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Showing posts with the label Nellis

Air Force Proposal to Close Public Lands Lacks Justification

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The Air Force this month released the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for its proposal to take control of hundreds of square miles of public lands to expand training activities at its Nellis Test and Training Range (NTTR) in Nevada, although the report does not adequately explain why alternatives that require less impacts on public lands were abandoned.  The proposal would shut down a significant portion of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, remove protections from key wildlife habitat, and call for building 115 miles of new fence that would block wildlife movement.  The document portrays these steps as the only viable path forward to accommodate expanded training and testing scenarios, but leaves significant gaps in its review of alternatives.


Three Primary Activities: Emitters, Bombing, and Irregular Warfare

To understand why the Air Force needs more land - and to identify alternatives to shutting down portions of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge - we can take a look …

Will the Military Take Over the Desert National Wildlife Refuge?

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The Department of Defense (DOD) is poised to release details next month regarding its proposal to take over a significant portion of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR), close public lands, and incorporate them into the Nellis Test and Training Range.  A review of documents made public so far, however, suggests DOD may be inflating its need to close public lands and assume control of the wildlife refuge.  The Nellis Test and Training Range already spans 4,608 square miles, and within those vast lands there probably are opportunities to accommodate DOD's training needs without significantly eroding public access or wildlife protection.  The options that DOD has proposed so far, however, seem to ignore innovative management approaches and technological solutions that can limit the impact on our public lands.

Lay of the Land:
4,608 Square Miles:  Total area of the current Nellis Test and Training Range.3,292 Square Miles: Portion of the Nellis Test and Training Range where the …

Does The Military Really Need More Desert Bombing Ranges?

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The Department of Defense's recent request to close off additional public lands in Nevada is simply unreasonable in light of the vast amount of land already available to the military for testing and training purposes.  The military is preparing to ask Congress to expand two of its test and training ranges in Nevada by as much as 1,416 square miles, including portions of popular public lands outside of Las Vegas. 

The military has not explained why the 21,000 square miles of existing test and training ranges throughout the southwestern states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico are not sufficient (this total does not count other training ranges in other states and the Pacific Ocean, or smaller military facilities in the southwestern states). At this early stage in the environmental review process, the military has only explained that expanding the Nellis Test and Training Range (NTTR) would “improve the range’s capacity to support testing and training.” For the prop…