreek areahas received a lot of use.  All
concerned participants want to put the brakes on "new roads" and theaccess situation.  The map
Burris brought shows current roads and trails in the area.  Ateam is conducting a public review of
the map.  The suggested action will go to public land managersfor review.  She encourages broad-
based participation.
BLM has a student from Utah that will inventory all roads and trailson BLM land in the
Duckcreek Basin.
Chicas commented that he would like to see direction of travel includedin the Duckcreek
Selby asked if they did an aerial or satellite survey.  Burrissaid they have used existing
data, but have not had new surveys done.  Have discussed usingexisting military aerials to
inventory.  Students are making extensive documentation on whattype of damage is being
done and what condition the roads and trails are in.  Kolkmansaid they hope to use
classified technology to map soil and vegetation, but it is still inthe discussion stage.
Burris told RAC members that another issue they are trying to get ahandle on is permitted
events such as motorcycle and buggy racing.  They are in the processof looking at courses
that have been used and deciding which ones shouldn't be used again. Will have folks GPS
these courses.  They have digitized the courses in the Calientearea, and it looks like
Maichle commented that he conducted races for years in Lincoln County,and there were
some areas that after the race you couldn't tell where something hadbeen.  Maichle said his
club likes to leave an area alone until you cannot tell they held arace there.  Burris said
they have talked about rotation.  Maichle said most clubs arepretty conservative and want
to do the right thing.  BLM has much more of a problem with unpermittedevents than

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
permitted events.

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Smith commented that he hopes that when BLM goes through these processes,they talk to
a wide spectrum of people, not just race groups.  Some groupswould like to see sacrifice
areas other than rotation areas.
Burris said Ely Field Office right now has just 300,000 acres of limitedroads and 11.7
acres of roads open.  They have looked at sacrifice areas andare actually looking at
specific areas.  Smith commented that he had done a lot of researchfor Desert Research
Institute, and with a major race, you don't recover.  Smith saidthere have been a lot of
races where there has been collateral damage away from the road too.
Hiatt commented that as the number of people increase, roads increase,and so does the
amount of dust created.  If we fail to recognize all of the dustwe put into the air, we will
see limitations put on how we can use these resources.  Basically,it comes back to the
health of the land.
Selby asked Kolkman if he still wanted the RACs to develop standardsand guidelines.
Kolkman said yes.  Simpson stated that the Northeast Great BasinRAC is working on
standards and guidelines for OHV.
Maichle stated that season of use, weeds, etc., are a part of OHV usetoo.  The Nevada
Department of Wildlife needs to be brought in on the discussions sincehunters are one of
the biggest users of OHV.  Maichle said seasonal restrictionswould benefit everyone.
Lincoln County Lands Action
 ­ This is part of a Tri-County action.  They set theland priorities.
The main priority is the Mesquite land sale.  They have been directedby Congress to sell 6,500
acres by October.  Unfortunately, they have some serious issueswith the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Power Pants
 ­ The issue is with available water.  Two power plantsthat are interested in building
in Lincoln and White Pine counties just issued a Notice of Intent onJune 13.
Mesquite Land Issue
 - Two to three sources of water are involved and a major aquifer. With
this, there is speculation as to where water will come from and howit will be pumped.
A power plant is more definitive, even though there are some elementsof risk.  These will
be plan amendments that will come before this board.  BLM hasan obligation to staff these
questions out.  So far, Kolkman is very happy with the cooperationfrom the two
companies they are working with:  PG&E and Co-Gentrics. BLM has contracted to get
the best scientific evidence available before issuing a decision.
Kolkman is not comfortable for BLM to say right now that they cannotdevelop in
Mesquite.  There are some outstanding differences of opinion onwater rights.  It is their
legal responsibility to disclose what they find out.
Bill Mull, RAC member stated that he had a conflict with Vidler pumpingwater out of the

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Panaca area because this will effect his springs.  Mull believessomeone should address the
issue of pumping water out of local areas.
Other Lands Issues
 - A delegation from the three counties­White Pine, Lincolnand Nye) is in
Washington, D.C., trying to drum up support to resolve their wildernessissues.  Under the Lincoln
County Lands Act, BLM is required to put proceeds from sale in an interestbearing account and
spend the money on land acquisitions and significant cultural issues. This delegation is trying to
get that modified so the money can be used in Lincoln and White Pinecounties for significant
cultural resources and recreation purposes.
Field Office Updates
Battle Mountain Field Office
 - Craig McKinnon, Field Station Manager, Tonopah (see
The Tonopah 300 OHV race is starting tomorrow, June 22.  Thisis the number 1 gross event for
Planning Efforts
 - Battle Mountain is working on the Area of Critical EnvironmentalConcern
(ACEC) plan amendment.  They received 54 proposals which theysubmitted to Esmerald and Nye
counties.  Agee asked what was the biggest acreage proposed. McKinnon answered that it would
be about 40,000 acres.  Commissioners were told they should onlyask for ones they believe would
be important for the county.
Central Nevada Elk Plan
 - They are using the elk plan that was passed in Lincoln andWhite Pine
counties as a template. The Duckwater and Yomba tribes have been consultedon this issue.
Reveille Allotment
  ­ Consists of 600,000+ acres.  There are a lot of controversialissues.
Permittee has a 12-month season of use lease.  BLM made a significantcut to this use.  Permittee
does not believe BLM made wise decisions on his allotments.  Thiswas a very difficult decision.
Permittee has filed actions on BLM.
Hiatt asked if BLM has written a recovery plan for the area. MacKinnon stated that part of
exclosure states they would like to do some seeding in some areas,other than that, no.
Agee stated that she is really frustrated that there could not be anagreement made.
MacKinnon said BLM is taking a stand to say that spring rest is critical.
Maichle said his big concern is that they did not address running ditches. MacKinnon said
they did.  They are in agreement about drying out ditches on publicland.
 - On Sept. 29, BLM will work with Beatty school children to takeout some of the
tamarisk along the creek.  Some money has been dedicated to thistask.
 - Maichle wanted to point out the Rhyolite festival is tentativelyplanned in April 2002.

