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Full text of "Beaver Dam intensive inventory, habitat management plan and final environmental analysis"

BLM LIBHAHY 







88006594 



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nECEIVED 



Dur cf Land Manacrm*>nt 



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;. :: ,°?. MAR2 2 1976 



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'-•A STATE C, f % 
RENO, NEVADA ^ 



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BEAVER DAM INTENSIVE INVENTORY 

HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 
AND 
FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS 



CALIENTE PLANNING UNIT 

LAS VEGAS DISTRICT 

B.L.M. 



FEBRUARY, 1976 



merit 
Federal Center 
i 25 



tf- , 6 3i 3 3 73 35) •■ -^oeWi^ 



."3 

13 ^ 



Intensive Inventory and Analysis 

Beaver Dam N5-WHA-T24 

1975 



Revised By: 

Denise P. Meridith 
District Wildlife Specialist 
Bureau of Land Management 
Las Vegas, Nevada 



With Assistance From and in Cooperation With 

Norm Raymond 
Fish and Game Agent 
Nevada Department of Fish and Game 



Da 



i^l^ 



///■5/7C. 



Da>te 



Concurred B,y-:~""NDF 




Regiojwl Supervisor 
Approved By: BLM 




District Manager 






TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I. Introduction 1 

II. General Description 2 

A. Vegetation 2 

B. Climate 2 

C. Topography 3 

D. Soils 3 

E. Wildlife - - - 4 

F. Wild Horses 6 

III. Wildlife Population Conditions 8 

A. Mule Deer 8 

B. Mountain Lions 9 

C. Small Game 10 

D. Other Wildlife — - 11 

IV. Wildlife Harvest 12 

V. Habitat Requirements 14 

VI. Wildlif Habitat Conditions - 15 

A. Present Situation 15 

B. Potential for Habitat Improvements 23 

VII. Other Problems and Possible Solutions 25 



1- 



Introduction 

The Beaver Dam Wildlife Habitat Area (N5-WHA-T24) is located in 
Lincoln County, Nevada and includes 627, of the Nevada Department 
of Fish and Game Management Unit No. 24 (see maps #1 and #2). 
National resource lands total about 616,000 acres, private lands 
about 17,000 acres and the Beaver Dam State Park covers 2,000 
acres. 

A wide variety of wildlife resides in the area: over 300 species 
of birds, over 50 of mammals, over 15 of reptiles and amphibians, 
and several species of fish. Two inventories and habitat manage- 
ment plans should be completed for the area. At a later date, 
an inventory and HMP will be completed for the aquatic habitat 
in this WHA (Beaver Dam, Clover, Cottonwood, Pine and Ash Creeks). 

This inventory and its accompanying HMP deal with terrestrial 
wildlife habitat. It is an update of the inventory completed by 
Lewis Myers in 1971. The inventory includes a general description 
of the WHA, wildlife population conditions, harvest and habitat 
requirements and a discussion of the present condition of wild- 
life habitat, management problems and possible solutions. 




Map No. 1 

B.L.M. ADMINISTRATION 

NEVADA 



N5JWHA-T24 
BEAVER 
DAM 



rrwnii 



I matt l 

Eatjc ■ Clill 
±j?j£ J 

DLN \ 



(^ADOW VAUtYlCAMKilOUND 



MouguiO t 
Bud. Min ,| 




-2- 



II. General Description 
A. Vegetation 



Most of the Beaver Dam area supports a dense juniper-pinyon 
woodland with sagebrush and cliffrose understories . Cliff- 
rose and bitterbrush are only locally abundant, seldom ex- 
ceeding 10 percent of the composition, and they are typi- 
cally over-utilized, decadent, unproductive plants. Most 
of the area lacks a good variety of browse species. Typical 
stands contain an over-abundance of sagebrush, plentiful 
yellow-top rabbitbrush, and a tract to 10 percent of cliff- 
rose. Bitterbrush replaces cliffrose at higher elevations. 
Middle elevations support an apparent Pur shia- Cowan ia hy- 
bridized complex. Serviceberry grows with cliffrose- 
bitterbrush primarily in the Barclay summer allotment, locally 
on the south slope of the Sawmill Range, and in Pennsylvania 
Canyon. 

Browse mixtures, containing clif frose-bitterbrush, service- 
berry, silk tassel, sagebrush, manzanita, rabbitbrush, Gambel's 
oak, and Gregg's snowbrush occur primarily in burned areas 
on the south slope of the Sawmill Range. Burns north of 
the Sawmill Range typically revert to unproductive sagebrush 
stands. 

Forbs are conspicuously absent from most areas, chaining and 
seeding areas being the commonest exceptions. Many chainings 
and seedings have reverted to dense sagebrush-rabbitbrush 
stands through dncontrolled livestock use. A great variety 
of native forbs exists, though densities are quite low. 
Important native species include, but are not limited to: 
Eriogonum spp , Lomatium sp , Perife temon spp , Phlox spp , 
Emphorbia sp , Sphaeralcea spp , Erigeron sp , Balsamortiiza sp , 
and Trifolium sp . 

Grasses are only locally abundant, being restricted primarily 
to chainings and seedings. Residual stands of blue grams, 
needle and thread, Nevada bluegrass, Indian rice grass, and 
galleta suggest quality bunch grasses were once important 
constituents of plant cover. 



B. Climate 



Precipitation varies with altitude from 8.8 inches at 
Caliente to 14 inches in the highest mountains. Most of the 
area falls within the 10-inch precipitation zone. Most pre- 



-3- 



cipitation occurs as rainfall. Snow pack, seldom exceeds one 
foot. The highest peaks may maintain winter snow packs of 
3-4 feet. The following chart shows the monthly distribution 
of precipitation in Caliente. 

(inches) 



Month 


Av. Prec. 


Jan 


.86 


Feb 


.80 


Mar 


.92 


Apr 


.74 


May 


.51 


June 


.38 



Month 


Av. Prec. 


July 


.84 


Aug 


1.06 


Sept 


.53 


Oct 


.85 


Nov 


.63 


Dec 


.99 



Jan 


30° 


Feb 


35.7° 


Mar 


43.6° 


Apr 


52.5° 


May 


60.5° 


June 


68.2 



U. S. Department of Commerce, 1960 

Droughts sometimes occur and annual precipitation in Caliente 
may be only 4-5 inches (507 o of normal). 

Mean yearly temperature at Caliente is 53.0°F., with extremes 
of from below 0° in winter to over 100° in summer. Average 
monthly temperatures at Caliente: 

July 76.0° 

Aug 74.0° 

Sept 66.1° 

Oct 54.1° 

Nov 41.7° 

Dec 33.4° 

High winds and temperatures contribute to high evaporation 
rates (50-70 inches/year). Humidity is very low, dropping 
below 15% during the summer months. 

C. Topography 

Topography is characterized by a large rolling to flat high- 
land sloping from about 5,000 feet on the west to 6,000 feet 
on the east. The southern portion is rough and mountainous 
(Sawmill Range), sloping southward from peaks about 7,000 
feet high, to the flat Tule Desert, only 3,600 feet high. 

D. Soils 

Soils of the area are lithosols and browns, both shallow and 
weakly developed. Both soils are products more of geologic 
erosion than of envrionmental and soil forming factors. Soils 
are relatively unproductive, being suitable mostly for range- 



-4- 



land. Bare soil sites, devoid of vegetative cover are not 
uncommon in climax situations. Parent materials are ig- 
neous, being mostly acidic rhyolite. 



E. Wildlife 



The following species occur in the Beaver Dam Wildlife 
Habitat Area: 

Species Lists Follows: 

A. Birds (refer to N-5 District Bird List) 

Bird species, totalling 326, have been listed in 
the District Bird List. Most probably can be found 
in the T-24 habitat area with aquatic and gallina- 
ceous species being the commonest exceptions. 

B. Mammals: 

1. Muledeer (common) 

2. Bighorn (rare, may wander into Meadow Valley Wash) 

3. Cougar (widespread in small numbers) 

4. Bobcat (common) 

5. Coyote (common) 

6. Kit fox (fairly common, foothills, desert) 

7. Grey fox (common, brushy-rocky) 

8. Badger (fairly common, dry hills, valleys) 

9. Spotted skunk (brushy, rocky) 

10. Striped skunk (near water) 

11. Long- tailed weasel (not found in very dry areas) 

12. Ring-tailed cat (cliffs, canyons, attics) 

13. Raccoon (usually near water) 

14. Big free-tailed bat (uncommon) 

15. Mexican free-tailed bat (common, caves, buildings) 

16. Pallid bat (common, moist areas) 

17. Long-eared bat (common, caves, buildings) 
*18. Spotted bat 

19. Hoary bat (common, trees, shrubs) 

20. Red bat (very uncommon, fringe species) 

21. Big brown bat (common, buildings) 

22. Western pipistrelle (common, wet areas) 

23. Silvery-haired bat (forrested, wet areas) 

24. Small -footed myotis (common) 

25. Hairy-winged myotis (forrested, wet areas) 

26. Little brown myotis (very common, wet areas) 

27. Townsend ground squirrel (common, valleys) 

28. Rock squirrel (common, rocky) 



* endangered status in the State of Nevada 



-5- 



29. Antelope ground squirrel (common, -widespread) 

30. Least chipmunk (common, sage, pinyon- juniper) 

31. Say chipmunk 

32. Cliff chipmunk (common, pinyon- juniper) 
33' Botta pocket gopher 

34. Little pocket mouse (pinyon- juniper) 

35. Great Basin pocket mouse (sage, juniper- piny on) 

36. Long- tailed pocket mouse (valleys) 
37« Ord Kangaroo rat (sandy sagebrush) 
38. Merriam kangaroo rat (valleys) 

39* Beaver (streams) 

kO. Northern kangaroo mouse (common, sandy) 

Ul. Southern kangaroo mouse (common, sandy) 

k2. Western harvest mouse (grassy) 

U3. Canyon mouse (rocky) 

kk. Deer mouse (very common, ubiquitous) 

k 1 ?, Pinyon mouse (rocky pinyon- juniper) 

k6. Desert wood rat (very common, rocky scrub) 

k"J , Bushy- tailed wood rat (very common, rocks, caves) 

U8. Meadow mouse (common, dense grass) 

49. Sagebrush vole (uncommon, sagebrush) 

50. House mouse (common, habitatious ) 

51. Porcupine (uncommon) 

52. Black- tailed jackrabbit (common, shrubby) 

53* Nuttall cottontail (common, shrubby, woodlands) 

5^. Audubon cottontail (common, shrubby) 

C. Birds - See Las Vegas District Bird Checklist 

D. Amphibians and Reptiles 

1. Great Basin spadefoot toad 

2. Western toad 

3. Southwestern toad (headwaters of Colorado System) 
k. Red-spotted toad (possible southern part of area) 

5. Leopard frog 

6. Bullfrog (introduced) 

7. Banded gecko (rocky, desert to woodland) 

8. Zebra- tailed lizard (open areas) 

9. Leopard lizard (open) 

10. Collared lizard (rocky) 

11. Desert spiny lizard 

12. Western fence lizard (variable habitat) 

13. Sagebrush lizard (sagebrush, manzanita, woodlands) 
Ik. Side-blotched lizard (variable habitat) 

15. Desert horned lizard (washes, flats) 

16. Western skink (variable habitat) 



-6- 



17. Western whip tail (open aspects; 

*18„ Do.^rt Tortoise (southern part of P. U.J 

L9 C Ringneck snake 

10. Red racer 

21 Striped whipsnake 

22. Wc lern yell< w-b>_l J ied racer 

23. W tern paten -nosed snake 

24. Cpher snakt 

" ". California I. i n^ snake 

(• . T ..)ng-no^eci ake 

27. Western ga.i.er nakf 

?A . Western gr-mnr snake 

29. : i gVi t snak( 

3D. Jreaf Basi. i^Ltlesnake 

31. Sidewinder (possibly southern part of area) 

32. '.oeckled mttlesn-iit (.possibly southern part of area) 

g Fish.s 

1. Rainbow trout (iut oduced, Clover Ci „ , Beaver Dam Cr.) 

2. Mountain suckt-r .Clover Cr ^ 

3. Suckled dace i.e".vei Da\, or. i 

h ' irgin River s ; e aacr (Ge-iver Dam Cr. N 

Wi Id llorj;* s 

Wild horses occupy m«>M of the Re..ver Liarr. WHA. The horse 

inventories conduct ci in 1974 revealed between 275 and J80 
ai.imals: 



Rabbit, Sheep, Miller Sprint. jO-60 

Oakwells 15-20 

South Mosie 10-1." 

Empy Wash 15-20 

Two seeding* 14-23 

Ash Spring 5-10 

Sam's Camp Spring 4-6 

Gordon Spring 4-6 

East Pass 10-15 

Pine Canyon Dam 10-12 

Ella Spring 20-25 

Carson and Johnson Spring 15-20 

Bitter Creek 12-15 

Fife Spring 5-10 

Pine, Cottonwood ar.d A ,h Spring 50-70 

Sheep Spring 10-12 

Buckboard 15-20 

Etna 6-8 



Rarp <?t-flt-iis in flip <5f->it-o nf NairaAa 



-7- 



Horses can make heavy demands on the habitat of an area: 
they each consume up to 15 gallons of water per day and 
utilize 12-14 AUMs (animal unit months) of forage. This 
pressure is all compounded by the fact that horse use is 
yearlong. 

Some competition between horses and deer is apparent on 
deer yearlong range and on crucial deer winter habitat on 
Little Mountain. The exact extent of competition for forage 
is not known because of the lack of information on wild 
horse food habits. But horses are known to utilize the 
following plants: 

Delicious sagebrush 

Bitterbrush 

Desert almond 

Indian ricegrass 

Needle-and- thread grass 

Galleta grass 

4-wing saltbush 

White sage 

More research is needed to determine food habits, horse 
seasonal use, and methods of relieving horse/wildlife compe- 
tition. 



-7- 



Horses can make heavy demands on the habitat of an area: 
they each consume up to 15 gallons of water per day and 
utilize 12-14 AUMs (animal unit months) of forage. This 
pressure is all compounded by the fact that horse use is 
yearlong. 

Some competition between horses and deer is apparent on 
deer yearlong range and on crucial deer winter habitat on 
Little Mountain. The exact extent of competition for forage 
is not known because of the lack of information on wild 
horse food habits. But horses are known to utilize the 
following plants: 

Delicious sagebrush 

Bitterbrush 

Desert almond 

Indian ricegrass 

Needle-and- thread grass 

Galleta grass 

4-wing saltbush 

White sage 

More research is needed to determine food habits, horse 
seasonal use, and methods of relieving horse/wildlife compe- 
tition. 



-8- 



III. Population Conditions 
A. Mule Deer 

1. Present Numbers 



The Beaver Dam wildlife habitat area (T24) contains 
approximately 68 percent of the muledeer habitat within 
Nevada Department of Fish and Game management area 
no. 24. NDF&G conducts no formal herd studies due to 
low muledeer densities and lack of well defined season- 
al range use patterns. 

The Beaver Dam habitat area is recognized as a fairly 
intact muledeer herd or management unit. Its 840 square 
miles of deer habitat (68 percent of Area 24) supports 
a minimum established population which varies from about 
800 deer to 8,000 deer in a "boom or bust" fashion. 

Herd level may be influenced by irregular winter migra- 
tions from the adjacent Dixie National Forest Lands in 
Utah. NDF&G files note deer influx from Utah during 
the 1959 hunting season. 

Analysis of harvest offers the only present opportunity 
for estimating minimum deer numbers. In 1959 - 1,152 
deer were harvested in Area 24 (NDF&G files) under 
"either sex" regulations with light hunter pressure 
(10 hunter days/sq. mile of less). This would repre- 
sent approximately 10 percent of the population, for a 
minimum total of 11,500 deer, or about 10 deer per 
square mile of habitat (1,240 miles of habitat in 
Area 24). 

During the late 1960's harvest dropped sharply to about 
60 animals under "bucks only" regulations with light hunt- 
ing pressure. This represents about 4 percent of the 
herd, which computes to be about 1,500 deer, or about 

1 deer per square mile. Using this same method of cal- 
culation, a buck only harvest of 96 animals in 1973 
would indicate a present population of 2,400 deer or about 

2 deer per square mile. 

2. Herd Composition and Productivity 

Herd composition data is too fragmentary for conclusion. 
The population today seems to be stable. But because 



-9- 



of low elevations (no good summer habitat) and varia- 
tions in precipitation, the types and amounts of forage, 
and in turn, herd productivity, fluctuates greatly. 

3. Potential Carrying Capacity and Numbers 

Range condition data is not available for the period 
during which deer numbers were high. It is not known 
to what degree "hunting pressure" influenced harvest 
during the early 1950' s through early 1960's. Doubt- 
less, this 10-year period was a productive period for 
deer. 

Average harvest for the period 1956-1965 was 709 deer 
(buck harvest doubled for 1964 B.O. hunt). Assuming 
this represented 10 percent of the population, a mini- 
mum 7,000 deer inhabited Area 24, of which about 4,700 
(5 deer/mi^) inhabited the Beaver Dam habitat area. 
This would seem a reasonable potential carrying capacity 
for this arid area. 

B. Mountain Lion 

1. Present Numbers, Population Trend 

This area of the Lincoln County has a resident popula- 
tion of mountain lions. No formal surveys have been 
conducted to determine population trend. Harvest trend 
(which increases and decreases with changing snow condi- 
tions and hunting pressures) is generally not believed 
to be an indication of population trend. The population 
of lions seems to be stable or slightly increasing at 
the moment, but there is a great need for research 
programs to determine populations, distributions, trends 
and the effect of hunting. 

2„ Potential Carrying Capacity 

The carrying capacity of the habitat for mountain lions 
is directly proportional to the carrying capacity of the 
area for mule deer. If forage and water conditions can 
be improved in order to increase the numbers of deer 
(the main diet of the lion) and cover destruction and 
poaching or harassment of lions is kept to a minimum, 
this WHA can support a much larger population of lions 
than it now does. 



-10- 



C. Small Game 

1. Present Numbers, Population Trends 

The major small game species in the Beaver Dam WHA 
include Gambel ' s quail, chukar partridge, waterfowl, 
mourning dove, and cottontial rabbits. 

Table #1 shows adult/young ratios and average broods of 
Gambel 's quail in Lincoln County. Quail production 
seems to be improving and if good precipitation is 
received for the next two years population should continue 
to increase. 

Chukar have been planted in Lincoln County since the 
30 f s; in 1973, 1250 birds were released at Elgin, 
Clover Creek and other sites in Lincoln County. Pre- 
sent populations, however, are very low and there is 
no open season in Lincoln County. 

Low numbers of rabbits, mourning doves, and waterfowl 
occur on private, irrigated lands and along Clover 
Creek and Meadow Valley Wash. Table #2 shows that rabbit 
densities have decreased drastically in the past 2 
years. Little information is available on population 
trends for the other species. But their populations 
seem to fluctuate with changes in annual precipitation 
and the resulting forage. 



Table #1 Gambel's Quail - Population Data - Lincoln County 





Total 












Birds 










Year 


Sampled 


Adult 


Young 


Adult /Young 


Ave. Brood 


1965 


618 


117 


501 


100/428 


12 


1966 


3,783 


516 


3,267 


100/633 


9.6 


1967 


1,628 


237 


1,391 


100/587 


11.0 


1968 


6,504 


1,088 


5,404 


100/496 


11.8 (178) 


1969 


639 


101 


538 


100/532 


11.5 (41) 


1971 


247 


51 


196 


100/393 


8 (9) 


1972 


612 


149 


453 


100/304 

• 


7.6 


1973 


625 


97 


528 


100/540 


12.9 


1974 


1,644 


327 


1,317 


100/403 


8.7 



Table #2 Cottontail and Pigmy Rabbits Population - Lincoln County 

Year Rabbit/Mile 

1967 1.27 

1968 2.27 

1969 1.2 

1970 1.7 

1971 2.1 

1972 .37 

1973 .58 



■ 11- 



2. Potential Carrying Capacity 

All of the above mentioned species have sustained 
much larger populations in the past than they do now. 
In 1968, nearly 18,000 Gambel's Quail were harvested. 
In 1969, 2.27 rabbits/mile were surveyed. In 1970, 
over 9,000 doves were taken. (See Tables #4, 2, 5). 
With improvement of food, water and protection of cover 
in this habitat area, there seems to be no reason why 
the area cannot support much more small game that it 
presently does. 

D. Other Wildlife 

1. Present Numbers, Population Trends 

Little data is available on numbers or trends of popu- 
lations of furbearers or non-game species in the 
Beaver Dam WHA. The productivity of furbearers and 
birds of prey is dependent on the population trends of 
prey species like deer, rodents, reptiles and insects. 
The productivity of these prey species, in turn, is 
dependent on precipitation and forage conditions. As 
climatic and forage conditions fluctuate in the habi- 
tat area (droughts are common), the population's of 
furbearers and non-game species can be expected to rise 
and fall. 

There are several protected, rare or endangered species 
present in the area. Peregrine falcons (classified 
"endangered" by the Federal government) have been sighted 
in the Clover Mountains. Prairie falcons, golden eagles 
and other raptors (protected by the State) may also pass 
through the area. Desert tortoises (classified "rare" 
by the State) may be found in the very southern section 
of the WHA. Finally the spotted bat (classified "en- 
dangered" by the State) might possibly exist in the 
Clover Mountain area. Cooperative research with 
Nevada Department of Fish and Game and the U. S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service to determine distribution and 
trend of these animals. 

2. Potential Carrying Capacity 

With improvements in forage and water availability and 
protection of cover, potential for increasing the 
populations of furbearers, songbirds, rodents and rep- 
tiles is high. But more research is needed to determine 
population trends and distribution of these species. 



12- 



IV. Wildlife Harvest 

Tables 3-7 list the harvest statistics of the last eight years 
for mule deer in Beaver Dam Management Area 24 and for other 
major game species (Gambel's quail, mourning dove, cottontail 
rabbits and mountain lions) in Lincoln County. Table 8 is a 
summary of furbearers harvest in Lincoln County in 1973-4. 



