Public comment period extended for desert race |

Public comment period extended for desert race

Staff Report
The BLM has extended pubic comment time for the Best in the Desert race until Wednesday. A portion of the race crosses Churchill County. |

The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on the Environmental Assessment that analyzes potential impacts of issuing a Special Recreation Permit for the proposed Best in the Desert annual Vegas to Reno off-highway vehicle race.

The BLM has extended the deadline three days to provide the public additional time to review the draft EA and provide comment. The new deadline is Wednesday.

This year’s race is proposed to start on Aug. 19 near Alamo and finish near Dayton on Aug. 20. The proposed route is entirely on existing roads. Most of these roads are on public lands managed by three BLM Districts (Ely, Battle Mountain and Carson City districts), including a 37-mile segment passing through the Basin and Range National Monument in the Ely District entirely on existing roads. Short route segments also pass through Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and private lands.

The route runs through southern Churchill County near the Top Gun Raceway, 14 miles south of Fallon.

The event would include trucks, cars, buggies, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The promoter expects 330 event vehicles, approximately 5,000 spectators and 500 staff members. Conditions and stipulations attached to the SRP would include safety and resource protection measures, sanitation, clean-up and route rehabilitation.

The EA analyzes a range of alternatives for the event race course. The proposed action, as submitted by the event proponent, would include a 37-mile segment of the race on existing roads passing through the Basin and Range National Monument. The Beatty-to-Dayton alternative would follow the route used in 2015 for this event. The transfer route would contain a modified version of the proposed action that avoids the national monument. The “No Action” alternative would deny the event promoter a permit for this event.

The EA can be viewed at: Written comments will be accepted through Aug. 3 and may be submitted via the website; emailed to; or submitted to 1553 S. Main St., P.O. Box 911, Tonopah, NV 89049.

For information, contact Melanie Hornsby, Outdoor Recreation Planner at 775-885-6000. Questions specific to the Basin and Range National Monument should be directed to Alicia Styles, monument manager at 775-726-8100.