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Proceeds will go to maintaining the old depot.
Las Vegas Field Office
 ­ Mark Morse, Field Manager
What Kolkman laid out for restoration is very important to Nevada. BLM did not take up this
cause, Kolkman did.  RAC should take advantage of this as BLMwill.
Results of May 9 Land Sale
 - Twenty parcels were up for sale for a total of $11.7 million.  They
sold 1,700 acres for over $40 million.  American (Del Webb) bought1,700 acres.  BLM and Del
Webb are working on a development agreement.
BLM allocated $50 million to land purchases, and projects on publiclands for Round 2 .
The Final Recommendation Package went back to the Secretary in April.
Next year, there will be a planned community in Henderson, and thatsale should bring very
high prices too.
Independent Power Plants
Meadow Valley (PG&E) is getting ready to do an Environmental ImpactStatement ( EIS).
Calpine - This power plant will be located near Moapa.  They havenot secured the water
rights yet.  It will be a water-cooled plant.  Morse hasheard they did a very good EIS.
Three power plants will be located by Apex.  Duke, Reliant andMirant. A lot of
transmission lines will be going out from there.
Further south, two power plants will be located in Primm.  Thesecompanies are doing
Environmental Assessments (EAs) right now.
A wind farm which is west of Jean and Primm will be in Table Mountain. M&N wind
energy secured the right for this energy.  They are going to startan EA.  Total acreage is
4,600 acres.
Agee asked where all the energy will go.  Morse said that GovernorGuinn said that 25
percent would go to Nevada and the rate would be lower for Nevada too. Hiatt said we
are talking about 4,600 megawatts and this is more than Nevada needs.
Blue Diamond Hydro
 ­ Could develop if it is determined they got their permits. Blue Diamond
believes they have gotten all of their permits.  Senator Reidinterprets they did meet their
requirements.  Hiatt said this is a pump power project. Advantage to this plant is that you can shift
when you need the power.
Congressional briefing
 coming up.  Morse stated that if there is anything the RACwould like to
be brought up, let him know.

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Red Rock General Management Plan
 - Protests are being worked on this week.  Will go to
Washington, DC to get them resolved.  A marketing feasibilitystudy is being conducted to put
together an environmental education program.  Abbey's vision isfor inter-city youth to go on
internet on see this information.  The will also use this centeras a wild horse holding facility.
Mesquite Land Sale on Clark County Side
 - Have two mandates by Congress to sell land.  One
is for the airport and one is for 6,000 to 7,000 acres.  Theyran into same concerns with FWS, as
did Ely.  FWS is telling BLM that if they can't guarantee water,they go to jeopardy.  BLM tried to
put together an agreement between FWS, City of Mesquite and BLM thatshows they agree on
New Southern Nevada Law
 - Senators Reid and Ensign want to redo SNPLMA.  Kai Anderson
of Senator Reids staff held a stakeholders meeting.  They wantto designate wilderness in Clark,
Lincoln and Nye counties.  Power companies have worked hard toget area opened up.  At
stakeholders meeting, someone asked about the shooting range. BLM's task will be to sell acreage
between Jean and Primm.   They will have to make a sale on6,600 acres.  Will need a 33-mile
right-of-way.  Some people believe they need another corridorhighway.  Morse has asked to be
part of this legislation effort.
Hughes-Summerlin Corporation
 - The mountain faces are breaking down and Hughes wants to
develop it.  BLM needs to decide where Hughes will develop­onmountainside or on the flat lands.
Most of what Hughes wants has mining claims on it.  BLM will haveto do a validity claim exam.
Henderson college was also on this bill.  320 acres are outsidedisposal area.  Last thing
that may go in is shooting range.
Hiatt said another player at the table is the Multi-Species HabitatConservation Plan
participants.    Looking for mark-up this fall and passagein the spring.
Next RAC meeting
 will be September 6 and 7 in Tonopah.
Maichle brought up
Cal Baird issue
.  He asked if anything had been done or resolved since last
RAC meeting?  Morse answered that BLM might have an allotmentfor him to go to outside of the
state.  Maichle brought more petitions, which he gave to Morse.
There being no further business, Chairperson Selby adjourned the meetingat 4:25 p.m.

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June 21, 2001
         Mojave-Southern RAC
Approved by:
October 01, 2001
Susan Selby, Chair
Mojave-Southern Great Basin
Resource Advisory Council
Minutes provided by Debra Kolkman, Office of Communications, BLM NevadaState Office
1 - Nevada Test and Training Range RMP Update (1 p)
2 - Battle Mountain Field Office Update (2 pp.)
3 - Off Road Vehicle Technical Review Team - Final Report (10 pp.)

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