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Table 


4 Gambel's Quail 


Harvest - 


■ Lincoln County 








Kill/ 








Total 


Kill/ 


Hunter 






Year 


Harvest 


Hunter 


Days 


Hunters 


Days 


1965 


2,873 


6.9 


2.5 


416 


1,118 


1966 


4,004 


8.2 


2.6 


484 


1,540 


1967 


12,660 


12.2 


3.5 


1,032 


3,600 


1968 


17,979 


13.9 


3.8 


1,287 


4,641 


1969 


14,858 


11.3 


3.0 


13,011 


4,918 


1970 


6,270 


6.3 


2.2 


990 


2,760 


1971 


2,745 


6.1 


2.4 


450 


1,110 


1972 


1,792 


2.9 


1.3 


598 


1,285 


1973 


7,373 


7.2 


3.2 


1,022 


2,242 



Table 


5 Dove 


Harvest - 


■ Lincoln County 








Total 


Kill/ 


Kill/ 


Tot # 


Tot # 


Year 


Harvest 


Hunter 


Hunter Days 


Hunters 


Days 


1965 


2,795 


12.6 


4.8 


221 


572 


1966 


2,189 


11.0 


3.0 


198 


726 


1967 


7,980 


15.4 


3.9 


516 


2,016 


1968 












1969 


8,255 


12.9 


3.8 


637 


2,158 


1970 


9,495 


14.0 


4.8 


675 


1,980 


1971 


4,400 


9.5 


2.7 


465 


1,635 


1972 


7,293 


13.3 


3.3 


545 


2,197 


1973 


11,449 


13.6 


5.1 


840 


2,203 



Table 6 


Harvest 


Cottontail and 


Pigmy- 


Rabbits 


- Lincoln 


County 


Year 


Total Kill 


Kill/Hunter 


Day 


K/H 


Hunters 


L Days 


1965 


1,027 


0.9 




3.5 


286 


1,040 


1966 


14,096 


1.3 




5.6 


264 


11,022 


1967 


5,916 


1.7 




7.4 


792 


3,420 


1968 


6,201 


1.7 




7.4 


832 


3,653 


1969 


97,011 


1.5 




8.3 


1,170 


6,136 


1970 


6,945 


1.6 




6.7 


1,035 


4,185 


1971 


4,680 


1.4 




5.8 


795 


3,255 


1972 


3,128 


1.1 




4.2 


737 


2,661 


1973 


1,271 


0.8 




2.3 


542 


1,435 



Table 7 Mountain Lion Harvest - Lincoln County 

Year Total 

1969 10 

1970 11 

1971 7 

1972 10 
1973 



Table 8 Fur Harvest - Lincoln County, 1973-4 

Gray Fox 207 

Raccoon 2 

Bobeat 134 

Coyote 386 

Badger 27 

Striped Skunk 12 

Spotted Skunk 9 

Ring-tail cat 15 



14- 



V. Habitat Requirements 

Table 9 is a summary of the habitat requirements of the major 
wildlife species in the Beaver Dam Habitat Area. 



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15- 



VI. Wildlife Habitat Condition 
A. Present Situation 
1 . Mule Deer 
a. Food 



Mule deer habitat generally recognized as "summer 
range" does not occur in the study area. Good 
muledeer summer range is typically high eleva- 
tion country with an abundance of lush herbaceous and 
broadleaved forage. 

McColm (1968) observed summer range in Nevada is 
generally found above 7,500 feet in elevation. The 
vast majority of Beaver Dam deer habitat is between 
5,000 and 6,000 feet in elevation. The highest ele- 
vations of the Beaver Dam (6,000 to 7,000 feet in 
the Sawmill Range), are marginal as summer deer 
range. 

The situation, then, is one of muledeer inhabiting 
a winter range area yearlong. The highest elevations 
may, during exceptionally good moisture years, provide 
summer range only of a marginal, inferior nature. 
See Map #3. 

Condition of muledeer forage in the Beaver Dam WHA 
can be described on an allotment basis. (See Map 
#4 for outline of allotments). 

(1) Pennsylvania Allotment 

Condition is good. Nearly all has been burned in 
recent years. Much of the southern part is 
chaparral, containing good quantities of cliff- 
rose and serviceberry. Higher elevations, contain 
adequate quanitites of Martin's ceanothus. Forbs 
and grasses are largely lacking except in Sawmill 
Canyon, where most deer and small animal use now 
occurs. 

(2) Cottonwood Allotment 

North-central area in poor condition due to ex- 
cessive cattle use. Cattle concentrate in this 



I V 




■16- 



portion of the allotment. Bitterbrush, service- 
berry, and snowberry are excessively hedged by 
stock. 

Northeastern portion in good condition due to 
burn 10-20 years old and light stock use. South- 
ern two-thirds unburned and in overall good con- 
dition due to light stock use. Cottonwood Canyon 
contains adequate quantities of serviceberry , 
Gambel's oak, and willow. 

Herbaceous vegetation is generally inadequate in 
amount, varying from a trace to 5 percent „ 

The Heaton-Lytle (474) and Henri (551) chainings 
are in very poor condition. Composition is pre- 
dominately sagebrush and young juniper-pinyon. 

(3) Sheep Flat Allotment 

The northern portion consists of numerous large 
crested wheat seedings. These are mostly in good 
condition. 

Small chainings between Sheep and Fife Springs are 
in horrible condition. Sagebrush and young 
juniper-pinyon predominate. Bitterbrush and 
cliffrose are not present. 

Forage conditions are poor in general throughout 
the central portion of the allotment, from Fife 
Spring through Sheep Spring. Cattle use has been 
excessive, resulting in elimination of palatable 
browse, forb, and grass species. 

The higher elevations of the Sawmill Range are 
in good condition, though composition is only 
fair. Forbs range from 2-4 percent and include 
lupine, columbine, phlox and others. Serviceberry 
and sagebrush are plentiful. Bitterbrush occurs 
only in traces. Most browse is chaparral, including 
oak, and manzanita. Ponderosa pine provides the 
aspect. (See Photo #1). Grasses do not exceed 
2-4 percent, and include Nevada bluegrass. 

(4) Barclay Allotment 

The southern slope is a huge burn or series of 
burns. (See Photo #2). Winter forage conditions 



-17- 



are good. Bitterbrush and cliffrose is adequate 
for increased muledeer use. Serviceberry , sage- 
brush, rabbitbrush, shrubby buckwheat, and silk 
tassel are abundant. Deer make significant use 
of silk tassel during winter in this area. Low 
quality shrubs are abundant, and include manzanita, 
squawbush, and live oak. 

Forb and grass composition is low, each varying 
from trace to 2 percent of the composition. 

The Simkins chaining (See Photo #3) completed 
during 1970 vastly improved 3,500 acres. Elimi- 
nation of much juniper pinyon woodland has made 
tremendous release effect on bitterbrush, service- 
berry, etc. Seeded crested wheat has relieved stock 
pressure on browse and improved spring forage 
conditions for muledeer. Forbs, including clover, 
rangeland alfalfa, and small burnet will improve 
summer forage conditions for wildlife. 

The northern portion of the Barclay contains 
the Beaver Dam chaining project. In 1956 - 1,200 
acres were one-way chained and seeded to crested 
wheat, intermediate wheat, western wheatgrass 
and yellow clover. 

Spring-summer forage conditions are good. A great 
variety of grasses and forbs exists, totaling about 
20 percent of the cover. Most browse is sagebrush 
and rabbitbrush. Cliffrose is 3-5 percent of the 
composition. Use is not excessive so quantity 
must be sufficient, A greater variety of browse 
species is desirable. 

(5) Enterprise Allotment 

The northern pasture is in good condition on a 
yearlong basis. Between 1957-64 -3,760 acres 
were sprayed or chained, and seeded to crested 
wheat. A large crested wheat stand is circum- 
scribed by a chained juniper-pinyon area which con- 
tains a very good stand (15-20 percent) of desert 
bitterbrush, sagebrush, grasses, and forbs. 

The middle pasture is in poor condition. Juniper- 
pinyon encroachment has reduced composition of 



-18- 



cliffrose, grasses and forbs. Cliffrose compo- 
sition is fair, probably 5-10 percent over most 
of the area. Excessive stock utilization has 
left an inadequate quantity of browse for mule- 
deer. Herbaceous vegetation is inadequate. 

The southern pasture provides more than adequate 
quantities of forage. The south Enterprise 
chaining was completed in 1959. Eight hundred 
acres were chained one way and aerial seeded 
to crested wheat. Cliffrose and bitterbrush com- 
position is about 20 percent, ad in combination 
with other shrubs provides more than adequate 
quantities of browse for muledeer. A good variety 
of native perennial grasses and annual forbs total 
about 20 percent of the cover, and are more than 
adequate in quantity for spring- summer use. 

The Staheli chaining completed in 1970 has greatly 
improved forage on 3,000 acres. Bitterbrush, 
fourwing saltbush, ephedra, clover, rangeland 
alfalfa, and small burnet were included in a seed 
mixture in addition to crested wheat, wildrye, 
and smooth browse. Prior to chaining this area 
was almost entirely unproductive forage. 

(6) Haypress (Amaru) Allotment 

Forage is inadequate in quantity and quality. 
Existing cliffrose (trace to 10 percent) is 
largely unavailable and unproductive. Cliffrose 
reproduction is not present „ Decadent plants 
produce little viable seed. Most of the allotment 
is 9(4) Juos Pimo Artr with understory consisting 
of nearly all sagebrush. 

An experimental BLM 200 acre spraying project 
greatly reduced sagebrush (50-60 percent), has 
greatly increased herbaceous forage, and revitalized 
decadent cliffrose plants by stimulating leader 
growth from dormant lateral buds. These cliff- 
rose plants were greatly improved in availability 
and productivity with only 0„2 percent spray 
mortality. 

(7) Crossroads (Cannon) 

Most of this allotment (about 90 percent) is in 
poor condition due to heavy stock use. Vast stands 
of nearly pure sagebrush cover most of the area. 
Forage is inadequate for most types of wildlife. 



19- 



Good local stands of cliffrose occur in the north- 
eastern and southwestern portions of the allotment, 

The Kurt-Cannon and Cave Springs chainings provide 
ample quantities of forage on about 1,300 acres 
(about 10 percent of the allotment) „ A good 
variety of perennial grasses (12-20 percent) 
is available. Forbs are conspicuously absent, 
Bitterbrush and cliffrose are ample in quantity 
(10-14 percent). Other highly palatable browse 
species are absent,, 

(8) Oakwells Allotment 

Most of this allotment contains good stands of 
cliffrose and bitterbrush (5-15 percent), though 
it is badly overbrowsed, primarily by cattle. 
Exceptions are the extreme northwestern and north- 
eastern corners of the allotment, which both con- 
tain excellent cliffrose and bitterbrush stands 
which are lightly utilized by stock. 

Adequate forage is not available for muledeer over 
most of the allotment area. 

(9) Buckboard Spring Allotment 

Most of the allotment provides inadequate forage 
for muledeer with type consisting of dense 
juniper-pinyon largely lacking in under story. 

An area 600-800 acres in size north of Little Mtn. 
and another 600 acres in the south-central portion 
of the allotment both provide good forage for 
. muledeer. 

Cliffrose and bitterbrush stands comprise 15-30 
percent of the cover. Other shrubs include sage- 
brush, ephedra and horsebrush. Grasses (cheat- 
grass, bluegrama, squirrel tail) comprise 2-4 
percent of cover in the southern area, and 10-15 
percent in the northern (Little Mtn.) area. 
Forbs, including mallow and penstemon are only 
trace in occurrence. 

Stock use is very light. Shrubs form indicates 
past heavy muledeer use has occurred. Muledeer 
use this area primarily as winter range. 



-20= 



(10) Little Mtrio Allotment 

Stock use has been very light in northern 
half of allotment, where most muledeer winter 
use occurs. Forage conditions are fair. Cliff- 
rose comprises about 2-4 percent of cover, and 
reproduction is present. Cliffrose displays 
a muledeer-induced form indicating heavy use 
in past years. 

An exceptional browse area extends a few hundred 
acres into this allotment from the Buckboard 
Spring and Oak Wells allotments. 

Browse quantity is adequate for present rate of 
muledeer use. Increases in herd level would 
necessitate production of additional forage. 

(11) Sheep Spring Allotment 

Overall condition fair. Clif frose-desert bitter- 
brush composition good (5-15 percent) throughout 
most of the allotment. Utilization by stock light 
except Sheep Spring area, particularly 2 miles 
north and 2-3 miles east, where utilization is 
excessive. 

Grasses and forbs inadequate though good local 
stands (5-10 percent cover) of blue grama sod 
can be found. 

(12) Uvada Allotment 

The west one-half is in good condition. Bitter- 
brush and cliffrose composition is about 6-8 per- 
cent. A variety of good perennial grass species 
persist as about 6 percent of composition. Forbs, 
consisting mostly of lupine and penstemon comprise 
about 4 percent of the cover. Higher elevation 
makes this a fairly productive area. 

The Uvada chaining, 439 acres in size, contains 
a dense stand of sagebrush. A variety of peren- 
nial grasses (15 percent) plus about 7 percent 
bitterbrush make it fairly good spring- summer 
muledeer habitat. 



21- 



The Uvada seeding, 790 acres in size, harbors 
a dense growth of crested wheat (86 percent cover) 
plus a few (5 percent) forbs. Browse, except for 
a small quantity of sagebrush (5 percent) is 
non-existing. This area would be suited to 
late winter-early spring muledeer use, though 
quite poor for the summer- fall periods. 

(13) Clover Creek - Mustang Flat 

Forage surveys show sagebrush to be the dominant 
vegetation in this allotment (composes over 407 o 
of the ground cover in most sections). Pinyon- 
juniper stands make up to 30%. Rabbitbrush and 
cliff rose are also present in small amounts. 

There's a relatively good variety of grasses - 
Hilaria, ricegrass, squirreltail, cheatgrass, 
blue grama - composing 3-25% of the ground cover. 

As in many parts of the area, forbs are very scarce, 
These 22,600+ acres receive yearlong cattle use 
and some winter deer use. 



b. Water 



Water resources are extremely limited in this semi- 
arid region. During summer and fall months deer 
seem to congregate in the vicinity of water. Live- 
stock and wild horses also congregate near water. 
Excessive grazing pressure depletes forage resources 
within the livestock service area of waters. High 
deer mortality, particularly among young-of-the-year, 
may occur during this time„ 

Approximately 140,000 acres of the muledeer habitat is 
situated within a one-mile radius of water. Approxi- 
mately 73 percent (386,000) of the muledeer habitat 
is greater than one mile from a known water source. 
Normally, deer winter range snow conditions preclude 
a need for free water „ The Beaver Dam area receives 
very little rainfall, but normally snow is available 
and utilized throughout late winter. During dry 
springs succulent vegetation may be lacking. 

Many of the known waters include livestock well facili- 
ties which provide water on a temporary, seasonal basis, 
plus small reservoirs (see photo #4) which are dependent 
upon ample summer showers. Undiscovered waters doubt- 
less occur, particularly in major drainages of the 
Sawmill Range. 



■22- 



c. Cover 

Cover as juniper-pinyon and chaparral is more than 
adequate. Old chaining projects left no intake wood- 
land stands, though one way chaining left adequate slash 
for cover. 

Recent chainings (1969-70) have left numerous wooded 
sidehills, draws, and rocky areas. 

d. Living Space 

Space is not considered a limiting factor. 
2. Small Game and Non-Game Habitat 

a. Food 

The best habitat for small and non-game animals is 
located along Meadow Valley Wash and along Clover 
Creek. (See Map #3). Gambel's quail, mourning 
dove, chukar, waterfowl, songbirds, reptiles and 
amphibians are concentrated in these areas. These 
small animals utilize the seeds, fruits and/or vege- 
tative parts of grasses, forbs, yucca, pine, cottonwood, 
willow and oak as well as any cultivated plants like 
alfalfa on private lands. The distribution of these 
animals is limited to the areas primarily due to the 
lack of grasses and forbs in the rest of the Beaver 
Dam Unit. 

Jackrabbits, cottontails, ground squirrels, chipmunks, 
mice, rats, and some reptiles are widespread through- 
out the unit. For these animals, the seeds, fruits 
and vegetative parts of sagebrush, prickly pear, bitter- 
brush, pinyon pine, Gambel's oak, yucca, and the light 
scattering of grasses provide sufficient forage. 

Birds of prey and furbearers are widespread and rely 
on populations of small animals as a food source, and 
thus are indirectly affected by forage conditions. 

b. Water 

During dry summer months, water becomes a limiting 
factor for many species of small wildlife. These 
animals are generally restricted to natural water 
sources (Beaver Dam, Clover, Cottonwood, Pine & Ash 



23- 



Creeks, Meadow Valley Wash, and existing springs). 
The livestock water facilities usually provide water 
on only a temporary, seasonal basis or are not a- 
vailable to small animals because the water is stored 
in steep-sided troughs. 

c. Cover 

Cover is vital to small animals as protection against 
predators and harsh weather (heat, cold, wind, rain and 
snow), and as resting and breeding areas. In desert 
areas, cover in the vicinity of permanent sources is 
particularly important. In the Beaver Dam WHA, sage- 
brush, greasewood, Cottonwood, willow and rabbitbrush 
along the Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek provide 
good cover for quail, chukar, songbirds, rabbits, rodents 
and reptiles. 

d. Living Space 

Space is not a limiting factor for small wildlife 
species in the Beaver Dam WHA. 

B. Potential for Habitat Improvement 

In summary, the main problems shared by big game, small game 
and non-game wildlife are 1) lack of palatable browse, forbs 
and grass due to pinyon/juniper encroachment and wildlife/ 
cattle/horse competition and 2) poor distribution and avail- 
ability of permanent water supplies. 

There are two ways of solving forage inadequacies: habitat 
management and/or development combined with proper livestock 
and wild horse management. Theoretically, horse/cow and deer 
preferences are diametrically opposed, 80% grass and 80% 
browse, respectively. But when grass is scarce as it is in 
this WHA, cows and horses will compete with deer and other 
wildlife for browse and forbs. Several measures should be 
taken to improve forage for horses, cattle and wildlife in 
the Beaver Dam area. 

1) Areas of heavy pinyon/juniper encroachment should be 
chained, plowed or prescribed burned. Specific locations 
should be identified in the Habitat Management Plan for 
the Beaver Dam area. These areas should be reseeded with 
a variety of grass, browse and forbs that would benefit 
horses, cattle, and wildlife. 

2) On range seeding projects for livestock, less emphasis 
should be placed on crested wheatgrass and more thought 
given to planting a variety of grass, browse and forbs. 



24- 



3) Wildlife and wild horse activities should cooperate 
on a wild horse and burro plan for the area to determine 
the extent of competition and methods of solving forage 
and water problems. 

4) Wildlife and range activities should cooperate on efforts 
to complete Allotment Management Plans for those areas 

not using a rest-rotation grazing system and to revise 
old AMPs that didn't contain multiple use considerations. 
Sufficient numbers of AUM's should be determined and 
reserved for wildlife in these plans. This is especially 
important in AMP's for areas containing crucial muledeer 
habitat (Oak Wells, Enterprise, etc.). 

5) More research is needed to determine the rate of pinyon/ 
juniper encroachment, forage requirements of non-game species, 
utilization of key browse species, horse/deer competition 

and other factor that would have a bearing on future habitat 
rehabilitation projects. Specific studies should be re- 
commended in the HMP. 

Water deficiencies can also be rectified in the Beaver 
Dam WHA. New water catchment devices should be installed 
for both deer and small wildlife species in the Ella 
Mountain and Sawmill Range areas and in the Enterprise 
Allotment. There are several natural water sources - springs ■ 
that can be developed for wildlife. Also there are several 
livestock watering areas which can be made accessible to 
small animals with the addition of sumps or bird ladders. 
Specific sites for these types of water developments should 
be identified in the HMP C 



-25- 



VI. Other Problems and Possible Solutions 

Cover in the form of pinyon and juniper trees is more than suf- 
ficient throughout the WHA for deer and mountain lions. But 
cover for Gambel's quail, rabbits, doves, and other small animals 
near waters is not so prevalent. 

Brushy thickets occurring in drainages and large cottonwood and 
willow trees along the Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek should 
be protected and enhanced, if possible. 

Protected species in the Beaver Dam WHA may have particular habi- 
tat-related problems but because of the lack of research on spotted 
bats, falcons, and other raptors and desert tortoises it is dif- 
ficult to identify crucial habitat, habitat problems and solutions. 
The HMP can identify studies and research needed in these areas. 
Many of the non-habitat related problems of endangered species 
(shooting, harassment, capture, etc) are due to public ignorance 
of the plight of these species. Improved public relations efforts 
(HMP should suggest methods and measures like brochures, slide 
talks, etc.) can do much to educate the public and relieve human 
pressures on threatened, rare endangered species. 



HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 
N5-WHA-T24 

BEAVER DAM WILDLIFE HABITAT AREA 
1975 

Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas District Office 

Las Vegas, Nevada 



HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 



N5-WHA-T24 

BEAVER DAM WILDLIFE HABITAT AREA 

1975 



Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas District Office 

Las Vegas, Nevada 



REVISED BY: 



Denise P. Meridith 
District Wildlife Specialist 
Bureau of Land Management 
Las Vegas, Nevada 



Lynn F. Williams, Phillip V. Range 

Area Managers 

Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas, Nevada 



IN COOPERATION WITH: 



CONCURRED BY: 



APPROVED BY: 



^k^- 



~7 D/te 



Norm Raymond 

Fish & Game Agent 

Nevada Dept. of Fish and Game 




CHECKLIST FOR PREPARATION AND REVIEW OF 
HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLANS (HMP's) 



Name of HMP and WHA Number 



NS-wHA- TT-1 



Resource Area 



C<*UwIl 



Assigned To 



«lynn Williams 



Date 



Initials 



1. NSO 6521 completed. 

2. Preliminary meeting (s) with Nevada Depart- 
ment of Fish and Game (or other appropriate 
cooperators) to discuss tentative HMP and 
wildlife objectives. 

3. Prepare draft HMP. 

4. Prepare EAR on draft HMP. 

5. If necessary, prepare second HMP draft 
based on adopted recommendations. 

6. Review of draft by District Specialists. 

Range 

Wild Horses 

Lands 

Minerals 

Watershed 

Forestry 

Recreation 

Area Manager 

7. Review of draft by District Wildlife 
Specialist. 

8. Review of draft by Chief, Resource Mgmt . 

9. Final review (when appropriate) by: 

State Office 
Service Center 
Other 

10. Review of final draft with NDF&G for 
agency concurrence and signature. 

11. Approval of District Manager. 



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INVENTORY 
WILDLIFE HABITAT PROJECT AND /OR HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 



Form NSO 6521 
Rev. (February 1972) 
^(NDF&G-BLM Coop. Fono) 



District: L<xS Ve^aS aT-OS'O 



Prepared by: Dentin P. Mgrijift Lyi\,\ lA J./lfqn^ Nor* Ry aJ 
Reviewed by: /5p^JUt ft Jh±^JL.JL ^/t>/?Y 



Name 



BLM District Wildlife Specialist 

NDF&G District Representative 

INVENTORY 
WILDLIFE HABITAT PROJECT AND/OR HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN . 

of Project or Plan Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan 



Date 



Date 



^Location of Project or Plan . r.ai-ipn+ o Planning Tin-it. 



Species Benefited Mule deer, Gambel's quail, mourning dove, cottontail 
rabb jt.s, mountain lion r rantors 



\~ 



Description of Job or Project t c rcvioc HMP fi rst completed in 1/ ' 71 - 



in ~~*~~ + „ in-VH? ne w data & suggestions & to comply with NSO comments 



Justification and Priority Area c ontains r»i»nri_a1 hi g ^ame hahi tat — which in in 
poor and worsening nonc j-it.; j nn . 



» Cost and Manpower Estimates 



$3000 and 2 man-months needed to revise plan 



Mpvaria TVpt - r>f TT i -gn A- flamp poT^nnnnl will assist , in thff rPVI SI rffl 

Cooperative Funding (if any) NDF & G will pav their own salary costs. 



Approved : 



-7 



^x^^^g 





Supervisor, NDF&G Date 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I. Introduction 1 

II. Management Plan Objectives 2 

III. Management Methods 3 

A. Livestock Grazing 3 

B. Utilization of Wildlife 4 

C. Timber Management 4 

D. Habitat Development and/or Improvement 5 

1. Water Developments 5 

2. Forage Developments 6 

E. Access Development or Improvement 8 

F. Land Aquisition, Classification and Withdrawal 8 

G. Fire 9 

H. Wild Horse Management 9 

IV. Management Evaluation 10 

V. Provision for Review and Modification 11 

VI. Implementation Schedule 12 

References 

Appendix 




Map No. 1 

B.L.M. ADMINISTRATION 



NEVADA 



WHA-T24 
BEAVER 
DAM 



lUiixjftaasa 



e 



$) 



-1- 



Introduction 

The Beaver Dam Wildlife Habitat Area (N5-WHA-T24) is located in 
Lincoln County, Nevada and includes 62% of the Nevada Department 
of Fish and Game Management Unit No, 24 (see maps #1 and #2), 
National resource lands total about 616,000 acres, private lands 
about 17,000 acres and the Beaver Dam State Park covers 2,000 
acres, 

A wide variety of wildlife resides in the area: over 300 species 
of birds, over 50 of mammals, over 15 of reptiles and amphibians, 
and several species of fish„ Two inventories and habitat manage- 
ment plans should be completed for the area. At a later date, 
an inventory and HMP will be completed for the aquatic habitat 
in this WHA (Beaver Dam, Clover, Cottonwood, Pine and Ash Creeks), 

This inventory and its accompanying HMP deal with terrestrial 
wildlife habitat. It is an update of the inventory completed by 
Lewis Myers in 1971. The inventory includes a general description 
of the WHA, wildlife population conditions, harvest and habitat 
requirements and a discussion of the present condition of wild- 
life habitat, management problems and possible solutions,, 



I,...., ■ f 

jo 7 Cliff 

^^ -Li J 





616,000 acres - national resource 
lands 
17,000 acres - private lands 
2,000 acres - Beaver Dam State Park 






-2- 



II. Management Plan Objectives 

The overall goal of this HMP is to document ways of increasing 
the carrying capacity of the terrestrial habitat in the region 
for the widest variety of wildlife species. Specifically the 
objectives are: 

1. To make more permanent water sources available to wild- 
life by constructing water catchment devices in the Ella Mt. 
and Sawmill Range areas and the Enterprise Allotment. 

2. To improve the availability of already existing waters 
to wildlife by developing springs, installing bird ladders 
in livestock waters, etc. 

3. To employ habitat treatment methods on about 25,000 acres 
to (a) increase the composition of palatable forbs from the 
present trace to 5-10% and (b) increase bitterbrush-cliff- 
rose composition, reproduction and availability on Barclay, 
Enterprise, Sheep Flat, Cottonwood, Oak Wells and Sheep 
Spring Allotments. 

4. To maintain or improve riparian habitat for small animals 
along the Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek and near other 
water sources. 

5. To increase the edge effect by leaving islands of cover 
for wildlife during chaining, plowing or burning vegetative 
type conversions in heavily wooded areas. 

6. To assist the range activity in the development of Allot- 
ment Management Plans and other means of grazing manage- 
ment on areas containing crucial wildlife habitat by providing 
basic data on the habitat requirements of wildlife. 

7. To initiate studies that will identify habitat condition 
and trend of crucial areas for endangered and other non-game 
species, areas of heavy competition among cattle, horses and 
wildlife, and gather other information which will aid in 
the management of this area. 



■3- 



III. Management Methods 

A. Livestock Grazing 



Proper livestock management is very important in this area 
because it directly affects the condition and trend of vege- 
tation needed by wildlife. When grasses are depleted, 
cattle will compete with mule deer and other wildlife for 
use of palatable browse and forbs. When cattle and deer 
are not properly managed, they can be a detriment to their 
habitat and, thus to each other. But when properly managed, 
the range can actually be improved and the two species can 
complement each other. 

Parts or all of 27 livestock allotments under Section 3 
permit are included within this Wildlife Habitat Area. 
Many of these contain crucial wildlife habitat. It is recom- 
mended that wildlife and range activities give high priority 
to cooperation on the development of the following Allot- 
ment Management Plans: 

Enterprise (crucial deer yearlong habitat) 

Clover Creek (crucial deer yearlong habitat and important 
small and non-game habitat) 

Oak Wells (crucial deer winter habitat) 

Little Mountain (crucial, deer winter) 

Pennsylvania, Sheep Flat, Cottonwood and Mustang Flat 
(crucial deer yearlong and important small and 
non-game habitat) 

The two activities should also cooperate on revision of the 
Barclay Summer AMP (crucial deer winter habitat) to give more 
consideration to multiple-use of the area. 

There are certain considerations that should be taken into 
account during the developments of these plans. 

First of all, less emphasis should be given to the planting 
of crested wheat grass (which has limited value to wildlife) 
and more emphasis given to utilizing a variety of palatable 
browse, forbs and grasses. 

Allotments shown on Table 1 should be reexamined to identify any 
needed changes in animal unit months (AUM's) allotted to deer. 
Table 1 shows deer demands for optimal deer density. 



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The goal would be to maintain habitat suitable for sus- 
taining 4000-4700 mule deer (5 deer/square mile) in the 
WHA (minimum of 8,000 AUMs) under average climatic condi- 
tions. 

When livestock fencing is proposed in AMPs, consideration should 
be given to deer movements. The Caliente Management Frame- 
work Plan recommends that fencing should not be less 42" 
in order not to interfere with deer migrations. 

Original spring sources should be fenced to protect the 
original supply of water, to protect riparian vegetation 
and guarantee wildlife access on a yearlong basis - water 
can be piped to livestock. 

Finally, in AMPs the need for modification of livestock 
water sources should be identified. Many steep-sides 
troughs do not allow small animals (birds, furbearers, squir- 
rels, reptiles, etc.) access to the water. It is recom- 
mended that bird ladders or ramps be installed in all troughs 
which do not provide such access. Also, livestock waters 
should be made available to wildlife yearlong, even during 
periods of non-use by cattle. 

B. Utilization of Wildlife 

The annual harvests of mule deer^ bucks, mountain lions, 
Gambel's quail, mourning doves, furbearers, waterfowl and 
rabbits do not seem to be having an adverse effect on these 
populations. These populations appear capable of sustaining 
light to moderate hunting pressure during short seasons like 
the ones being held this year. 

Chukar and crested tinamou releases have not been success- 
ful enough to merit open seasons in Lincoln County. 

Harvests in the past have been much higher (see harvest 
figures in the Intensive Inventory and Analysis). It is 
probable that with habitat improvements and the resulting 
increases in game populations, the quality of hunting in 
the Beaver Dam Area will be improved. 

C. Timber Management 

In untreated pinyon- juniper woodlands, harvests of Christmas 
trees and posts should continue to be encouraged. Removal 
of these trees (especially through clear-cutting of small 
areas several acres in size) will help thin dense stands and 
thus improve the edge effect desirable to most species of 
wildlife. This will also decrease vegetative competition 



-5- 



and result in the production of more species of plants 
which are palatable to wildlife. 

D. Habitat Development and/or Improvement 

1. Water Developments 

About 70 percent of deer habitat is more than one mile 
from known water sources. The two methods of increas- 
ing water availability for deer as well as other wild- 
life are (a) through construction of new water catch- 
ments and (b) through spring development. 

Table II gives a list of potential sites for water catch- 
ments. These water- storing devices are needed to main- 
tain or increase 27 square miles summer habitat (also 
see Map #3 for locations) . Guzzlers should be placed 
so as to be as inconspicuous as possible. Shiny metal 
parts should be painted a dull, flat color. Livestock 
should be excluded from these guzzlers by construction 
of a fence. Design for the guzzlers is included in 
Appendix No. 1. 

Spring locations, utilization and needs for development 
are shown in Table III. Efforts should be made to assess 
the development needs of those springs which have not 
yet been visited. See Appendix No. 2 for suggested 
type of bird ramp. The following springs should be given 
top priority for development: 

a. Garden Spring (see photos #1 and #2) 

Spring source needs fence protection. Install bird 
ladder in trough. 

b. East Setting Spring 

Fence spring source. Install spring box, pipeline, 
trough and bird ladder. 

c. Quaking Aspen Spring (see photos #3 and #4) 

Fence spring source providing water for wildlife at 
the source while piping water \ mile north to campers, 



TABLE 2 

Locations of Recommended Water Catchments to be 
Constructed for Wildlife 



Number 



Location 



Priority 



T.3S. 
T.3S. 
T.3S. 
T.4S. 
T.4S. 
T.4S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.5S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 
T.6S. 



R.71E. 
R.70E. 
R.70E. 
R.71E. 
R.71E. 
R.70E. 
R.71E. 
R.71E. 
R.70E. 
R.70E. 
R.70E. 
R.69E. 
R.67E. 
R.67E. 
R.71E. 
R.70E. 
R.70E. 
R.69E. 
R.69E. 
R.68E. 
R.68E. 
R.67E. 



SW£ Sec. 
NE^ Sec. 
SE^ Sec. 
Sec. 17 
SW^; Sec. 
SE^ Sec. 
SW% Sec. 
SW^; Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
Sec. 34 
SW£ Sec. 
NE% Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
SW^ Sec. 
SW^ Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
SW^NW% S 
NW^ Sec. 
NW% Sec. 
NE% Sec. 
NW% Sec. 
SW% Sec. 



29 
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30 
26 

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6 

12 
ec. 
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12 
21 
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5 
10 

9 
16 
17 
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19 
20 



* Installed in FY '75 



d. Topah Spring 

Two water sources about 600' apart. Repair old 
fences. Install new spring boxes. Pipe upper 
spring to lower spring box. Install new 400-500 
gallon trough with expanded metal bird ramp. 

e. Unnamed Spring 

Fence spring source. Install new spring box. Pipe 
water 100 feet or less and install 400-500 gallon 
trough with expanded metal bird ramp, 

f . Bunker Spring 

Install spring box. Pipe water 25 feet to 400-500 
gallon trough with bird ramp. 

g. * Sheep Spring (see Photo #5) 

Fence source. Install spring box, pipe and 400-500 
gallon trough with bird ramp D 

h. Ella Spring 

Remove old mustang trap to permit better use by 
deer. 

i. Lime Mt. Well (see photo #6) 

Clean out trough. Add bird ramps. 

j . Pine Canyon Stock Tank 

Circular (50' diameter) steel trough needs bird ramps. 

2. Forage Development 

Pinyon/ juniper encroachment is one of the most important 
limiting factors for wildlife in the Beaver Dam WHA. These 
trees crowd out the browse, forbs and grass needed as 
forage for wildlife. Six areas (totaling about 26,000 
areas) have been outlined on Map #3 as wildlife habitat 
needing rehabilitation to improve deer forage: 

a. Ella Spring (7,700 acres) 

Severely degraded, potential deer summer habitat. 

*Private land - easement needed before development. 




Photo #1 - Garden Sprin 



pi. j.ii S 









Photo #5 - Sheep Spring 




tot© #6 «• Lime Mt. 



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29 



b. Oak Wells (9,200 acres) 

Severely degraded, in potential deer summer habitat. 

c. Bunker Pass (4,000 acres) 

Badly degraded critical deer, summer habitat, but 
with treatment good release of bitterbrush and 
serviceberry can be attained. 

d. Marble Reservoir (2,000 acres) 

Seedings of extremely poor composition, in potential 
deer summer habitat. 

e. Sheep Spring (2,300 acres) 

Seedings of very poor composition, potential deer 
summer habitat. 

f. Mahogany Knoll (700 acres) 

Seeding of extremely poor composition, potential 
deer summer habitat. 

These areas should be chained, then reseeded with a com- 
bination of the following plants: 

Smooth brome ) higher elevations 

Curl leaf mahogany) 

Russian wildrye 

Bluestem wheatgrass 

Alfalfa 

Chickpea milkvetch 

Utah sweetvetch 

Arrowleaf balsamroot 

Small bur net 

Fourwing saltbush 

Antelope bitterbrush 

Woods rose 

True mountain mahogany 

Habitat treatment should not aim towards complete 
elimination of pinyon, juniper and sagebrush, especially 
where stands of the palatable Artemesia tridentata 
wyomingensis occur. Juniper, pinyon and sage brush are 
important sources of energy and cover for deer during 
the later winter-early spring period. These species also 
provide some food and good cover for smaller animals. 




I ZONA 



-8- 



Therefore 10-15 acres of each 100 acres to be treated 
should remain undisturbed. These can usually be steep 
slopes, rocky outcrops or fragile soil areas. Irregular 
shaped chainings with interspersed area of cover will 
increase aesthetic appeal, edge effect and value to 
wildlife. 

The public should be informed during the specific plan- 
ning and implementation of these habitat rehabilitation 
projects. There are many minconceptions and, as a result, 
much public hostility towards chaining. News release 
should be written describing the proposed chainings and 
their benefits to wildlife. 

E. Access Development or Improvement 

Hunter access is generally adequate throughout most of the 
WHA. Most of the roads in the Clover Mountains are well 
signed. 

F. Land Acquisition, Classification and Withdrawal 

As stated in the introduction, 17,000 acres of the Beaver Dam 
WHA is privately owned. 

Those areas most important to wildlife include: 

Sheep Spring - T.6S., R.69E., Sec. 28. 

Rabbit Spring - T.2S., R.69E., Sec. 34. 

Oak Wells - T.3S., R.69E., Sec. 35. 

Miller Spring - T.3S., R.69E., Sec. 24. 

Along Meadow Valley Wash - 

T.2S., R.68E., Sees. 4-9, 17, 18-21, 30. 
T.7S., R.67E., Sees. 7, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 34, 35. 
T.8S., R.67E., Sees. 27, 34. 
T.6S., R.66E., Sec. 2. 

T.3S., R.67E., Sees. 2, 3, 10, 11, 14, 15, 21, 22, 

28, 32, 33. 

Along Clover Creek - 

T4S., R.68E., Sees. 7, 21, 27, 28. 
T.5S., R.69E., Sees. 2, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 

22, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 37. 



•9- 



Consideration should be given to obtaining rights-of-way 
or to obtaining these areas through exchanges when and if 
these become the only ways of assuring hunter access and 
habitat maintenance or development for wildlife. 

At the moment, none of the crucial areas in the Beaver Dam 
WHA (see Intensive Inventory for Crucial Areas) are being 
recommended for classification or withdrawal. Future studies, 
however, may reveal certain crucial non-game or endangered 
species habitat that would require withdrawals for protection. 

G. Fire 

The Caliente Management Framework Plan recommended that the 
small acreages (each 15-50 acres in size) of the south 
slope of the Sawmill Range (area covers 65,000 acres) be 
control burned (see Map #3 for the area involved) . This 
area is too steep to chain. The prescribed burning of this 
predominantly manzanita and oak covered area followed by 
seeding (with some plants described under habitat improve- 
ment) will increase composition of palatable forage and 
improve the edge effect. Again a news release should de- 
scribe the burning and its benefit to wildlife. 

H. Wild Horse Management 

As stated in the intensve inventory, horses are found through- 
out the Beaver Dam WHA. They compete with deer on deer year- 
long range and on crucial winter range in Little Mountain. 
Horses in large numbers will put heavy pressure on deli- 
cious sagebrush, bitterbrush, desert almond, Indian rice- 
grass, needle-and-thread grass, fourwing saltbush and other 
plants eaten by deer and other wildlife. Horses also compete 
with livestock and wildlife for scarce supplies of water. 

Jim Brunner, Range Conservationist, has written a sample Wild 
Horse Management Plan for the Panaca Plateau (which includes 
the northern part of the Beaver Dam WHA). The wildlife 
and wild horse and burro activities should cooperate on in- 
ventories like those outlined in the plan to determine 
preferred forage for horses and conflicts with deer and live- 
stock and to determine the number and whereabouts of excess 
horses as well as methods of removing them. 



IV. Management Evaluation 

The following studies should be made to evaluate the effective 
of this HMP. 

1. Annual pellet counts to document changes in deer and 
other wildlife use in areas where habitat improvements have 
been added (refer to BLM manual 6630). 

2. Cooperate with NDF&G on any capturing and tagging (and/or 
radio transmitter) project to identify any shifts in seasonal 
use as the result of habitat improvement. 

3. Vegetation condition and trend studies should be accomplish- 
ed on all crucial vegetative types. The 3-phase cooperative 
exclosure plat constructed by the NDF&G and BLM will be 
maintained. Photos should be taken periodically of crucial 
areas, water sources, habitat manipulation projects, etc. 

These studies should be carried out with the cooperation of BLM 
range and NDF&G personnel. 



V. Provision for Review and Modification 

Due to the large size of the Beaver Dam WHA and the present lack 
of knowledge about wildlife populations, this HMP should be 
reviewed annually and modified as new information (particularly 
about non-game species) becomes available. 

The following studies and inventories should be conducted in 
the Beaver Dam WHA: 

1. Develop a study plot to determine the rate of pinyon/ 
juniper encroachment in the Beaver Dam Area. The large 
number of young trees indicates that the landscape is changing, 
pinyon and juniper trees are rapidly replacing browse, grasses, 
and forbs. Aging all the trees in a small plot area will 

give some indication of how fast the trees are invading. 
This information may help in determining priorities for 
habitat rehabilitation and modifying implementation sched- 
ules. 

2. Conduct an inventory of prairie and peregrine falcon, 
golden eagle and other bird of prey nesting sites in the 
Clover Mountains. These are protected birds and crucial 
nesting areas must be identified so that their habitat 
can be protected. 

3. Conduct a study of the distribution and food habits of 
the desert tortoise. This is also a protected species and 
little is known about it here in Nevada. Again more infor- 
mation is needed before its habitat can be properly managed 
or developed. 

4. Conduct an inventory to identify crucial mountain lion 
habitat and habitat needs. 

5. Cooperate with wild horse activity on horse studies like 
those discussed under "H. Wild Horse Management". 

6. Inventory springs listed in Table III and identify 
development needs. 

It is recommended that all of these studies be cooperative efforts 
with the Nevada Department of Fish and Game and the University 
of Nevada at Las Vegas. Technical assistance from the Denver 
Service Center (particularly from the non-game specialist) would 
also be helpful. 

Some of the results of these inventories (especially information 
about endangered species) should be included in pamphlets for 
distribution to the public. 



1Z- 



VI. Implementation Schedule 

Table IV is the proposed implementation schedule for the Beaver 
Dam HMP. It involves the following: 

Inventory and Analysis 

This would include the inventory of the springs not yet sur- 
veyed (see Table III). Using as a standard $1,500 per man 
month, this one-half man month of work would cost about $750. 

Studies and Research 

This would include both the studies recommended under "Manage- 
ment Evaluation" and those discussed under "Provision for Review 
and Modification". About two man months and $3,000 would be 
needed each year. Total cost is $15,000. 

Habitat Treatment Planning 

One man month would be needed each year to plan for habitat 
treatment (chainings, burnings) proposed for each successive year. 

Evaluation and Revision 

One man month was needed to revise the HMP this year. One-half 
man month will probably be necessary to modify the plan during the 
program year when the spring inventory is completed and one- fourth 
man month each successional year to add new information. 

Public Affairs and Assistance 

Time is scheduled for writing news releases, brochures, etc. 

Environmental Analysis 

One man month is needed to complete an environmental analysis 
report on the Beaver Dam HMP habitat improvements. An additional 
report may have to be completed on new proposals that result in 
from the spring inventory in the program year. 

Mechanical Revegetation 

The total cost of chaining almost 26,000 acres (and reseeding 
these areas with a variety of browse, grasses and forbs) at 
about $40/acre is approximately $1,040,000. The chainings 
should be accomplished in the following order: Ella Spring 
(7,700 acres - Program year), Oak Wells (9,200 acres - Program 
year + 1), Bunker Pass (4,000 acres - Program year + 2), Marble 



Reservoir (2,000 acres - Program year + 3) and Sheep Spring 
and Mahogany Knoll (3,000 acres - Program year + 4). 

Revegetation, Burning 

The Sawmill prescribed burning is shown under program year + 3. 
It will cost about $975,000 to reseed 65,000 acres with a good 
variety of browse, grasses and forbs. 

Water Developments - Springs 

Two spring developments have been scheduled each year at a cost 
of $1,000 a piece. The total cost for spring developments should 
be about $10,000. This schedule can and should be modified 
after the spring inventory in the program year. 

Water Developments - Catchments 

Two guzzlers were constructed this current year. Four a year 
are recommended over the next five years at a cost of about 
$5,000 per guzzler and two man months per year. Total cost 
is $110,000. 

Maintenance - Water Developments 

Time and money should be scheduled for maintenance of guzzlers 
and spring developments. Total cost, as presently scheduled, 
is $8,000 over the five year period. 



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REFERENCES 



Brunner, J„, 1974. Wild Horse Management Plan; Panaca Plateau. 
Bureau of Land Management, Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Dasmann, W. , 1971. If Deer are to Survive . Stackpole Books. 
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 128 pp. 

Deibert, 1968. Mule Deer Condition and Food Habits on Two Nevada 
Range S o MS Thesis. University of Nevada. Reno, Nevada. 

Drewien, G., 1971. Food habits and Weight Relationships of Mourning 
Doves in Northern Nevada. MS Thesis. University of Nevada, 
Reno, Nevada. 

Martin, Zim and Nelson, 1951. American Wildlife and Plants: A 
Guide to Food Habits . Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 
New York. 500 pp. 

Myers, L. 1971. Intensive Inventory and Habitat Management Plan: 

Beaver Dam. Bureau of Land Management, Las Vegas, Nevada 35 pp. 

Stanton, F., 1973. Wildlife Guidelines for Range Fire Rehabilitation . 
Bureau of Land Management (Denver Service Center), Denver, 
Colorado. 48 pp. 



» 



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MATERIAL LIST 

Two ea. - 60d nails or larger 

for hooks 
Two ea. - 1/2" rebar 98" long 
One ea. - 1/2" X 8" pipe over one 

leg as a hinge. Photo 2 

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STOCK WATER TANK BIRD LADDER 



6620 



FINAL 
ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS RECORD 

for 

Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan 
E.A.R. No. NV-050-6-114 



Caliente Planning Unit 
Las Vegas District 
Las Vegas, Nevada 



Prepared by: Denise P. Meridith 

Environmental Specialist 



February, 1976 



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT 

Memorandum 



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



IN REPLY REFER TO: 
1791 

(N-053) 



To District Manager, Las Vegas Date: 

From Area Manager, Caliente-Virgin Valley Resource Area 

Subject : E.A.R. No. NV-050-6-114 

This final environmental analysis report discusses the impacts of 
implementing actions proposed in the Beaver Dam Habitat Management 
Plan. The major actions discussed are: 

1) Improving the availability of already existing waters to wildlife 
by developing springs and constructing water catchments. 

2) Employing habitat treatment methods (chaining or prescribed 
burning) . 

3) Initiating studies to identify habitat condition and trend of 
crucial wildlife areas. 

4) Assisting the range and wild horse/burro activities in development 
of allotment management and horse and burro management plans. 

Analysis of the proposed actions indicates that the Beaver Dam HMP 
will have some temporary adverse impacts on the environment (creation 
of dust or smoke, displeasing effects on aesthetics, temporary 
displacement of wildlife, etc.). Most of the long-range impacts, 
however, will be favorable for vegetation, wildlife, and human 
resources. 

A list of mitigating measures that were recommended in the E.A.R. 
is attached. 

None of the actions that affect livestock grazing in the Beaver Dam 
area (chaining, prescribed burning, seeding) should be implemented 
until a grazing environmental impact statement for the Caliente 
Planning Unit (scheduled for FY 1978) is prepared. These are considered 
significant and controversial actions. 

Based on the information in this final E.A.R., it is determined that 
all the other aspects of the proposed action do not constitute major 
Federal actions significantly affecting the human environment. 




Therefore, it is recommended that no impact statements be prepared 
for these actions and that they be implemented as proposed. 



This final E.A.R. complete with replies to comments on the draft 
should be forwarded to the State Clearinghouse f/fr their information. 



Date ' 




Phillip V//Range 
Caliente-Virgin Valley 
Resource Area Manager 



I Concur: 



y^/?t 



Date 




The following mitigating measures are recommenaea; 

1. Minimize dust by chaining or burning when wind condi- 
tions are right. 

2. Watershed, wildlife, minerals, recreation and forestry 
activities will cooperate to identify specific sites 
for prescribed burnings and chainings. Consult with 
State of Nevada Health Department (Air Pollution Divi- 
sion) before development. 

3. Mixing of concrete for water catchments and spring 
developments should be done in contained facilities 
to reduce the chance of soil pollution. 

4. Leave piles of downed trees on the site to help reduce 
runoff of soil and water and to improve cover for small 
animals. 

5. Restrict all heavy vehicles used in transporting men 
and equipment to existing roads, trails, and washes on 
fragile watershed areas. 

6. Minimize damage to valuable understory vegetation during 
chaining. 



7. Use a mixture of browse, grass and forbs to reseed 
chaining and burning sites. 

8. Check for and avoid mining claim markers during chaining 
or burning operations. 

9. Leave patches of trees (10-15 acres in size) scattered 
throughout the treated areas for wildlife cover, 
Christmas trees, pinyon nuts and aesthetic values. 

10. Fence reseeded areas to exclude livestock for two 
growing seasons. 

11. Fences around waters and habitat rehabilitation sites 
will be constructed to allow wildlife easy access. 

12. Clean up spring development and water catchment sites 
quickly and thoroughly after construction is completed. 

13. Provide water for livestock and wild horses and burros 
away from the fenced, improved source. For instance, 
pipe water from a fenced spring development to a 
separate trough for livestock and horses. 

14. Aprons of water catchments should be painted natural 
colors (pale beige, green or grey) to blend with the 
surroundings . 



VI 



15. The District landscape architect will help design 

all chaining and burning projects. Treated areas should 
have irregular boundaries and buffer zones. 

16. Archaeological surveys should be made of all selected 
chaining or burning sites and water development areas 
before development. 

17. Any culturally important pinyon nut gathering areas 
will be excluded from treatment. Enlist aid of the 
Indian Tribal Council in identifying these areas. 

18. Commercial and individual collections of Christmas 
trees, firewood and juniper posts should be concentrated 
in areas slated for habitat rehabilitations. 

19. Inform the public of all proposed projects prior to 
development through news releases, feature articles, 
slide shows, etc. 

20. Cooperate with Nevada Department of Fish & Game, U. S. 
Fish & Wildlife Service, and interested groups and indi- 
viduals during inventories and habitat development projects, 



21. Consult with Utah BLM on any rehabilitation projects 
near the Utah-Nevada border. 



Table of Contents 



Introduction 

I„ Description of the Proposed Action and Alternatives 

II. Description of the Existing Environment 

A. Non-Living Components 

1. Air and Climate 

2 . Land 

3. Water 

4. Hazards 

B. Living Components 

1. Vegetation 

2. Wildlife 

3. Livestock 

4. Wild Horses and Burros 

C. Ecological Interrelationships 

D. Human Values 

1. Landscape Character 

2. Socio-Cultural Interests 

III. Analysis of the Proposed Action and Alternatives 

A. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action 

1. Anticipated Impacts 

a. Non-Living Components 

b. Living Components 

c. Ecological Interrelationships 

d. Human Values 

2. Possible Mitigating Measures 

a. Non-Living Components 

b. Living Components 

c. Ecological Interrelationships 

d. Human Values 

3. Recommendations for Mitigation or 
Enhancement 

4. Residual Impacts 

5 Relationship Between Short-Term Use and 

Long-Term Productivity 
6. Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment 

of Resources 

B. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives 

1. Alternative #1 

2. Alternative #2 



IV, 

V, 

VI, 
I 

VII, 
VIII, 



Persons, Groups and Government Agencies Consulted 

Intensity of Public Interest 

Participating Staff 

Summary 

References 



Page 

1 
2 

7 

7 

7 

7 

8 

9 

9 

9 

9 
10 
10 
10 
11 
11 
11 

14 
14 
14 
14 
16 
18 
19 
20 
20 
20 
21 
21 

22 
25 

25 

25 
25 
25 
26 

28 

28 

28 

28 

30 



-1- 



I. Introduction 

The Beaver Dam Wildlife Habitat Area contains 616,000 acres of 
national resource lands, 17,000 acres of private lands and 2,000 
acres which are included within Beaver Dam State Park. (See 
Maps No. 1&2) . This area includes 627, of Nevada Department of 
Fish and Game management unit No. 24. 

This area is recognized as a fairly intact deer herd unit with 
occasional significant winter influx of deer inhabiting Dixie 
National Forest in western Utah. Good mule deer summer habitat 
is lacking. Deer inhabit most of the area yearlong with only 
local seasonal movements. Deer harvest has declined about 907. 
since 1959. Condition of most habitat is poor. 

Small game animals which include Gambel's quail, mourning dove, 
cottontail, and a few chukar are largely restricted to lands along 
Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek. Small numbers of waterfowl 
also rest along Meadow Valley Wash. 

Non-game animals found here include raptors, numerous songbirds, 
mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Several threatened, en- 
dangered or protected species are also found in the area - prairie 
and peregrine falcons, desert tortoise and possibly the spotted bat, 

This habitat management plan discussed methods of maintaining, 
improving and expanding terrestrial wildlife habitat in T-24„ 
It is an update of the HMP completed by Lewis Myers in 1971 ■> 
A separate HMP will be completed at a later date for aquatic habi- 
tat in the area. 



Introduction 

This Environmental Analysis Report evaluates the impacts of actions pro- 
posed in the Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan. 

The Beaver Dam HMP was revised in June, 1975. It was approved by the 
Regional Supervisor of the Nevada Department of Fish and Game in De- 
cember, 1975 and by the District Manager of the Bureau of Land Manage- 
ment in January, 1976. The Beaver Dam Wildlife Habitat Area (from now 
on referred to as the Beaver Dam WHA) includes over 600,000 acres of 
national resource lands in the Caliente Planning Unit (see Maps No. 1 & 2) . 

The overall objective of the HMP was to document ways of maintaining 
and/or improving the terrestrial habitat for mule deer, Gambel's quail, 
mourning dove, cottontail rabbits, mountain lions and non-game species in 
the area. An HMP on aquatic habitat in the area will be completed at a 
later date. 

The draft environmental analysis report was also written in June, 1975. 
Comments on the E.A.R. were solicited and received from the State Clearing- 
house, Nevada Department of Fish and Game and the BLM Nevada State Office. 
Many of the comments were incorporated into this final E.A.R. All the 
comments were answered individually and appear in the appendix. 

The final E.A.R. also differs from the draft in that the proposal to 
obtain private lands in the Beaver Dam WHA was modified. The final 
proposed action recommends that cooperative agreements or easements be 
established with the private landowners, if necessary, to protect wild- 
life habitat. 

None of the actions that affect livestock grazing in the Beaver Dam WHA 
(chaining, prescribed burning, seeding) should be implemented until a 
grazing environmental impact statement for the Caliente Planning Unit 
(scheduled for FY 1978) has been prepared. 



Meridith, 1976 




Map No. 1 

B.L.M. ADMINISTRATION 



5IWHA-T24 
BEAVER 
DAM 



'-CU 



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II 



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I. Description of the Proposed Action and Alternatives 

The actions suggested in the HMP can be summarized as follows: 

1. To improve the availability of already existing waters to 
wildlife by developing springs and modifying livestock 
troughs to accommodate wildlife. The following projects 
have highest priority for completion: 

Garden Spring 

Spring source needs fence protection. Install bird ladder 
in trough . 

East Setting Spring 

Fence spring source. Install spring box, pipeline, trough and 
bird ladder. 

Quaking Aspen Spring 

Fence spring source providing water for wildlife at the 
source while piping water \ mile north to campers. 

Topah Spring 

Two water sources about 600' apart. Repair old fences. Install 
new spring boxes. Pipe upper spring to lower spring box. 
Install new 400-500 gallon trough with expanded metal bird ramp. 

Unnamed Spring 

Fence spring source. Install new spring box. Pipe water 100 
feet or less and install 400-500 gallon trough with expanded 
metal bird ramp. 

Bunker Spring 

Install spring box. Pipe water 25 feet to 400-500 gallon 
trough with bird ramp. 

Sheep Spring 

Fence source. Install spring box, pipe and 400-500 gallon 
trough with bird ramp. 

Ella Spring 

Remove old mustang trap to permit better use by deer. 



Meridith, 1976 



<) 



*l 



M 



Lime Mountain Well 



Clean out trough. Add bird ramps. 

Pine Canyon Stock Tank 

Circular (50' diameter) steel trough need bird ramps, 
four expanded metal ramps 4-5' wide and 6' long. 



Install 



2. To make more permanent water available to wildlife by con- 
structing water catchment devices in the Ella Mountain, 
Sawmill Range and Enterprise Allotment areas. The following 
are the suggested catchment locations and priorities for 
construction (see Map #3): 



Location 



T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
T. 
To 
T. 



3 
3 
3 
4 
4 
4 
5 
5 
5 
5 
5 
5 
6 
6 
6 
6 
6 
6 
6 
6 



S. 
S. 

s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 
s. 



R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
R. 
Ro 
R. 
R. 
R. 
Ro 
R. 
R. 



71 
70 
70 
71 
71 
70 
70 
70 
70 
69 
67 
67 
71 
70 
70 
69 
69 
68 
68 
67 



SUk Sec. 
NE% Sec. 
NE^; Sec. 
Sec. 17 
SW^ Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
Sec. 34 
SW% Sec. 
NE^ Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
SW% Sec. 
SW% Sec. 
SE% Sec. 
SW^NW% Se 
NW% Sec. 
NW% Sec. 
NE% Sec. 
NW% Sec. 
SW% Sec. 



29 

36 
27 

19 
23 
26 

13 

34 

20 

28 

6 

12 

c. 15 

19 

20 

9 

6 

2 



Priority 

11 
12 
13 

4 

5 

6 

1 

2 

9 
10 
19 
20 

3 

8 

7 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 



3. To employ habitat treatment methods (chaining or prescribed 

burning), on about 26,000 acres to a) increase the composition 
of palatable forbs from the present trace to 5-10%, b) increase 
composition of grasses, c) increase bitterbrush/clif frose 
composition, reproduction and availability. 

The following (also shown on Map #3) are the areas suggested 
for chaining: 

Ella Spring (7,700 acres) 

Severely degraded, potential deer summer' habitat. 



Meridith, 1976 



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Oak Wells (9,200 acres) 

Severely degraded, in potential deer summer habitat. 

Bunker Pass (4,000 acres) 

Badly degraded critical deer, summer habitat, but with treat- 
ment good release of bitterbrush and serviceberry can be 
attained. 

Marble Reservoir (2,000 acres) 

Seedings of extremely poor composition, in potential deer 
summer habitat. 

Sheep Spring (2,300 acres) 

Seedings of very poor composition, potential deer summer habitat. 

Mahogany Knoll (700 acres) 

Seeding of extremely poor composition, potential deer summer 
habitat. 

Suitable portions of these areas would be chained, then reseeded. 
Drilling will be used where possible. Hand planting and/or 
boradcasting will be used on areas where drilling is impractical. 
The following are suggested rates of seeding: 

- Pounds Per Acre - 



Species 



North Exposures & Shady Areas 
Broadcast Drilled 



Sunny Exposures 
(south, west, east) 
Broadcast Drilled 



ses : 

Smooth Brome 4 

Russian Wildrye 1 

Bluestem Wheatgrass % 

s: 

"Alfalfa 2 

Chickpea Milkvetch 

Utah Sweetvetch 

Arrowleaf Balsamroot 1 

Small Burnet 1 

js : 

Curl leaf Mtn. Mahogany 

Birchleaf Mtn. Mahogany 1 

Fourwing Saltbush 1 

Antelope Bitterbrush 1 

Woods Rose 1 



2 
1 

\ 

1 





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1 

2 

h 



1 
1 



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Meridith, 1976 



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At least 10-15 acres of each 100 acres treated would remain 
undisturbed. Such irregular shaped chainings would increase 
aesthetic appeal, edge effect and value of the project to wild- 
life. Also debris (downed trees) would be left in place to 
reduce erosion. 

In addition to the above-mentioned project, small acreages 
(each 15-50 acres in size) of the south slope of the Sawmill 
Range are to be controlled burned (see Map #3 for area 
involved) . 

This area is too steep to chain. The prescribed burning of 
this predominantly manzanita and oak covered area followed 
by seeding (with same plants described under chaining) is 
supposed to increase composition of palatable forage and improve 
the edge effect. 

The public will be informed during the specific planning and 
implementation of these habitat rehabilitation projects through 
news releases, newspaper feature articles, etc. 

4. To assist the range activity in the development of Allotment 

Management Plans or other means of grazing management on areas 
containing crucial wildlife habitat by providing basic data 
on the habitat requirements of wildlife. Allotments pre- 
sently identified as containing crucial wildlife habitat and 
which are in need of AMPs include: Enterprise, Clover Creek, 
Oak Wells, Little Mountain, Pennsylvania, Sheep Flat, Cotton- 
wood, and Mustang Flat Allotments. 

5« To establish cooperative agreements and/or easements with 

owners of the following private lands when and if this becomes 
necessary to assure hunter access to national resource lands 
or to provide vital maintenance or development of wildlife 
habitat: 

Rabbit Spring - T. 2 S. , R. 69 E. , Sec D 34. 
Oak Wells - T. 3 S., R. 69 E., Sec. 35. 
Miller Spring - T 3 S., R 69 E., Sec. 24. 
Along Meadow Valley Wash - 

T. 7 S., R. 67 E., Sees. 7, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 34, 35. 

T. 8 S., R. 67 E , Sees. 27, 34. 

T. 6 S., R. 66 E., Sec. 
Along Clover Creek - 

T. 4 S., R. 68 E., Sees. 7, 21, 27, 28. 

T. 5 S., R. 69 E., Sees. 2, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 
17, 22, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 37. 

6. To initiate studies that will identify habitat condition 

and trend of crucial areas for endangered and other non-game 



Meridith, 1976 



species, areas of heavy competition among cattle, horses and 
wildlife and to gather the information which will aid in the 
management of the area. 

7. To cooperate with wild horse and burro activity on a horse 
and burro management plan for the area. 

The implementation schedule for these projects is included. 
It covers a span of six years. 

Each of the suggested actions is composed of a series of stages 
and discrete actions. For instance, habitat rehabilitation would 
involve 1) selection of the site, 2) the actual chaining or 
burning, 3) reseeding, and 4) posting or fencing the area, 
if necessary. In turn, selection of the site involves on-the- 
ground selection, pellet counts, soil sampling, etc. 

Alternatives to the present proposed action are: 1) modification 
of the implementation schedule and 2) no action. 



Meridith, 1976 



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II. Description of the Existing Environment 
A. Non-Living Components 
1. Air and Climate 



The Beaver Dam WHA is located in the Great Basin desert. 
Precipitation (between 8 and 9 inches per year), and humidity 
(less than 15% during the summer) are low. Temperatures can 
reach over 100 degrees during the summer. Winds can also 
reach high levels, as high as 50-80 m.p.h. Droughts occur 
occasionally. This climate precludes farming, 
without irrigation; it favors range vegetation for livestock. 

Due to the lack of industry and automobile traffic, the 
air quality in the area is usually good. Occasionally 
high winds can cause some dust pollution. 



2. Land 



Topography 

The elevation of the Tertiary volcanic mountains in 
the area ranges from slightly less than 5,000 to 
over 7,000 feet. Generally the northern part of the 
WHA is characterized by large, gently rolling areas 
with many wide draw floors and high flat ridges „ The 
southern portion (Sawmill Range) is steep and moun- 
tainous with deep, narrow draws. The deep, sheer- 
walled Meadow Valley Wash forms the western border 
of the Habitat Area. 



b. Soils 



Soils of the area are lithosols and browns, shallow 
and weakly developed. Parent materials are igneous. 
Erosion is a problem. Soil sites, devoid of any 
understory vegetation are not uncommon, particularly 
in the dense pinyon/juniper woodlands. 

Minerals 

There is presently little mining in this WHA (there 
are several small gold and silver properties) „ There 
may be some mining claims in the area. Most of the 
Caliente region has some potential for oil, gas and 
geothermal resources. Increased exploration can be 
expected as a result of the nationwide energy crunch 
but probably little or no production will result. 



Meridith, 1976 



• 



• 



I 



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I 



I 



d. Land Uses 

Livestock grazing (over 20 allotments exist within the 
Beaver Dam WHA) , mining, recreation (hunting, fishing, 
camping, picnicking, geologic and botanic sightseeing, 
wildlife photography, etc.), small commercial ventures 
(occupying about 13 acres of land in Panaca and Caliente), 
Christmas tree and pinyon nut harvesting are some of 
the land uses occurring on national resource, state and 
private lands in the area. There are two state parks - 
Kershaw-Ryan and Beaver Dam - within the Beaver Dam 
WHA, which are enjoyed by many people. 

There are several impor tant rights-of-way that occur 
in the area. Routes 93 and 25 are the major roads. 
The Union Pacific Railroad runs along the western 
boundary (from Panaca south through Elgin) and through 
the center (from Caliente east through Crestline) of 
the WHA, 

e Land Use Planning 

The Unit Resource Analysis and Management Framework 
Plan for the Caliente Planning Unit were completed in 
1972. Decisions from the MFP that affect this WHA 
are listed in the Appendix, 



The entire URA and MFP are presently being updated. 



3. Water 



Surface water is scarce in the Beaver Dam WHA. Major 
water sources include Beaver Dam Creek, Clover Creek, 
Cottonwood Creek, Pine Creek and the largest, Meadow 
Valley Wash. Meadow Valley Wash's average flow is 11.3 
cubic feet/second or about 8,200 acre-feet/year. In 
addition, Matthews Canyon and Pine Canyon washes have 
flows during times of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt. 
Two water catchments were constructed by BLM in this WHA 
in 1975. These sources will benefit mule deer and small 
animals . 

But most cf the water available to livestock, wildlife and 
people comes from underground sources „ Table 1 lists the 
major springs found in the WHA. Ground water recharge for 
these springs is derived mostly from precipitation within 
the drainage area. A lot of ground water in the area is 
discharged through evapotranspiration (phreatophytes include 
greasewood, rabbitbrush, meadow grass and salt bush, cotton- 
wood, willow and saltcedar) and pumping for irrigation. 

Meridith, 1976 



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Table 2 shows a chemical analysis of well water in the 
Meadow Valley area. Sulfate and dissolved solid con- 
centrations are high in this area as they are throughout 
most of the Las Vegas District. The reasons for the high 
mineral content of water in southern Nevada include 
1) high evaporation rates leaving high concentrations of 
salt at or near the surface, 2) slow movement of water 
through the ground, dissolving metallic and non-metallic 
substances (like sulfides, borate, gypsum, etc.) prevalent 
in the soil and, 3) Large amounts of dust washed into 
ground water supplies. 



4. Hazards 



There is no history of any landslide or other earth failure 
hazards in the area. 

Floods present the primary hazard in the Beaver Dam WHA. 
In 1906 and 1910, major floods occurred along Meadow Valley 
Wash and Clover Creek. Lesser floods occurred in 1907, 
1908, 1911, 1914, 1922, and 1938. In 1955 two flood control 
dams were built in Clover Valley. Flash floods can occur 
in other areas during thunderstorms. 

In 1960, a study was prepared jointly by the Lincoln County 
Flood Control District, Meadow Valley Soil Conservation 
District, the Department of Agriculture and Soil Conservation 
Service and BLM. The study recommended the construction of 
numerous, small retainer dams along tributaries. The Pre- 
liminary Lincoln County Master Plan (1974) encouraged the 
installation of these projects along with the seeding and 
planting of erosion-prone areas. The Meadow Valley Wash 
remains classified as a flood prone area by the U. S. 
Geological Survey. 



B. Living Components 
1. Vegetation 



Most of the Beaver Dam WHA supports a dense pinyon/ juniper 
woodland with sagebrush and cliffrose understories. For a 
more detailed description of vegetation in the area, refer 
to the Beaver Dam Intensive Inventory. 



2. Wildlife 



The major species in the area are the mule deer, Gambel's 
quail, mourning dove, cottontail rabbit, desert tortoise, 
mountain lion and raptors. For a thorough discussion of 
wildlife, known habits and habitat requirements, refer to 
both the Beaver Dam Intensive Inventory and HMP. 



Meridith, 1976 



'&**.&:#■ >■** <*£<**{& •'*•"-■ 



7/\6L£ 2l 



TiVU ll.-- Q>aalcal analraet. la Hr» par ainiaa. af watar frwa tKe H..aow Vallay araa 
(rial, lulfiu ky the 0.1. C.eleglcel larva*) 



Owner .e*7er 



I pacific 
Cal- Meaae- Hear- fatal ceaaeet* 

tote clam, alias keaate Cklerlaa Kara- aaee 

cell.ctee (Ca) (M«) (BO.) (CI) aaaa l>l.<^H 

» »'o 



U-^4' 



laa. I, T. J I., t. 4t I. Varenlp Vaek tyring 10-25-41 

•aa. T. T. 1 I.. 1. 70 I. Iprlat Valla; Creek 10-23-13 



Iprlni Valley 
U 3.1 H U 44 111 

Jl 10 )U X 141 373 



T.I tvrface weter eeaele. 

7.0 turfece watar eenple t.k.e at kr14ge avar 



laa. II. T. II.. 1. at I. lartai teller Craak 

in/tt-1041 real 111.. ».ll 

fac. U. T. 1 I., 1. it I. lariat "Ilia* Craak 

laa. II, T. 1 I., I. »t I. lyrlng Valley Craak 

l»/tt-llal Jeaee loaa wall 

laa. II. T. 1 I.. ». M I. X..dow Valla; Vaak 

11/41 Ul Delaue Iroth.re • Bortk vail 10-14-43 



Tveaty-oae alia heldlae. 
cotr.l vail 



11/44-13.1 C. lenoatk Lee - South vail 12- »-4J 

11/17-1441 noy Kurt - Ho. 1 vail 10-17-IJ 

lac. 4, T. I I., I. M I. faaeee Iprlat 4-13-43 



tail, v.llar 



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123/43-1341 

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leeece LDC Owrck vail 

I.I.C.I. - Oheervetloe vail 11- 5-41 



Dclaue Irctltara - lartk vail 11- 4-41 

Dalaaia lroth.r. - Soutk vail 11- 4-41 

Doa Veoewertk - *.. 1 vail 10-28-45 

Doa Vedavortk - Is. 1 vail 10-21-43 

Craat Le« - Ho . 1 vail 12- 4-45 

Ckaeter Oikorrov - far. I vail 11- 4-U 

Every Conway - Hleelc vail 11- 5-43 

Every Cooavay - Lover vail 11- 3-43 

Every Cooavay - Dppar vail 11- 3-43 

Jeaee H. Iredehav vail 11- 3-41 

Hlldrad lrcealovc vail II- 3-41 

1. J. KcGoralck vail 10-10-41 



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37 


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272 


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312 


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322 


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terfece vatar .aaele talee at gage alia la 
caayaa ketweee Iprt eg ana lagla Valla*. 



urfaca vatar a.aple tehee la renyea 
ketw.ee E«gl. ana aoee Velloye. 



1.1 e.rfeco vatar eeeplo takaa la ca 
ketneee keee eae Dry Valley*,. 



1.7 Bwrfece vatar ..nale takaa at aawtk af 

Coeter Caayaa. Alaa: CarVonata (CO,), 
10 gam. 



an Spring, 2 rflti north ml Vanaca. 4 1a. 
Illlea (110,). 31; lraa (7a). 0; Sedlua 
(He). 31; 7ai.nl— (I), 4.1; lulfata 
(10.). 21; Vlvarlao (D. 1-4; lit rata 
(aX),), 2.1; were* (I). 0.1; tmolral 
eollaa. 271. 



Half vlla vaat af Nuct. 

Alaa: Illlea (110,). 13; lvalue (la) *> 
foteaalua (I). 733; Selfete (SO.). 307; 
riuorloa (F). 12. «t rat. ( B0 ) . 0; kraa 
(I). 1.0; W..ol..a tellee. 2:240. 



Two allaa eoatk af Cell rate. 

Tkra* allaa aoatk af Celleete. 

Bait alia vaat af Callaata. 

1.0 Thrae all.i aoatk af Ilcie. 

Hear lox. Veveda. 

it Cl.od.la. Alaa: Illlea (SlOa), 27; 
Soalua (Ha) ♦ Potaaalaa (r) , 42; Sulfate 
(SO4), 514; lltrata (BC-,) , I.I; Diaeolaal 
aollAa, til. 



1. Watar teaparatura ahova la takla 13. 



3. Livestock 

See Beaver Dam HMP. 

4. Wild Horses and Burros 

See Beaver Dam Intensive Inventory and HMP. 

C. Ecological Interrelationships 

A complex web of ecological cycles and interrelationships is 
at work within the Beaver Dam Wildlife Habitat Area. 

Solar energy strikes the earth; some is reflected back into the 
atmosphere, some is absorbed by the soil and plants. Through 
photosynthesis, the energy is used to produce sugars, proteins 
and carbohydrates. Some plants die and their nutrients are re- 
cycled into the soil. Others are consumed by the herbivores 
(plant-eating animals) present in the area. Some of the major 
herbivores include mule deer, quail, chukar, horses, cotton- 
tails, jackrabbits, doves, reptiles and rodents. In turn, these 
animals either die of natural causes or are eaten by predators 
like coyotes, raptors, bobcats, mountain lions and foxes. 
Scavengers in the form of ravens, insects and others clean up 
carrion. Those dead animals which aren't consumed, decay and 
are recycled into the soil. 

Soil micro-organisms are responsible for organic matter de- 
composition whereby plant and animal residues are broken down 
and nutrients are released for assimilation. During the decaying 
process by which humus is formed, soil aggregate stability 
is enhanced and CO2 is given off which ultimately escapes to the 
atmosphere, where it may again be used by plants. 

In the Beaver Dam WHA> pinyon and juniper trees are a dominant 
form of vegetation. They grow rapidly in the absence of suc- 
cession - controlling wildfires and in areas where other, more 
palatable vegetation is overgrazed by livestock or wild horses 
and burros. Pinyon and juniper trees tend to crowd out other forms 
of vegetation: allelopathic substances, litter and shade retard 
growth of understory plants. Only a few wildlife species like 
pinyon mice and pinyon and scrub jays are adapted to life in 
these dense woodlands, using the trees as sources of both food 
and cover. 

The water cycle is, of course, another important aspect of 
ecological interrelationships in this area. Precipitation falls 
in the form of snow or rain. A very small amount infiltrates 
the soil. Most is either evaporated (as a result of high summer 
temperatures, low humidity and high winds) or runs off down gullies, 
carrying off the soil and loose pebbles. The lack of understory 
vegetation beneath dense pinyon/juniper stands makes many 
areas prone to erosion. Water that infiltrates the soil is 

Meridith, 1976 



thirstily absorbed by the roots of plants and, that which is 
not used in photosynthesis, is transpired into the atmosphere „ 

Most of the animals and plants in desert areas like this one 
have adaptations which allow them to survive with little water. 
Plants have extensive root systems to take advantage of the 
small amounts of water which infiltrate the soil and leaves 
with small surface area to cut down transpiration. Animals have 
physiological (special metabolic, excretory and respiratory 
systems) and/or behavioral (nocturnal habits, estivation, etc.) 
adaptations. 

Thus, the combination of scarce surface water supplies and 
pinyon/juniper encroachment are two primary influences on 
ecological interrelationships in the Beaver Dam WHA. These 
two factors are presently limiting the diversity of vegetation 
and wildlife and numbers of livestock and horses that can exist 
within the donfines of this ecosystem. 

Though few people live within the boundaries of the WHA, man 
has also had ai important effect on the ecology. He acts as a 
predator (hunting harvests, road kills, etc.). He has altered 
the ecology by putting out natural fires and allowing pinyon- 
juniper woodlands. to expand and get denser. His livestock has 
heavily grazed some areas, eliminating palatable forage species. 
In some areas he's replaced native vegetation with introduced 
crested wheatgrass. He's built roads, corrals and in other ways, 
changed the landscape character of the area. 

D. Human Values 

1. Landscape Character 

The mountains in this WHA are aesthetically appealing. They 
are cool and moist compared to the parched desert lowlands 
that cover much of the Las Vegas District. A person can 
retreat to many isolated, quiet and refreshing spots to 
relax, view desert wildf lowers or birdwatch. Areas like 
Quaking Aspen Spring and Beaver Dam Creek are particularly 
appealing to recreationists . 

2. Socio-Cultural Interests 

a. Archaeology 

The area encompassed by the Beaver Dam Wildlife Habitat 
has been utilized by man for at least the last 7,000 
years. Initial occupation was by carriers of a Desert 



Meridith, 1976 



11 



Archaic culture. These hunter-gatherers were highly 
mobile and moved in relation to resource availability. 
This same area was later occupied by Puebloan groups 
ca. A.D. 1000. Sometime after 1000 A.D. the area was 
occupied by the Southern Numic- speaking Southern 
Paiute. As a result of this long-term and heter- 
ogeneous occupation of the area, an abundant archae- 
ological record remains. Site types include deep, well- 
stratified caves, rockshelters with varying degrees 
of deposition, open air sites, lithic scatters and 
numerous petroglyph sites. 

At present, only a small portion of the land within 
the wildlife habitat has been intensively surveyed for 
cultural resources, yet this small sample indicates 
the potential for numerous cultural resource loci on 
the unsurveyed portions. 

b. Historical Values 

Lincoln County was first visited by white people in 
the 1820' s; Jedediah Smith was one of the first 
explorers o 

In the 1860's, the discovery of mineral values en- 
couraged the immigration of whites. In 1863, Paiute 
Indians led William Hamblin, a Mormon missionary, and 
some of his followers to Panaca. 

Lincoln County was formed in 1866. 

Caliente was first established in the 1900' s as a 
railroad center. 

Some of the sites which remain today to document the 
history of the area include the Panaca charcoal kilns, 
and an abandoned railroad station in Caliente. 

c. Socio-Economic Factors 

The two largest towns in the area are Panaca and 
Caliente, both located along the western border of 
the WHA. In 19^70* "the population of Panaca was 539, 
while about 900 lived in Caliente. By 1990, these 
populations are expected to increase to 700-770 and 
1260-1350, respectively. 

Table 3 shows the types of industries employing 
Lincoln County residents. The median family income 
in Lincoln County in 1969 was $8,864. Almost 12% 
of all families have incomes below the poverty level. 

Meridith, 1976 
12 



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About 83% of the 6,800,000 acres in Lincoln County 
are managed by BLM. Two of the major activities 
that would be affected by this HMP are agriculture and 
hunting. As stated earlier, there are many allotments 
within this WHA (see Map #4) „ Cattle raising is an 
important industry in the area. 

Over 400 hunting licenses are issued annually in 
Lincoln County for big and small game. Mule deer is 
probably the most important game species in Lincoln 
County. Of the 12,300 hunter days utilized for mule 
deer in the Las Vegas District, in 1970, 10,981 
(over 85%) occurred in Lincoln County, In addition, 
1980 days were spent hunting for dove, 2760 for quail 
and 4185 for rabbit. 



Meridith, 1976 




I s 



III. Analysis of the Proposed Action and Alternatives 
A. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action 
1 . Anticipated Impacts 

a. Non-Living Components 
Air and Climate 



The proposed actions have no effect on climate. Any 
effect they have on air quality is temporary. During 
the construction of water catchments (transportation of 
men and materials to and from the sites, digging holes, 
etc) and during and immediately after chaining (before 
vegetation reestablishment) , dust may be a problem. 
Also the prescribed burning will add carbon dioxide, 
water and particulates (in the form of smoke and soot) 
to the atmosphere during the operation. The degree of 
the negative impact these actions have on air quality 
depends on wind velocities and direction, soil moisture 
and vegetative conditions at the times and sites chosen 
for the operations. 

Land 

The proposed action would have no effect on the 
topography or minerals of the area. 

There will, however, be effects on soils and erosion 
potential. First of all, chaining will churn up the 
soil surface, breaking up any vesicular crusting 
present. The degree of tilling depends on soil charact- 
eristics and density of vegetation present. The loss 
of this vesicular crust would leave an area subject to 
wind and water erosion. 

According to Gifford (1973) chained -with-windr owing 
plots yield from 1-2 to 5 times more water during a run- 
off event than native pinyon- juniper. However, runoff 
from debris-in-lace plots (as proposed here) was not 
greater than that measured from natural woodland and 
resulting sediment yields were similar to those from 
adjacent unchained woodland areas. Infiltration rates 
on chain-with-debris-in-place treatment are not as 
greatly affected due to much less mechanical disturbance 
of surface soils. Debris left on the soil surface acts 
as both retention and detention storage, nearly elim- 
inating all runoff because water is held on the land- 
scape until the soil can absorb it while also reducing 
evaporation losses by reducing wind. 



Meridith, 1976 
14 



Burned areas (where there will be little debris left) 
may be immediately subject to erosion during storms. 
However after the browse, grass and forbs become 
established on these areas, soil stability will be 
greatly improved. 

Still another cause of erosion will be vehicles and 
equipment that may cross fragile watershed areas on 
their way to and from water catchment sites. 

Land Uses 

The proposed action would have both favorable and 
unfavorable impacts on land uses. The entire plan 
is designed to benefit wildlife and would in turn 
benefit some recreationists - hunters, wildlife photo- 
graphers, zoological sightseer s Chainings, burnings 
and seedings will ultimately benefit ranchers by 
providing more forage for livestock as well as wildlife. 
Cooperative agreements that allow BLM to maintain or 
improve wildlife habitat on private land may also in- 
directly benefit landowners. The proposed actions 
are complementary to most of Caliente MFP decisions. 

On the other hand, improperly planned chainings, and 
prescribed burnings can be offensive to campers, 
picnickers and botanical sightseers, who prefer un- 
interrupted "groves'* of pinyon pine. Mining claim 
markers could also be damaged or obliterated by 
chaining and burning. Christmas tree harvesting will 
of course be temporarily disrupted in chaining or 
burning areas. But in the long run higher quality 
Christmas trees will be produced on these sites. Pinyon 
nut harvesting will also be inhibited by burning and 
chainings . 

A possible conflict may develop between wildlife 
projects and future oil, gas and geothermal develop- 
ment (refer to draft E.A.R. for Oil, Gas and Geothermal 
Development in the Caliente-Virgin Valley Resource 
Area for a detailed discussion of the effects of this 
type of action on wildlife). As of yet, however, no 
specific oil, gas or geothermal exploration/development 
sites have been identified within the Beaver Dam WHA. 

Water 

The proposed actions-spring improvements, water catch- 
ments, chainings, burning, seedings-will have a variety 
of effects on water in the Beaver Dam WHA. During the 



Meridith, 1976 



construction phase of spring development, the spring 
and surrounding area will be disturbed, making the 
water unavailable for wildlife and livestock. This 
effect is temporary, though, and more water will be 
available for livestock and wildlife after the work 
is completed. Fencing the original sources for wild- 
life, while piping water to troughs for livestock and 
horses will improve water quality of the springs; 
horses, burros and livestock will no longer be able 
to trample and muddy the sources. Bird ladders and 
floats will make more surface water available to small 
birds and mammals. 

Water catchments will collect and store rainwater 
during storms and make this water available yearlong 
to big game, small game and non-game species. This 
will increase the carrying capacity of the area for 
wildlife. 

If downed timber isn't left after chaining, run-off 
will be a problem until vegetation is reestablished. 
Once it is, runoff will be less than it is on areas 
dense with pinyon and juniper trees. 

Hazards 

The seedings with grass, browse and forbs that follow 
chaining and prescribed burning will reduce the 
chance of flash floods by slowing down runoff after 
thunderstorms. 

b. Living Components 

Vegetation 

Both chaining and prescribed burning will, of course, 
have a major effect on vegetation on the areas shown 
on Map #3. The initial effect of chaining will be to 
uproot large, mature trees. Some understory browse 
plants that don't have the physiological capacity for 
regrowth through sprouting may be harmed. Also, the 
small trees left standing may be stimulated to grow 
more quickly than they would have without chaining. 

But the beneficial effects of a well-planned chaining 
are numerous, j Some browse plants return with increased 
vigor and growth after chaining. The stand is opened 
up by chaining, allowing grasses, forbs and shrubs to 
increase production. 



Meridith, 1976 
16 



Prescribed burning on areas too steep to chain, will 
reduce the numbers of large trees as well as thick 
accumulations of litter that prohibit growth of grass, 
forbs and browse. 

The edge effect (the amount of interfacing between 
woodlands and open areas relished by most species of 
wildlife) is also increased by chaining and burning. 

The percentage of trees left standing, the severity of 
chaining' s effect on understory browse, the types of 
vegetation that are reestablished, the longevity of the 
project, in general, the success of chaining can all be 
controlled by careful planning. 

Wildlife 

The Beaver Dam Intensive Inventory and HMP identify 
lack of permanent water and lack of palatable browse, 
grasses and forbs as major limiting factor for wild- 
life in this WHA. Wildlife will be temporarily dis- 
placed during the construction stage of bird ladders, 
water catchments and spring developments. But once the 
improvements are completed, more permanent water will 
be available for more species. 

The r eduction of habitat for pinyon jays, pinyon mice 
(and the other few species adapted to pinyon /juniper 
woodlands) caused by chaining and burning will be counter- 
acted by the increase in carrying capacity for deer, 
quail, raptors, songbirds and most other species 
Browse, grasses and forbs preferred by these species 
would be planted and encouraged to grow. 

Also, debris (downed trees) left on the site will 
provide additional cover and den sites for small 
rodents and reptiles. 

Finally, the studies proposed will reveal valuable 
information about game non-game species, their dis- 
tribution and habitat preferences that will help BLM 
make habitat management decisions. 

Livestock, Horses and Burros 

Livestock, wild horses and burros would benefit from 
water and forage improvements as much as the wild- 
life would. A mature pinyon/ juniper stand with little 
understory vegetation has no nutritional value to these 



Meridith, 1976 
17 



animals. Chaining and burning followed by reseeding 
would increase the forage available to wildlife and 
horses, burros and livestock. 

Spring developments would make water available to 
wildlife while still allowing livestock, horses and 
burros access. Water catchments, however, would be 
solely for wildlife use with livestock, horses and 
burros being excluded from the source by fences. 

Wildlife input into allotment management plans and 
horse and burro plans may recommend reductions of the 
numbers of livestock, horses and burros allowed in 
certain areas. This, of course, in the short run 
would be detrimental to the certain number of animals 
chosen for removal. But, in the long run, a healthy 
population of livestock, horses and burros in harmony 
with their environment will result. 

Ecological Interrelationships 

The ecological interrelationships will be changed 
dramatically by the chaining/burning and reseeding 
actions. The change of the vegetative community from 
mature pinyon/juniper stands to a diversified grass, 
forbs and browse composition will affect ecological 
cycles, plant/animal and predator/prey interactions. 

After the grasses, forbs and browse become reestablished, 
water runoff will be reduced. Rainfall will be more 
readily absorbed through the roots of the new plants. 
Instead of being completely transpired from trees, 
some water will be redirected through animals which 
consume the more succulent grasses, forbs and browse. 

The burning will cause quicker recycling of plant 
nutrients. 

Animal interrelationships will be altered as pinyon 
jays, mice and other animals adapted to mature 
pinyon/juniper communities move out and are replaced 
by other birds, mammals and reptiles which prefer the 
newly«created niches. 

A greater variety of prey species will be available 
as succulent forage and new cover (downed trees make 
good dens) appears. New food sources will in turn 
attract more predator species. Raptors will probably 
utilize dead trees as perches. The intensified edge 
effect will also help improve hunting conditions . ; 
for predators. 



Meridith, 1976 



The water developments will complement these effects 
caused by chaining, burning and reseeding. New water 
sources will also help attract a wider variety of prey 
and predator species into areas previously off-limits 
because of water shortage. 

d. Human Values 

Landscape Character 

The proposed actions will change the face of the land- 
scape. The spring and water catchment developments 
would add permanent artifacts (troughs, pipelines, 
aprons, etc.) that could disrupt the undisturbed 
appearance of some areas. 

Chaining and burning will immediately alter landscape 
character. At first burned or downed trees will 
litter large areas. After vegetation has become re- 
established, the areas of trees left standing inter- 
psersed with lush areas of grass and forbs will have a 
more pleasing aesthetic appearance. 

Socio-Cultural Values 

Poorly planned chaining, burning, and water developments 
could be detrimental to archaeological sites. Such a 
loss would be irreversible. 

There are no identified historic sites which would be 
damaged by any of the proposed actions. 

Socio-Economic Values 

Other adverse economic or social impacts include 
1) temporary loss of areas for pinyon nut collection, 
post cutting and Christmas tree gathering, 2) some 
public disapproval of "ugly" chaining or burning 
projects. 

On the other hand, the proposed actions would have two 
major favorable impacts. First of all, habitat for 
livestock grazing would be improved. Grazing is an 
important economic activity in this WHA. Secondly, 
some recreational opportunities would be increased. 
Improved wildlife habitat means improvement in the 
quality of hunting. Better hunting would benefit 
local people in 2 wyas: 1) an increase in their own 
hunting pleasure, 2) more revenue from the increased 
number of hunters passing through the two towns - 
Panaca and Caliente. 



Meridith, 1976 
19 



2. Possible Mitigating Measures 

a. Non-Living Components 

Air and Climate 

Careful choice of time when chaining and burning will 
take place (time of lowest wind velocity; most condi- 
tions for chaining, traveling, etc.) can reduce the 
amount of dust created by these operations. 

Land 

Soil tests should be made to determine best areas for 
burning or chaining. Mixing of concrete should be done 
in contained facilities to reduce the change of soil 
pollution. Piles of downed trees left on the site will 
help reduce runoff of soil and water. If heavy vehicles 
used to transport men and equipment to project sites are 
restricted to existing roads, trails and washes, damage 
to fragile watershed areas will be kept to a minimum. 

Areas of chainings or burns should be checked for 
mining claim markers prior to beginning the operation. 

b. Living Components 

Vegetation 

Care should be taken during chaining to do as little 
damage as possible to valuable under story vegetation. 

A mixture of browse, grass and forbs should always be 
used to reseed the treated area. 

Wildlife 

Fences around waters and habitat rehabilitation sites 
should be constructed to wildlife specifications to 
allow easy access. 

Patches of trees 10-15 acres in size scattered over 
the treated area will 1) preserve some habitat area 
for pinyon jays, pinyon mice and other species adapted 
to mature pinyon/ juniper woodlands 2) maximize the 
edge effect and 3) leave areas of cover preserved for 
wildlife. 

Clean up of sites after construction of spring develop- 
ments and water catchments should be quick and thorough, 
in order to encourage wildlife to return to the area 
as soon as possible. 

Meridith, 1976 

20 



Heavy vehicles, carrying equipment and men should use 
existing roads, trails and washes to reduce damage to 
wildlife habitat in the vicinity of projects and to 
disturb the wildlife itself, as little as possible. 

Livestock, Horses and Burros 

Reseeded areas should be fenced to exclude livestock 
for two growing seasons to allow the vegetation to 
become established. This requires careful planning to 
insure that forage is available elsewhere for livestock. 

Likewise, fencing all the springs or guzzlers off solely 
for wildlife would be fatal to livestock, wild horses 
and burros. Provisions should be made for these 
animals, like piping water to separate troughs for 
them to use. 

Total removal of livestock and horses would eliminate 
their competition with wildlife for water, forage and 
living space. But this would not be compatible with 
multiple use objectives or with the Wild Horse and Burro 
Act of 1971. Allotment Management Plans and Horse and 
Burro Plans should consider the habitat needs of all 
animals present and seek ways of satisfying their needs 
without overtaxing environmental resources. 

c. Ecological Interrelationships 

All the above mitigating measures would relieve some 
damage to ecological interrelationships caused by the 
proposed action. 

d. Human Values 

Landscape Character 

Aprons of water catchments should be painted natural 
colors (pale beige, green or grey) to blend in with the 
surrounding environment. The sites should be thoroughly 
cleared of debris after construction is completed. 

The aid of landscape architects should be solicited to 
design all chaining and burning projects. Treated areas 
should have irregular boundaries. Also, small areas of 
trees should be left standing to minimize the visual 
impact of opening up the formerly dense pinyon /juniper 
stands to provide some shade and cover. 



Meridith, 1976 



21 



Socio-Cultural Values 

Archaeological surveys should be made of all specific 
chaining or prescribed burning sites and water develop- 
ment areas before development in order to protect any 
possibly irreplaceable archaeological values. 

Known pinyon nut gathering areas should be excluded from 
treatment. Commercial and individual collections of 
Christmas trees, firewood and juniper posts should be 
concentrated in areas slated for habitat rehabilitations. 
Leaving some acres of trees standing within treatment 
areas will also help minimize post, firewood and 
Christmas tree loss. 

It is important that the public be informed of proposed 
projects in this WHA. Many people misunderstand the 
purposes and benefits of pinyon and juniper tree removal. 
News releases, articles, slide shows, etc., should be 
developed and distributed to identify areas for 
rehabilitation and to describe the reasoning behind such 
actions and what the expected results will be. 

3. Recommendations for Mitigation or Enhancement 

The following mitigating measures are recommended: 

1. Minimize dust by chaining or burning when wind condi- 
tions are right. 

2. Watershed, wildlife, minerals, recreation and forestry 
activities will cooperate to identify specific sites 
for prescribed burnings and chainings. Consult with 
State of Nevada Health Department (Air Pollution Divi- 
sion) before development. 

3. Mixing of concrete for water catchments and spring 
developments should be done in contained facilities 
to reduce the chance of soil pollution. 

4. Leave piles of downed trees on the site to help reduce 
runoff of soil and water and to improve cover for small 
animals. 

5. Restrict all heavy vehicles used in transporting men 
and equipment to existing roads, trails, and washes on 
fragile watershed areas. 

6. Minimize damage to valuable understory vegetation during 
chaining. 



Meridith, 1976 



22 



7. Use a mixture of browse, grass and forbs to reseed 
chaining and burning sites. 

8. Check for and avoid mining claim markers during chaining 
or burning operations. 

9. Leave patches of trees (10-15 acres in size) scattered 
throughout the treated areas for wildlife cover, 
Christmas trees, pinyon nuts and aesthetic values. 

10. Fence reseeded areas to exclude livestock for two 
growing seasons. 

11. Fences around waters and habitat rehabilitation sites 
will be constructed to allow wildlife easy access. 

12. Clean up spring development and water catchment sites 
quickly and thoroughly after construction is completed. 

13. Provide water for livestock and wild horses and burros 
away from the fenced, improved source. For instance, 
pipe water from a fenced spring development to a 
separate trough for livestock and horses. 

14. Aprons of water catchments should be painted natural 
colors (pale beige, green or grey) to blend with the 
surroundings. 

15. The District landscape architect will help design 

all chaining and burning projects. Treated areas should 
have irregular boundaries and buffer zones. 

16. Archaeological surveys should be made of all selected 
chaining or burning sites and water development areas 
before development. 

17. Any culturally important pinyon nut gathering areas 
will be excluded from treatment. Enlist aid of the 
Indian Tribal Council in identifying these areas. 

18. Commercial and individual collections of Christmas 
trees, firewood and juniper posts should be concentrated 
in areas slated for habitat rehabilitations. 

19. Inform the public of all proposed projects prior to 
development through news releases, feature articles, 
slide shows, etc. 

20. Cooperate with Nevada Department of Fish & Game, U. S. 
Fish & Wildlife Service, and interested groups and indi- 
viduals during inventories and habitat development projects 



Meridith, 1976 
23 



21. Consult with Utah BLM on any rehabilitation projects 
near the Utah-Nevada border. 



Meridith, 1976 
24 



4. Residual Impacts 

Most of the temporary adverse impacts -- dust, temporary 
displacement of wildlife, littering of the landscape with 
burned or downed trees after habitat rehabilitation projects, 
temporary exposure of treated areas to some erosion -- are 
unavoidable. Others -- like changes in ecological inter- 
relationships, loss of potential Christmas trees, firewood 
and posts -- will last until pinyon and juniper trees reinvade 
the treated area (trees can begin to dominate a site again in 
12-15 years) . 

5. Relationship between Short-Term Use and Long-Term Productivity 

In the short run, most of the impacts of the proposed 
action will be detrimental to the environment: trees will 
be uprooted, large areas of burned stumps or piled 
debris will be visible, wildlife will be driven out of treat- 
ment areas or away from water sources, noise and dust will 
accompany construction of many projects, etc. But in the 
long run (starting in from 2-5 years after habitat rehab- 
ilitation and starting almost immediately after water develop- 
ments are completed) , the advantages of these actions will be 
great: production of grass, forbs and browse will increase, 
more water and forage will be available to livestock, horses 
and burros, etc. In the long run, the beneficial impacts far 
outweigh the adverse temporary impacts. 

6. Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of Resources 

If all the mitigating measures are instituted, the only 
irreversible and irretrievable commitment will be the loss 
of some pinyon and juniper trees and the reduction in numbers 
(or at least a change in distribution) of species adapted 
to the present conditions. These commitments will be small 
since islands of trees in the treatment area will remain 
untouched. These commitments will actually not be permanent 
either since new trees will eventually reinvade the treated 
area. 

B. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives 

1. Alternative #1 

One alternative to the proposed action is altering the 
implementation schedule. The plan, as it now exists, 
allows time for inventories and studies before projects 
are initiated and time for evaluation and maintenance of 
projects after they are completed. 



Meridith, 1976 
25 



Minor changes in the schedule, like constructing 3 catch- 
ments in the first year and 3 in the next (instead of 2 
and 4) will not have an effect on the environment. 

But major changes like rushing through projects or de- 
laying them indefinitely will have adverse effects on 
the environment. Carrying out the projects without 
sufficient study may result in loss of archaeological and 
aesthetic values, damage to fragile watersheds, inefficient 
chaining (which results in rapid reinvasion of trees) and 
a waste of time, money, effort and resources. Recommended 
mitigating measures would remain the same but there would 
be more residual adverse impacts and there would be a larger 
irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources. The 
long-termed productivity would be reduced. 

On the other hand, a long delay in implementing the proposed 
action may lead to a continuing deterioration of wildlife 
habitat. Without treatment, pinyon/juniper woodlands will 
probably get denser in the Beaver Dam WHA, water will reamin 
remain scarce and the carrying capacity for a wide variety 
of wildlife species will decrease. 

2. Alternative #2 

No Action is another alternative to the proposed action. 
This would mean that no studies or inventories would be 
conducted, no water development would be constructed, no 
springs developed and no chaining/burning/seeding actions 
would take place. 

There would be no impact on air, climate, landscape charac- 
ter, or archaeological and historical values, or wildlife 
adapted to pinyon/juniper vegetation. 

But no action will allow pinyon/juniper woodlands to spread 
and get denser. Also water will remain scarce or unavailable. 
Unmanaged wild horses and burros populations will continue 
to grow rapidly. No information will be gathered on vege- 
tation or wildlife habitat, and therefore, the wildlife program 
will have little input into allotment management plans 
or horse and burro plans. 

The results of all this will include 1) increased loss 
of soil due to erosion 2) increased water runoff and 
flash flood potential 3) increased loss of forage-pro- 
ducing plants and the resulting loss of plant diversity 
and stability as well as loss of food for wildlife, 
livestock and horses 4) increased competition among wild- 
life, horses and livestock for small quantities of water 



Meridith, 1976 



2fi 



and decreasing forage 5) loss of habitat of endangered 
or protected species because little is known about their 
distribution or habitat requirements 6) damage to fragile 
watershed areas 7) loss of revenue as the livestock 
industry and quality of hunting decline. Some short-term 
adverse impacts (like dust or smoke, ugly burned stumps, 
etc.) would be avoided by taking no action but long-term 
productivity would be greatly reduced. The irreversible 
and irretrievable commitment of resources (particularly 
diversified vegetative and wildlife species) would be 
large if no action is taken in the Beaver Dam WHA. 



Meridith, 1976 
27 



IV. Persons, Groups and Government Agencies Consulted 

Nevada Department of Fish & Game 
Nevada State Clearinghouse 
U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service 



V. Intensity of Public Interest 

Governmental agencies (BLM, NDF&G, FWS, etc.) sportsman and con- 
servation groups and Lincoln County residents would all be inter- 
ested in the actions proposed in the Beaver Dam Habitat Management 
Plan. 



VI. Participating Staff 

Robert J. Sulenski - Environmental Coordinator 

Phillip V. Range - Caliente-Virgin Valley Resource Area Manager 

Richard Enriquez - Staff Wildlife Specialist 

Terry Driver - Staff Range Conservationist 

Frank E. Bingham - Chief, Division of Resource Management 

James Gegen - Soil Scientist 

Brian W. Hatoff - Archaeologist 



VII. Summary 

Analysis of the proposed action and alternatives indicates that the 
Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan will have some temporary adverse 
impacts on the environment (creation of dust or smoke, displeasing 
aesthetics, temporary displacement of wildlife, etc.) but that the 
long-run impacts are favorable for vegetation, wildlife and human 
resources. 

Date Denise P. Meridith 

Environmental Specialist 



Meridith, 1976 



28 



RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL: 



Date 



3/?/?<f 



Date 



i* / it> 



Date 



-^ /^hk 



rank E. 



Ffank E. Bingham 

Chief, Division of Resource Management 




6t*iA^_ 




Phillip VJ R/»nge 

Caliente-Virgin Valley Resource Area Manager 



APPROVAL: 



DateT / 




Meridith, 1976 



29 



UNITED STATES 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS WORKSHEET 



1. Action 



Implementation of Beaver Dam HMP 



2. Stages of implementation 

Habitat Treatments (Chaining or Prescribed Burning) 



3. DISCRETE OPERATIONS 




4 


. COMPONENTS, SUBCOMPONENTS. 
AND ELEMENTS IMPACTED 


s 


ANTICIPATED 
IMPACTS 


6. REMARKS 




A. AIR 

Air Quality 
















Dust (Particulates) 


+L 


■m 


+L 







Dust and exhaust emissions 




Chemicals (CO, etc.) 


+L 


-m 










will result from the vehicles 
















and machinery used. 


















































































£ 


B. LAND 

Soil Pollution 





+L 





-M 




Runoff will occur as land is 


z 

u 

Z 


Erosion Potential 


+L 


+M 





-H 




cleared and churned up. But once 


o 
5. 

B 

o 














vegetation is reestablished, 














erosion and flood hazard will be 


o 
z 














greatly reduced. 


> 
















z 
o 
z 
















« 


















Flood Hazard 





+M 





-H 








C. WATER 

Water Supply 
















Some chemicals & sediments mav 




Contamination 












enter water supplies as earth 




Animal Waste 
















is churned up and runoff occurs. 




Chemicals 





+L 





-L 




But after vegetation becomes re- 




Sediment 





m 





-L 




established this sort of contam- 
















ination is a lot less likely. 




















































A. PLANTS (Aquatic) 

N/A 














H 

z 

u 
z 

o 






























0. 

1 
o 
















o 
o 

z 

> 






























J 

















































(Continued on reverse) 



Form 1790-3 (June 1974) 




DISCRETE OPERATIONS 



COMPONENTS. SUBCOMPONENTS, 
AND ELEMENTS IMPACTED 



ANTICIPATED 
IMPACTS 



B. PLANTS I Terrestrial ) 

Grass 



-L 



-Hi 



+H 



Chaining or burning will seri- 



Forbs 



-L 



+H 



+-H 



ously thin out pinyon/ -juniper 



Conifers 



-H 



+L 



and reseeding will allow grasses. 



Brush & Shrubs 



-Hi 



4fl 



forbs & browse to become re- 



established, 



C. ANIMALS ' Aquatic . 
N/A 



D. ANIMALS 'Terrestrial' 

Mammals (wildlife) 



-Hi 



Animals will be initially dis- 



Birds 



+M 



-Hi 



placed from the area chained or 



Reptiles 



-M 



+L 



-Hi 



burned or by men & vehicles 



Livestock 



-Hi 



studying the area. But once 



Horses & Burros 



-M 



-Hi 



grass, forbs & grass return, 



Invertebrates 



-L 



+L 



-Hi 



most animals will benefit. 



Si 



A. ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES 
Nutrient Cycle 



+M 



+L 



-Hi 



Chaining & burning will quickly 



Hydrologic Cycle 



-m 



return nutrients to soil 6> increase 



Food Chain 



-M 



+L 



-HM 



number of plants & animals after 



vegetation is established will 



stimulate nutrient, hydrologic 6* 



food cycles 



A. LANDSCAPE CHARACTER 

Visual Impact 



-Hi 



At first burning or chaining 



Sound 



+L 



+L 



+L 



will have great adverse impact 



on landscape appearance. Noise 



will be prevalent temporarily 



during the operation. As vegeta- 



B. SOCIOC JlTURAl INTERESTS 



tion returns, landscape charac- 
ter will improve. 



Archaeological Values 



-X 



Chaining, burning & revegetatior, 



Socio-Economic Values 



may obscure or destroy archaeclc- 



Cultural 



gical sites, or traditional pinyc n 



gathering areas not yet identifie d. 



INST 
4r::or. — Enter action being taken analytic step for which 
worksheet is being used, environniental viewpoint of lm- 
pact and any assumptions relating to impact 

a Worksheet is normally used to analyze " Anticifratea 
Imf-ac:?" of action, '•:'- e: p* it may be used to analyze 
"Hesiaua. Impact! " Worksheets may also be used to 
compare impacts before and after mitigating measures 
are applied 

b Slate viewpoint that best describes environmental im- 
pact For example, a fence viewed down the fence 
line nas greater impact than the same fence viewed 
over an entire allotment Generally narrow viewpoints 
better illustrate specific impacts than will broad 
* lewpcints 

c Assumptions mav be made to establish a base for 
analvsis c ; estimates '.n_< -.i'.-c: 5*j«:"t :■■ \ea- 



i :a*( t v. ; .f 

proposed project 



- Identify differen* 



phases of 
.' . -. e . 



r.att t • 



l\ ■:•(:< •'.:••*■.■■•■ - Identih separate actions 

prising i particular stage of implementation t i 

"•'!-• • -,f :.*« "jM :•■'<■ •!.: :• i an 

•;•<•---. - - o-f, i'aani .7r.; :■*'■ acini 



E.errir.:- rr : :> t« - Enter under appropriate heading all 
em lrc-nmenta.' elements susceptible tc impact from action 
and alternate es Re levan: elements not contained in the 
digest sho_)c als-. be entered See BLM Manual 17511, 
Appendix 2 En\ ironn ental Digest 



RUCTIONS 

I ~ ^r:ic::ta:ea )mf>s.c: — Evaluate anticipated impact or. eacr 
element and place an entrv in the appropriate squa-e -nd.- 
eating degree of impact as low L; medium (Mi .'.igr. H 
nc impact iOj. or unknown or negligable ^X ■ Preceec 
each entrv bv a plus >-• or minus <-, sign ind.cating a 
beneficial or adverse tvpe of impact If type :' iirp&ct 
reflects a matter of opinion or is no' known - : - ;,re- 
ceed with a sign For example construction of i » .n: tt.... 
on open range has t definite visual impact. * :•-. c . -: • ■: 
some people the effect is detrimental while tc others _• _s 
an improvenient Bi not entering a plus - ) or nines - 
sign the worksheet is kept factual and unbiased L' both 
degree and tvpe of impact are unknown place an x ir the 
appropriate square 

a The measures of impact f x. . -. i. meazun jr. - , - 
are relative and their meaning may vary slightly free 
action to action The 'errr. "o.. "should no- be ap- 
plied tc impacts of a negligible nature For example 
we know that a pickup trucV driving down a proposed 
fence line laying wire has some impact on au ruali'i 
Howe\ er. the significance of this impac I 
normally great enough tc warrant even a " :. 
In cases like this the impact will usualh b( 
"'.•" or the elemen' left off the worksheet 
b It is recognizee that some em ironmenial elements n.a\ 
defy accurate tr easurement or m-depth anaivs.s » r.r - 
in current Burea. capabilities or expertise The r.atu-e 
| of the actio:, as wei! as tvpe and degree o! xfi.' 

shou.d cuide _r -r.e decision v. seek outside expe't.se 
or assistance 



is not 
-at.r.g 



Ente- carifving information 



UNITED STATES 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS WORKSHEET 



1. Action 



Implementation of Beaver Dam HMP 



2. Stages of implementation 

Spring and Water Catchment Developments 








/4f 7 < 


j/ 




/ / 


4 


COMPONENTS, SUBCOMPONENTS, 
AND ELEMENTS IMPACTED 


5. ANTICIPATED 
IMPACTS 


6. REMARKS 




A. AIR 

Air Quality 
















Dust (Particulates) 


+L 


+L 





+L 




A slight degradation of air 




Chemicals (CO.SxO) 


+L 


+L 





+L 




quality will result because 
















of dust & exhaust emission from 
















vehicles & equipment used in 
















construction. 


















































B 


B. LAND 

Soil Pollution 

















Minor erosion may result from 


z 
a 
z. 


Erosion Potential 


+L 


+L 





+L 





clearing small sites for devel- 



a 
s 
o 
u 














opment & from vehicles used on 














fragile watershed areas. 


o 
z 
















> 
















z 
o 

z 
















« 


















Flood Hazard 





















C. WATER 

Water Supply Contamination 


-L 


-L 





-L 


+H 


Water mav be made unavailable 




(Animal Waste) 








-H 





-H 


during construction, but in the 




(Chemicals) 





+L 










long run supply will increase 




(Sediment Load) 





+L 


-L 





-L 


Fencing will eliminate contamin- 
















ation by livestock, horses & 
















burros. Some chemical and sedi- 
















ment may accidently pollute 
















water during construction. 




















A. PLANTS (Aquatic) 
N/A 














H 

z 
















z 

o 
















a 
















u 
c 
z 
> 






























J 

















































(Continued on reverse) 



Form 1790-3 (June 1974) 



DISCRETE OPERATIONS 




COMPONENTS, SUBCOMPONENTS, 
AND ELEMENTS IMPACTED 


ANTICIPATED 
IMPACTS 


REMARKS 




B. PLANTS (Terrestrial) 

Grass 


-L 


-L 


+M 





+L 


Some vegetation may be des- 




Forbs 


-L 


-L 


+M 





+L 


troyed during transportation 




Conifer 


-L 


-L 








+L 


and construction. But fencing 




Brush & Shrubs 


-L 


-L 


4M 





+L 


will protect reestablished 
















vegetation within enclosures. 


c 


















O 

V) 

H 
Z 


C. ANIMALS (Aquatic) 
N/A 














Id 

E 
















0. 
















J 
u 
















o 
g 
















> 
















J 


D. ANIMALS (Terrestrial) 

Mammals (wildlife) 


-M 


-M 


-HM 


-L 


+H 


Animals may be temporarily dis- 




Birds 


-M 


-M 


+M 


-L 


■m 


placed by noise & movement of 




Reptiles 


-L 


-L 


-HM 


-L 


■m 


men & machines. In long run all 




Livestock 


-M 


-M 


-L 


-L 


■m 


animals, but particularly wildlife 




Invertebrates 


-L 


-L 


+M 


-L 


m 


(now crowded out by some cows, 




Horses & Burros 


-M 


-M 


-L 


-L 


+M 


horses & burros) will benefit 


£E 


A. ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES 

Nutrient Cycle 





-L 








fM 


from increased water. 

Cycles may be temporarily dis- 


EX 


Hydrologic 





-L 








■m 


turbed as wildlife & vegetation 


S2 


Predator /Prey Relat. 


-L 


-L 


-L 


-L 


+H 


are disturbed, but after com- 














pletion of project ecological 


S J 














processes will be beneficial. 




















A. LANDSCAPE CHARACTER 

Visual Impact 


-L 


-M 


-L 


-L 


-L 


Noise disturbance will be 




Sound 


-L 


-M 





-L 





temporary. But the spring dev. 


Id 

3 














or attachment will slightly 


1 














disrupt the desert landscape. 


2 
















< 
S 


B. SOCIOCULTURAL INTERESTS 

Archaeological Values 


-L 


-M 


-L 


-L 


-M 


Some arch, values may be lost. 


> 


Socio-Economic Values 


+L 


+L 





+L 


+M 


Economy will benefit from work 




Cultural 








3 








force and increased hunter trade 
















in the future. 



















INST 

1. Action — Enter action being taken, analytic step for which 
worksheet is being used, environmental viewpoint of im- 
pact, and any assumptions relating to impact- 

a. Worksheet is normally used to analyze "Anticipated 
Impacts" of action; however, it may be used to analyze 
"Residual Impacts." Worksheets may also be used to 
compare impacts before and after mitigating measures 
are applied. 

b. State viewpoint that best describes environmental im- 
pact. For example, a fence viewed down the fence 
line has greater impact than the same fence viewed 
over an entire allotment. Generally, narrow viewpoints 
better illustrate specific impacts than will broad 
viewpoints. 

c. Assumptions may be made to establish a base for 
analysis (e.g. estimated time periods, season of year, 
etc.). 

2. Stages of Implementation — Identify different phases of 
proposed project (e.g. a road project consists of survey, 
construction, use, and maintenance stages). 

Discrete Operations - Identify separate actions com- 
prising a particular stage of implementation (e.g. the 
construction stage of the road project has the discrete 
operations of clearing, grading, and surfacing). 

4. Elements Impacted — Enter under appropriate heading all 
environmental elements susceptible to impact from action 
and alternatives. Relevant elements not contained in the 
digest should also be entered. See BLM Manual 1791, 
Appendix 2, Environmental Digest. 



RUCTIONS 

5. Anticipated Impact — Evaluate anticipated impact on each 
element and place an entry in the appropriate square indi- 
cating degree of impact as low (L), medium (M), high (H), 
no impact (O), or unknown or negligable (X). Preceed 
each entry by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign indicating a 
beneficial or adverse type of impact. If type of impact 
reflects a matter of opinion or is not known, do not pre- 
ceed with a sign. For example, construction of a wind mill 
on open range has a definite visual impact; however, to 
some people the effect is detrimental while to others it is 
an improvement. By not entering a plus (+) or minus (-) 
sign the worksheet is kept factual and unbiased. If both 
degree and type of impact are unknown, place an (x) in the 
appropriate square. 

a. The measures of impact (e.g. low, medium, and high) 
are relative and their meaning may vary slightly from 
action to action. The term "/ou"should not be ap- 
plied to impacts of a negligible nature. For example, 
we know that a pickup truck driving down a proposed 
fence line laying wire has some impact on air quality. 
However, the significance of this impact is not 
normally great enough to warrant even a "low" rating. 
In cases like this, the impact will usually be marked 
"O" or the element left off the worksheet. 

b. It is recognized that some environmental elements may 
defy accurate measurement or in-depth analysis with- 
in current Bureau capabilities or expertise. The nature 
of the action as well as type and degree of impact 
should guide in the decision to seek outside expertise 
or assistance. 

6. Remarks - Enter clarifying information. 



J 



UNITED STATES 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS WORKSHEET 



1. Action 



NO ACTION 



2. Stages of implementation 




4. COMPONENTS, SUBCOMPONENTS, 
AND ELEMENTS IMPACTED 



5. ANTICIPATED 
IMPACTS 



6. REMARKS 



A. AIR 

Climate 



Air Quality 



Dust 



Chemicals 



B. LAND 

Soil Pollution 



If pinyon/ juniper woodlands 



Erosion Potential 



4-H 



get denser, erosion and flood 



Flood Hazards 



+H 



hazards will increase due to 



increasing lack of understory 



vegetation. 



C. WATER 

Water Supply 



-M 



Contamination 



With no improvements water 



quantity will stay low or decrease 



(Animal Waste) 



m 



Uncontrolled livestock, horses & 



(Chemicals) 



+-L 



burros will continue to muddy & 



(Sediment Load) 



+M 



contaminate water sources, 



Chemicals & sediments will continue 



to pollute water as erosion & flood 



hazards increase. 



A. PLANTS (Aquatic) 

N/A 



(Continued on reverse) 



Form 1790-3 (June 1974) 



DISCRETE OPERATIONS 




COMPONENTS, SUBCOMPONENTS, 
AND ELEMENTS IMPACTED 


ANTICIPATED 
IMPACTS 


REMARKS 




B. 


PLANTS (Terrestrial) 

Grass 


-H 










With no chaining or burning to 




Forbs 


-H 










thin woodlands, P/J will 




Conifers 


+H 










continue to crowd out grass. 




Brush & Shrubs 


-M 










forbs, brush & shrubs 


















e 


















U 

w 
H 
Z 


C. 


ANIMALS (Aquatic) 
N/A 














Id 

Z 
































u 
















a 

z 
















> 
















-i 


D. 


ANIMALS (Terrestrial) 

Mammals (wildlife) 


-H 










With no improvements, habitat 




Livestock 


-M 










(forage & water) will deteriorate 




Horses & Burros 


-M 










to the disadvantage of most 






Birds 


-M 










animals. 




Reptiles 


-L 














Invertebrates 


-L 












££ 


A. 


ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES 

Nutrient Cycle 


-M 










As habitat deteriorates, 




Hydrological Cycle 


-M 










ecological processes are 


(_>Z 


Pred./Prey Relationship 


-M 










disrupted or altered. 
















E-> 


































A 


LANDSCAPE CHARACTER 

Visual Impact 

















Sound 































1 
















• z 
















< 

s 


B. 


SOCIOCULTURAL INTERESTS 
Archaeological Values 















> 


Socio-Economic 

















Cultural 
















































INST 

1. Action — Enter action being taken, analytic step for which 
worksheet is being used, environmental viewpoint of im- 
pact, and any assumptions relating to impact. 

a. Worksheet is normally used to analyze "Anticipated 
Impacts" of action; however, it may be used to analyze 
"Residual Impacts." Worksheets may also be used to 
compare impacts before and after mitigating measures 
are applied. 

b. State viewpoint that best describes environmental im- 
pact. For example, a fence viewed down the fence 
line has greater impact than the same fence viewed 
over an entire allotment. Generally, narrow viewpoints 
better illustrate specific impacts than will broad 
viewpoints. 

c. Assumptions may be made to establish a base for 
analysis (e.g. estimated time periods, season of year, 
etc.). 

2. Stages o/ Implementation - Identify different phases of 
proposed project (e.g. a road project consists of survey, 
construction, use. and maintenance stages). 

Discrete Operations _ Identify separate actions com- 
prising a particular stage of implementation (e.g. the 
construction stage of the road project has the discrete 
operations of clearing, grading, and surfacing). 

4. Elements Impacted — Enter under appropriate heading all 
environmental elements susceptible to impact from action 
and alternatives. Relevant elements not contained in the 
digest should also be entered. See BLM Manual 1791, 
Appendix 2, Environmental Digest. 



RUCTIONS 

5. Anticipated Impact - Evaluate anticipated impact on each 
element and place an entry in the appropriate square indi- 
cating degree of impact as low (L), medium (M), high (H), 
no impact (O), or unknown or negligable (X). Preceed 
each entry by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign indicating a 
beneficial or adverse type of impact. If type of impact 
reflects a matter of opinion or is not known, do not pre- 
ceed with a sign. For example, construction of a wind mill 
on open range has a definite visual impact, however, to 
some people the effect is detrimental while to others it is 
an improvement. By not entering a plus (+) or minus (-) 
sign the worksheet is kept factual and unbiased. If both 
degree and type of impact are unknown, place an (x) in the 
appropriate square. 

a. The measures of impact (e.g. low, medium, and high) 
are relative and their meaning may vary slightly from 
action to action. The term "/ou"should not be ap- 
plied to impacts of a negligible nature. For example, 
we know that a pickup truck driving down a proposed 
fence line laying wire has some impact on air quality. 
However, the significance of this impact is not 
normally great enough to warrant even a "low" rating. 
In cases like this, the impact will usually be marked 
"O" or the element left off the worksheet. 

b. It is recognized that some environmental elements may 
defy accurate measurement or in-depth analysis with- 
in current Bureau capabilities or expertise. The nature 
of the action as well as type and degree of impact 
should guide in the decision to seek outside expertise 
or assistance. 

6. Remarks - Enter clarifying information. 



VIII. References 



Brunner, J., 1974 „ Environmental Analysis Record: Delamar Valley 
Allotment Management Plans . Bureau of Land Management. 
Las Vegas. 92 pp. 

Bureau of Land Management, 1973. Caliente Unit Resource Analysis 

and Management Framework Plan . USDI : BLM, Las Vegas, Nevada. 

, 1974. Economic Supplement - Las 



Vegas District . USDI: BLM, Reno, Nevada. 174 pp. 

Gifford, G„, 1973„ "Runoff and Sediment Yields from Runoff Plots on 
Chained Pinyon-Juniper Sites." Journal of Range Management . 
Vol. 26, No. 6; pp. 440-443. 

Meridith, D„, 1975. Beaver Dam Intensive Inventory and Habitat 
Management Plan (Revision) . Bureau of Land Management, Las 
Vegas, Nevada. 

Rush, 1964. Ground Water Appraisal of Meadow Valley Area (Report 27) 
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Carson 
City, Nevada. 43 pp„ 

Tansch, R„ , 1972. Plant Succession and Mule Deer Utilization on 
Pinyon/Juniper Chainings in Nevada (Masters Thesis) . 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada. 

United States Forest Service, 1973. Draft Environmental Statement: 
Pinyon-Juniper Chaining Program on National Forest Lands in 
the State of Nevada . U. S. Department of Agriculture: 
U. S. Forest Service. Ogden, Utah. 58 pp. 

United States Geological Survey, 1974. Water Resources Data for 
Nevada . U. S. Department of the Interior: U. S. Geological 
Survey. Carson City, Nevada 244 pp. 

Willie & al., 1975. Preliminary Lincoln County Master Plan . 
Lincoln County Commission. Pioche, Nevada. 47 pp. 



Meridith, 1976 



APPENDIX 



Caliente MFP Step III Decisions Affecting 
The Beaver Dam WHA 



Recreation 



1. Where feasible, game populations will be increased in the 
Clover Mountains. Roads in this area will be maintained regularly 
to facilitate hunter access. Public access across national 
resource lands will be maintained. 

2. In the Meadow Valley Wash area, identify and obtain access 
routes across private lands where such access is limited. Wherever 
possible, present upland bird populations will be improved. 

3. Maintain access into Clover Mountains where wild horses or 
burros may be viewed. Where practical, water developments within 
these areas will be constructed to facilitate recreational ob- 
servation of wild horses and burros. 

4 All developments or operations within the Clover Mountains 
will consider aesthetic values (buffer zones will be provided 
around chainings, seedings and sprayingswwhere they may be viewed 
from any existing transportation route). 



Minerals 



1. Small areas around crucial wildlife habitat areas and water 
sources should be withdrawn from the general mining laws subject 
to valid and existing rights. 

2„ Mineral and energy sources will contain surface protection 
stipulations for the protection of other resources, especially 
fragile watershed, wildlife and recreational values. 

3. Exploration for geothermal energy sources will be encouraged, 
Prior to issuance of a permit or lease for geothermal exploration 
or development, a thorough examination will be made to determine 
if conflicts exist with other resources. 



Wild Horses and Burros 

1. Inventory wild horsesand burro populations and determine 
allotments where they are found. 

2. Determine the allowable numbers of wild horses and burros in 
each habitat area to maintain the ecological balance and prevent 
environmental degradation. 

3. In areas of known wild horse and burro use, fences will be 
carefully planned so movement of horses are not necessarily restricted, 



Meridith, 1976 



4. Develop Wild Horse Management Plan for wild horse selected 
problem areas. Manage w^ld horses in place as one component of 
the ecosystem. Priority allotment areas include: Little Mountain, 
Rabbit Spring, Sheep Spring, Oak Wells, Buckboard, Cottonwood, 
Pennsylvania, Sawmill-Clover Mountain, Clover Creek, and Mustang 
Flat. 



Watershed 



1. Priority watersheds for chemical or mechanical vegetation 
manipulation are Sheep Spring, Rabbit Spring, Oak Wells and 
Little Mountain. 

2. Other priority watersheds for mechanical vegetation manipu- 
lation include Buckboard, Pennsylvania and Cottonwood. 

3. Improve watershed cover and conditions in the Beaver Dam 
watershed (a fragile watershed) by restricting uses which disturb 
the soil and vegetative cover. 

4. Watershed intensive analysis and activity planning will be 
initiated based on the following multiple used priorities. 
East Panaca Geographic Area, Pennsylvania watershed. 

5. Improve and maintain w ater and environmental quality by reducing 
excess silts in high runoff water flows in Clover Creek, Meadow 
Valley Wash and Beaver Dam Creek by improving watershed cover condi- 
tions. Develop Watershed Management Plans with priority on the East 
Panaca Geographical Area. 

6. Reduce chemical pollution at water sources and improve environ- 
mental quality by fencing livestock away from water sources and 
piping water to a suitable drinking trough. Place bird ladders 

in troughs. 

7. Protect the following watershed improvements from wildfire: 
Sheep Flat, Barclay summer and Enterprise seedings and the Staheli 
and Simpkins chainings. Rehabilitate wildfire areas immediately. 



Lands 



1. If suitable land exchange can be arranged, acquire those 
private lands containing archaeological sites located along the 
Meadow Valley Wash Road six miles south of Caliente. 



Meridith, 1976 



Forestry 



1. Investigate the possibility of establishing a Christmas tree 
farm on the Sheep Spring chaining. 

2 Concentrate forest product sales in areas proposed for 
chaining. 



Livestock 



1. Continue implementation and/or maintenance of Allotment Manage- 
ment Plans on Mustang, Oak Springs, and Barclay Summer allotments. 

2„ Develop and maintain AMP's on all allotments. Priority will 
be on the allotments which can be improved through livestock manage- 
ment alone: Crossroads, Sheep Spring, Enterprise and Barclay 
Winter allotments. 

3. Use mechanical and/or chemical treatment or fire to reduce 
woody competition and to permit growth of good forage plants on 
those areas which have been identified through Allotment Manage- 
ment Planning. 

4. Livestock waters will remain functioning throughout the year 
for use by wildlife,, 

5. Water troughs will be equipped with bird ladders or other 
devices to facilitate small animal use. 

6. Reclassify the Little Mountain Allotment for cattle use only. 

7. When possible, construct all fences in important big game areas 
to wildlife specifications. 



Wildlife 



1. Conduct studies to identify crucial mountain lion habitat 
areas. Consider mountain lions in all Habitat Management Plans. 

2. Inventory and protect crucial small game and non-game habitat. 

3. Conduct inventory to determine habitat areas of threatened 
and protected species. Develop special management plans. 

4. Intensive inventories will be made of Ash, Pine and Cottonwood 
Creeks . 

5. Wildlife specialist will work closely with Range Specialist 
in developing Allotment Management Plans for those allotments 
involving crucial wildlife habitat. 

Meridith, 1976 



6. Cooperate in the development of wild horse and burro manage- 
ment plans. 

7. Construct big game catchments identified in Habitat Manage- 
ment Plans. 

8. Develop new waters for quail, dove, chukar, cottontails 
and non-game use in the Clover Mountains, 

9. Control burn portions of the south slope of Sawmill Range 
(see Management Framework Plan overlays), 

10. Mineral examinations will be made of crucial wildlife areas 
to identify potential conflicts, 

11. Maintain or improve riparian vegetation along Meadow Valley 
Wash and Clover Creek. 

12. Leave unchained patches of pinyon/juniper of 10 to 15 acres 
for every 100 treated. Design projects in irregular shapes to 
increase edge effect and maintain treated areas as close to cover 
as possible. 

13. Develop additional summer habitat through chaining and 
seeding projects. 



Meridith, 1976 



UNITEp^A>ES GOVERNMENT 

Memorandum 



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



y 



IN REPLY REFER TO: 

1791 
CN-911.5) 



To 




: District Ma*rager, Las Vegas 



Date: 



DEC 1 8 1 975 



_ Associate 

From : state Director, Nevada 

Subject : Review of EAR for Beaver Dam Habitat 
Management Plan 

Attached are the respective comments on the subject environmental 
analysis record received from the State Planning Coordinator and 
the Nevada Department of Fish and Game. Please prepare your draft 
responses to each of those offices and submit them to this office 
for review. The final product will then be signed and transmitted 
under my signature to those offices. Your drafts should address 
the specific comments where possible. 

Also attached are the comments from the NSO Division of Resources. 
We concur with these staff review comments with the exception of 
the second portion of comment "C under III -General Comments. The 
Division of Resources thought that the statement recommending an 
EIS not be prepared was included in the EAR because the EAR title 
page had mistakenly been placed in front of the district's cover 
memorandum after the document had arrived in the State Office for 
review. 




7^Z 0l. 



Enclosures - 3 

Encl. 1 - Comments from State Clearinghouse and Nevada 

Department of Fish and Game 
Encl. 2 - Comments from NSO Division of Resources , 
Encl. 3 - EAR 



,/, 




c o 

7- , ■ 



te> 







STATE OF NEVADA 

GOVERNORS OFFICE OF PLANNING COORDINATION 

Capitol Building, Room 45 

Capitol Complex 

Carson City, Nevada 897 10 

(702) 883 4865 



November 21, 197^ 



Mr. E. I. Rowland 

State Director 

U. S. Bureau of Land Management 

300 Booth Street 

Reno, Nevada 89502 

Re: Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan EAR, SAI CiV#7600OO26 

Dear Mr. Rowland: 

The Nevada Clearinghouse has completed its review. of the Beaver Dam 
Habitat Management -Plan Environmental Analysis Record. The review indi- 
cates general agreement with the proposed management plan with one major 
exception. This concern relates to the proposal on page *>> action 5 
in which it is proposed to obtain substantial amounts of private land 
to "assure hunter access to national resource land." 

Nevada strongly objects to such acquisition, especially in counties 
where federal ownership of land equals 99/» of the total county. The 
property tax for funding county and local government is severely limited 
because of the vast federal land holdings and efforts, such as you pro- 
pose, to reduce the amount of land on the tax rolls is opposed, especially 
in light of the fact that need for such acquisition has not been adequately 
demonstrated. Subject proposal should be deleted. 

Technical comments from the Department of Fish and Game are also 
attached. You should respond to their comments directly with a copy to 
this office. 



BDA/db 
enc 

cc : Department of Agriculture 
Department of Fish and Game 



Sincerely, 




Bruce D. Arkell 

State Planning Coordinator 



"A\ 




MIKE OCALLAGHAN 
GOVERNOR 



GLEN K. GRIFFITH 
Director 



>0 VALLEY ROAD 



P.O. BOX 10678 



RENO. NEVADA 89510 



TELEPHONE ( 702 ) 784-6219 



November 20, 1975 



Mr. Bruce D. Arkell 
Planning Coordinator 
Governor's Office 
Capitol Building, Rm. 45 
Carson City, Nv. 89701 

Dear Mr. Arkell: 




Attached you will find the comments of the Nevada Department 
of Fish and Game concerning the Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan 
SAI #76800026. 

There is the possibility that all of these comments may not 
be pertinent to the subject document since the reviewing office 
has not received a copy of the revised Beaver Dam Habitat Manage- 
ment Plan as referenced on Page 1. The document receiving com- 
ments is the Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan N5-WHA-T24 
Caliente Planning Unit, prepared by Denise P. Meridith, Environ- 
mental Specialist, dated June 1975. 

Sincerely, 



GLEN K. GRIFFITH, DIRECTOR 




<! Cu</j&*JL*> 



A. J^ck Dieringer 
Assistant Chief 
Division of Fisheries 




AJD:vh 
Enc: 



Page 1 



EAR Reviewed Beaver Dam Habitat Management Plan SAI# 76800026 
Reviewing Agency Nevada Department of Fish & Game 
Person/s Preparing Review Nick J. Papez 

POLICY CONSIDERATIONS 

1. Major direct and secondary impacts on State. 

Page 13 Mention should be made that increased livestock grazing 
and trampling on vegetation and soil disturbance will have con- 
siderable impact particularly during drought periods. The result 
of such impacts will directly affect all wildlife species either 
directly through loss of escape cover, water and food sources or 
indirectly by lowered carrying capacity through crucial winter 
and spring survival periods. Grazing in this area by livestock 
and "wild" and free-roaming horses and burros will definitely 
impact wildlife. 

Page 15-16 Wildlife: This section should present impacts, both 
direct and indirect, upon all wildlife species resulting from im- 
proper grazing practices during all seasons of the year. 

Page 16 Livestock grazing during drought periods will directly 
affect watershed values, ground water tables and increase erosion 
potential. 



Page 2 

TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS 

3. ' General comments. 

Pages 2-6 This suggests a horse and burro management plan 
superimposed over the existing HMP. Priorities here should 
be re-aligned to exclude or totally eliminate horse popula- 
tions from such an important wildlife area. 

Pages 7-12 Description of existing environment is too brief 
and general. 

Method of seed application should be identified. Aerial ap- 
plication of expensive seed as bitterbrush and majogany is 
wasteful unless done between chaining or hand planted. On a 
burn treatment these species should be hand planted on select- 
ed sites. 

4. Technical comments. 

Page 4 Seeding mixture recommended is very good, but the 
seeding rate of each species should be identified. 

Page 5 Re: Sawmill Range controlled burn: Seed species and 
rate should be identified. 

Page* 16 We do not agree with the statement that "livestock, 
wild horses and burros would benefit from water and forage im- 
provements as much as wildlife would". We strongly feel they 
can and will "out compete" all wildlife species for water, 
forage and space during critical periods such as cold weather 
and drought periods. 

Page 18 Livestock, horses and burros. Mention is made here 
of mitigating measures involving total removal of livestock 
and horses to eliminate livestock competition with wildlife for 
water, forage and living space. In the same paragraph it is 
also stated: "but this is not compatible with multiple use 
objectives or with the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971". 
Since in many cases, livestock and wild horses are not com- 
patable with wildlife water, forage and specie needs, we believe 
it logical the priorities be established. A key wildlife seasonal 
range of water source should be protected from livestock and horse 
use. 

5. Other Specific Comments. 

Page 1 This reviewing office has not received a copy of the 
revised Beaver Dam HMP as referenced to on this page. 



Page 3 

6. Suggested alternatives, remedial actions and/or mitigating measures. 

Alternative One is more acceptable than two, but the proposed 
action schedule should be the first alternative. 



* UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT 

mg y DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

JM € tllO rail Ull ttl BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT in reply refer to: 

Nevada State Office 1791 

Room 3008 Federal Building (N-930,4) 

300 Booth Street 
Reno, Nevada 89509 

To : Chief, Planning Coordination Staff (N-911.5) Date: December 17, 1975 
From : chief, Division of Resources 

4 

Subject : Rev i ew f EAR for Beaver Dam tfMP 

The following staff review comments are provided for your coordination with 
the District. \ 

| 
L Watershed/Forestry 

A. HMP Implementation Schedule t Costs of catchments appear low — 
$5,000/unit. 

B. Page 5 - What is the erosion hazard of controlled burning? 
Are controlled and prescribed burning synonymous? 

Co Precipitation of 8-9 inches per year indicates that marginal 
results can be expected with reseeding of most browse and 
forb species listed on page 4. 

D. The EAR does not fully consider the detrimental effects 
(erosion hazard) of controlled burning 65,000 acres. 

E. P-J chaining should be complimentary to erosion control on 
the shallow soil sites. 

Fo Page 10 - How do soil micro-organisms fit into the ecological 
interrelationships? Do humans fit into the ecology? 

G. Page 11 - Socio-Economic Factors - Is there any value or 

demand for P-J posts, firewood, and other woodland products? 

H. Page 13 - P-J chaining debris will aid in soil stabilization 
objective. 

I. Page 14 - Fencing of water developments will reduce fecal 
and total coliform counts. 

J. Page 14 - Hazards - Will "down" vegetation (P-J) and fences 
present any safety hazard to animals? Appropriate entry 
of comment should be in Section III.A.l.b. 

K. Page 18 - First sentence - More posts should be immediately 
available. Reinvasion of P-J will occur and, in perhaps 
6 to 10 years, Christmas trees should be available. MFP 
decision supports this comment. 



Lo Page 18, Item II A 2.a - Prescribed Burning Plan development, 
including cooperation with State of Nevada, Environmental 
Health Department, Air Quality Division, should be mentioned. 

M. Page 18 - What mitigating measures can be taken to enhance 

water quality? Runoff reduction will decrease sediment yield 
(PPMofTDS). 

N. Page 20 - Indian Tribal Council should be notified of proposed 
pinyon chaining. 

0. General Comment - Pine and Mathews Canyon Watersheds are in the 
HMP area. No mention of research results with University of 
Nevada or hydrologic study data was included. 

These comments represent a "quickie" review of the HMP. The 65,000 acres 
of controlled burning is alarming. Perhaps an EIS on the controlled 
burning should be forthcoming. 

II. Recreation 

A. The HMP mentioned hunting quality would be increased. This 

statement should be explained further. Perhaps what is meant 
is the quantity of wildlife available would be increased. 
In recreation, quality refers to enjoyment of the hunter's 
experience and quantity refers to number. 

Bo We can find no reference to ORV use and its effect on the 
objectives of the HMP. Do we need to protect the values 
created by the HMP or is there critical wildlife habitat 
that should be restricted from or closed to ORV's? 

C. The existing recreation opportunities have not been fully 
stated,, We cannot accept the statement - Land Use - 
".. o recreation, hunting, fishing, etc ." Every recreation 
opportunity existing should be narrated, including primitive 
values. 

D There are three State Parks in the WHA These should be 
discussed under the existing situation* The effects on 
these State Parks should also be discussed. For example, 
water and air quality from a recreation point of view. 
Aesthetical impacts of chaining and burning is visible 
from the Parks. 

E. Visual management techniques should be added to mitigating 
measures. Are the chainings and burning still practical 
after the required visual management constraints are applied? 
Should this constraint be part of the proposal? 

-2- 



F. Don Fowler and Dr» Richard Brooks should be consulted for 

information on cultural values in the area. They have done 
work in the area and their reports should be utilized to 
show the probable impact of our proposal on the cultural 
resources. It is not adequate to say "BLM has not conducted 
archaeological surveys" because there is known data avail- 
able if we take the time to do the research. 

Adding to the existing situation would allow an analysis of 
the impact of the project and the mitigating measures. 
After mitigating measures are applied, is the project 
practical or economical? 

III. General Comments 

A. It's hard to believe that 65,000 acres of controlled burn 
doesn't have a significant effect on the human environment 
and doesn't constitute a major federal action. 

B As the proposed project is on the Stateline, the environmental 
analysis should include the affected area across the boundary. 
Utah should have a change to review the project and the EAR. 

C. The report was signed in September; therefore, the title page 
should show September, not June. Instruction Memorandum No. 
75-325 (WO) indicated that the statement on the necessity of 
an EIS should not be part of the EAR. 




-3- 



REPLIES TO NSO DIVISION OF RESOURCE COMMENTS: 



Comment: "HMP Implementation Schedule 
$5,000/unit." 



Costs of catchments appear low -■ 



Answer: Two such water catchments were installed in the Caliente Planning 
Unit in 1975 at a cost to BLM of $3,000 a piece. Therefore, the 
cost stated in the E.A.R. is not low. In fact, it was estimated 
at $5,000 to take into account rising inflation costs in the near 
future . 

Comment: "Precipitation of 8-9 inches per year indicates that marginal 
results can be expected with reseeding of most browse and 
forb species listed." 

Answer: Low precipitation does limit the effectiveness of reseeding through- 
out southern Nevada, But some past projects (like Horsethief 
chaining in Lincoln County) have been successful. Most of these 
projects have occurred in areas with 10 inches or more of precipi- 
tation. Amount of rainfall and chances of success will be evaluated 
on individual reseeding projects and priorities will be set ac- 
cordingly. These areas mentioned in the E.A.R. are only potential 
rehabilitation areas. 

Comment: Socio-Economic Factors - Is there any value or demand for P-J 
posts, firewood, and other woodland products? 

Page 20 - Indian Tribal Council should be notified of proposed 
piny on chaining. 

Answer: Yes. Permits for P-J posts, firewood and woodland products are 
issued for the Caliente area by BLM. The impacts of the HMP on 
this resource is mentioned under III.A.l.d. (Socio-Economic Values). 
The major one is temporary loss of areas for pinyon nut collection, 
post cutting and Christmas tree gathering. 

Mitigating measures discussed in the E.A.R. include: 

1) Known pinyon nut gathering areas should be excluded 
from treatment, 2) commercial and individual collection 
of Christmas trees, firewood and juniper posts should 
be concentrated in areas slated for habitat rehabilitations 
and 3) areas of trees will be left standing within re- 
habilitation areas to minimize post, firewood and Christmas 
tree loss. 



In any case, the loss of Christmas trees in chained areas is 
temporary. In 10-12 years, the trees will return and probably 
be better specimens than those presently growing under crowded 
conditions. 



The Indian Tribal Council should be notified. Information from 
this group and other members of the public will be used to 
identify known pinyon nut gathering areas (which will be excluded 
from rehabilitation). 

Comment: "Item II„A.2.a. - Prescribed Burning Plan development, including 

cooperation with State of Nevada, Environmental Health Department, 
Air Quality Division, should be mentioned." 

Answer: These agencies and others will be consulted prior to any prescribed 
burning. 

Comment: "Fencing of water developments will reduce fecal and total 
coliform counts." 

Answer: We agree. The E.A.R. states that fencing will improve water quality 
of the springs. (Refer to Anticipated Impacts - Water). The 
reduction of fecal and total coliform counts are two ways in which 
quality will be improved. 

Comment: Hazards - Will "down" vegetation (P-J) and fences present any 

safety hazards to animals? Appropriate entry of comment should 
be in Section III.A.l.b. 

Answer: Downed vegetation will not present a safety hazard to animals. 
In fact it will benefit wildlife by providing more cover for 
small animals like rabbits and rodents. As stated under "Miti- 
gating Measures" fences around waters will be constructed to 
wildlife specifications to allow easy access. 

Comment: "The HMP mentioned hunting quality would be increased. This 

statement should be explained further. Perhaps what is meant is 
the quantity of wildlife available would be increased. In recreation, 
quality refers to enjoyment of the hunter's experience and quantity 
refers to number." 

Answer: If the condition of and quantity of game wildlife is improved, it 

follows that the enjoyment of the hunter's experience will increase. 
Both hunting quantity and quality will be improved as a result of 
implementation of the HMP. 

Comment: "We can find no reference to ORV use and its effect on the ob- 
jectives of the HMPo Do we need to protect the values created 
by the HMP or is there critical wildlife habitat that should be 
restricted from or closed to ORV's?" 



Answer: ORV use has not yet conflicted with wildlife in the Beaver Dam 

WHA. The wildlife activity has identified no areas that need to 
be closed to ORV's. 



Comment: "The existing recreation opportunities have not been fully 
stated. We cannot accept the statement - Land Use - " ... 
recreation, hunting, fishing, etc ." Every recreation opportunity 
existing should be narrated, including primitive values. 

Answer: Whether an E.A.R. is long enough or is detailed enough will always 
be a subjective opinion. Many, many recreational and other land 
uses (everything from rockhounding in the Clover Mountains to 
mountain climbing in the Highland Range) could have been mentioned 
and even delved into in detail. But the E.A.R. emphasized 
the recreational activity most affected by the proposed action -- 
hunting. The importance of hunting is described under "Description 
of Existing Environment - Socio-Economic Factors" and the impacts 
of the proposed action on hunting are described in HI.A.l.d. 
Other recreational opportunities throughout the Caliente Planning 
are discussed in detail in the Caliente Unit Resource Analysis, 

Comment: There are three State Parks in the WHA, These should be discussed 
under the existing situation. The effects on these State Parks 
should also be discussed. For example, water and air quality from 
a recreation point of view, Aesthetical impacts of chaining and 
burning is visible from the Parks. 

'Visual management techniques should be added to mitigating measures. 
Are the chainings and burning still practical after the required 
visual management constraints are applied? Should this constraint 
be part of the proposal? 

Answer: There are only two State Parks within the boundaries of the Beaver 
Dam WHA -- Beaver Dam a nd Kershaw-Ryan, Cathedral Gorge is north 
of the WHA, There will be no effect on water quality in these 
areas. Air quality may be very temporarily degraded from dust and 
smoke during chaining or burning. Both the distance between these 
parks and proposed projects (minimum of four miles in mountainous 
country) and buffer zones around projects (see MFP recreation 
decision in the appendix) will effectively shield the projects 
from view of the parks. 

Visual management techniques already appear under, mitigating 
measures (refer to "Landscape Character"). It is possible to 
conduct habitat rehabilitation projects with a minimum of aesthetic 
damage. 



Comment: "Don Fowler and Dr. Richard Brooks should be consulted for information 
on cultural values in the area. They have done work in the area 
and their reports should be utilized to show the probable impact 
of our proposal on the cultural resources. It is not adequate to 
say "BLM has not conducted archaeological surveys" because there 
is known data available if we take the time to do the research." 



Answer: A brief description of archaeology of the area has been added to 
'•Description of the Existing Environment." Not much of the WHA 
has been intensively surveyed. 

The following statement appears under mitigating measures: 
"Archaeological surveys should be made of all proposed chaining 
or prescribed burning sites and water development areas in order 
to protect any possibly irreplaceable archaeological values." 
This is recommended as a stipulations „ Therefore before any project 
is begun the Las Vegas District archaeologist will determine if 
any archaeological values are present on a project-by-project 
basis and how best to salvage or preserve them. Whether he makes 
this determination on the basis of this own new on- the-ground 
investigations or on the basis of existing outside data is up 
to the discretion of him and the District Manager. 

Comment: It's hard to believe that 65,000 acres of controlled burn doesn't 
have a significant effect on the human environment and doesn't 
constitute a major federal action. 



Answer: All the proposed chainings and burnings that appear in the Beaver 
Dam HMP are considered major actions with significant impacts on 
the environment. That is why the cover memo which accompanied 
this E.A.R. stated that " none of the actions that affect livestock 
grazing in the Beaver Dam area (chaining, prescribed burning, 
seeding) should be implemented until a grazing environmental 
impact statement for the Caliente Planning Unit (scheduled for 
FY 78) has been prepared,," 

But it has been determined that the other actions proposed in 
the E.A.R. (water catchments, spring developments, etc.) do 
not constitute major federal actions significantly affecting the 
human environment „ It is recommended that these actions and 
only these actions be implemented. 

Comment: "As the proposed project is on the State line, the environmental 
analysis should include the affected area across the boundary. 
Utah should have a chance to review the project and the E.A.R." 

Answer: Utah should have a chance to review the HMP and E.A.R. It is 
particularly important to get their opinion of the proposed 
burning which is close to the Utah-Nevada border. This has been 
added as a recommended mitigating measure. 

Comment: What is the erosion hazard of controlled burning? Are controlled 
and prescribed burning synonymous? 

Answer: The proposed action does not suggest controlled or prescribed 
burning, which are considered synonymous, of the entire 65,000 
acres. The boundary shown on Map #3 and the acreages in the im- 
plementation schedule merely identified the area to be considered 
by the resources from which to derive viable burn locations that 
would not be detrimental in terms of erosion hazard, sediment 



Comment 



production, and water quality. This would, out of necessity, 
involve extensive coordination efforts among soils, watershed, 
wildlife, recreation, visual aspects, and forestry to identify areas 
where prescribed burning would not be detrimental. Such identified 
areas could not possibly involve acreages approaching the magnitude 
of 65,000 acres. 

What mitigating measures can be taken to enhance water quality? 
Runoff reduction will decrease sediment yield (PPM of TDS). 

P-J chaining debris will aid in soil stabilization objective. 

P-J chaining should be complimentary to erosion control on the 
shallow soil sites. 



Answer: According to Gifford (1973) chained-with-windrowing plots yield 
from 1-2 to 5 times more water during a runoff event than native 
pinyon- juniper o However, runoff from debris-in-place plots was 
not greater than that measured from natural woodland and resulting 
sediment yields were similar to those from adjacent unchained 
woodland areas. Infiltration rates on chain-with-debris-in-place 
treatment are not as greatly affected due to much less mechanical 
disturbance of surface soils. Debris left on the soil surface 
(a mitigating measure) acts as both retention and detention storage, 
nearly eliminating all runoff because water is held on the land- 
scape until the soil can absorb it while also reducing evaporation 
losses by reducing wind. 

Comment: How do soil micro-organisms fit into the ecological interrelationships? 
Do humans fit into the ecology? 

Answer: Soil micro-organisms are responsible for organic matter de- 
composition whereby plant and animal residues are broken down 
and nutrients are released for assimilation. During the decaying 
process by which humus is formed, soil aggregate stability is 
enhanced and CO2 is given off which ultimately escapes to the 
atmosphere, where it may again be used by plants. 

Two towns are located on the western edge of the Beaver Dam WHA 
(for a discussion of these communities refer to socio-economic 
section of the E.A.R.). Though few people live within the boundaries 
of the WHA, man has had an effect on the ecology. He acts as a 
predator-hunting haravests, road kills, etc. He has altered the 
ecology by putting out natural fires and allowing pinyon- juniper 
woodlands to expand and get denser. His livestock have heavily 
grazed some areas, eliminating palatable forage species. In some 
areas he's replaced native vegetation with introduced crested 
wheatgrass He's built roads, corrals and in other ways, changed 
the landscape character of the area. 



REPLIES TO NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME COMMENTS 



Policy Considerations 



Comment: " Page 13 Mention should be made that increased livestock grazing 
and trampling on vegetation and soil disturbance will have consid- 
erable impact particularly during drought periods. The result 
of such impacts will directly affect all wildlife species either 
directly through loss of escape cover, water and food sources or 
indirectly by lowered carrying capacity through crucial winter and 
spring survival periods. Grazing in this area by livestock and 
"wild" and free-roaming horses and burros will definitely impact 
wildlife." 

Answer: The Beaver Dam HMP, and the Caliente Management Framework (as well 
as allotment management plans and horse/burro management plans) are 
designed to minimize conflicts between wildlife and livestock, wild 
horses and burros. Many of the recommendations in the E.A.R. 
(like segregating the seedings from livestock use for the first 
two seasons, and providing separate waters) and the MFP (like 
equipping all livestock troughs with bird ladders) will hopefully 
decrease the negative impact of grazing on wildlife that is de- 
scribed in this comment. Efficient multiple-use of the Beaver Dam 
WHA is the goal of BLM planning. 

Comment: "Wildlife: This section should present impacts, both direct and 

indirect, upon all wildlife species resulting from improper grazing 
practices during all seasons of the year." 

"Livestock grazing during drought periods will directly affect 
watershed values, ground water tables and increase erosion 
potential. " 

Answer: The HMP and E.A.R. make no recommendations on increasing or de- 
creasing livestock grazing on the Beaver Dam WHA. No livestock 
grazing proposals are presented and the impacts of grazing are not 
analyzed. These types of recommendations are discussed in allot- 
ment management plans and will be evaluated in the environmental 
impact statement on grazing in Caliente (scheduled in FY 78) . The 
improvements suggested in these reports are designed primarily to 
benefit wildlife, not livestock, horses and burros. Livestock, 
horses and burros will be benefited indirectly but there will be 
no increase in the number of allotted AUM's as a result of im- 
plementation of the HMP. 

Technical Considerations 



Comment: The suggestion is made that a horse and burro management plan be 
superimposed over the existing HMP. "Priorities here should be 
re-aligned to exclude or totally eliminate horse populations from 
such an important wildlife area." 

"We do not agree with the statement that "livestock, wild horses 
and burros would benefit from water and forage improvements as 



much as wildlife would." We strongly feel they can and will 
"out compete" all wildlife species for water, forage and space 
during critical periods such as cold weather and drought periods." 

"Livestock, horses and burros. Mention is made here of mitigating 
measures involving total removal of livestock and horses to elimi- 
nate livestock competition with wildlife for water, forage and 
living space. In the same paragraph it is also stated: "but 
this is not compatible with multiple use objectives or with the 
Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971". Since in many cases, live- 
stock and wild horses are not compatible with wildlife water, 
forage and species needs, we believe it logical that priorities 
be established. A key wildlife seasonal range of water source 
should be protected from livestock and horse use." 

Answer: Again, the Bureau's policy is one of multiple use management. To 
totally eliminate horses from this 600,000 acres is in direct 
conflict with the Caliente Management Framework Plan (refer to 
appendix to the E.A.R.) which states that wild horses will be 
managed in place as one component of the ecosystem. A horse and 
burro management plan may determine and may recommend that some 
horses and burros be rounded up and moved to another area or given 
up for adoption. But this would have to be accomplished jointly 
by the wildlife and wild horse and burro activities through planning 
as suggested in the MFP. 

Comment: "Description of existing environment is too brief and general." 

Answer: whether an E.A.R. is long enough or is in enough detail will always 
be a subjective opinion. The E.A.R. summarizes what was con- 
sidered relevant information to describe the existing environment 
of the Beaver Dam WHA. The E.A.R. refers the reader to the Beaver 
Dam HMP and Intensive Inventory for more detailed descriptions. 
The reader can also refer to the Unit Resource Analysis for existing 
environment information. 

Comment: "Method of seed application shouJd be identified. Aerial applica- 
tion of expensive seed as bitterbrush and mahogany is wasteful 
unless done between chaining or had planted. On a burn treatment 
these species should be hand planted on selected sites." 

"Seeding mixture recommended is very good, but the seeding rate 
of each species should be identified." 



"Re: Sawmill Range controlled burn: 
be identified." 



Seed species and rate should 



Answer: The same species will be used on the prescribed burn and on 

chaining areas. Drilling will be used where possible. Hand plant- 
ing and/or broadcasting will be used on areas where drilling is 
impractical. Suggested rates of seeding have been added to the 
proposed action. 



Comment: "This reviewing office has not received a copy of the revised 
Beaver Dam HMP as referenced to on page 1." 

Answer: John Donaldson, Regional Supervisor of the Nevada Department of 
Fish and Game in Las Vegas, received a copy of the revised 
Beaver Dam HMP last summer and signed it in December, 1975. 
Copies of the HMP will be redistributed with the final copies 
of this E.A.R. 



REPLY TO STATE CLEARINGHOUSE COMMENTS: 



The full statement that appeared in the draft E.A.R. stated that the lands 
described should be obtained "when and if" acquisition becomes the "only" 
way of accomplishing the stated goals. The chance of the problem arising 
is nil and the chance of acquisition being the only solution is even more 
remote. Easements or other cooperative agreements between the Federal 
government and private landowners are more common methods of dealing with 
access or important wildlife habitat problems. The main intent of the 
proposal in the E.A.R. was to identify important wildlife habitat that exists 
on private land. Anyway, this proposal has been modified in the final E.A.R. 



Bureau of Land Management 
Library 

3ldg. 50, Denver Federal Center 
Denver, CO 80225 



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