FALLON RANGE TRAINING COMPLEX MODERNIZATION

Project Updates

Schedule of Modernization Projects

National Defense Authorization Act and Record of Decision Commitment Updates

The Navy has been working to meet the commitments made in the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) since it was signed March 12, 2020. The Navy has documented progress made as of Aug. 8, 2023, presented by topic.

General Project

General Project

Commitment Status Notes

Properly notify and compensate private landowners within the proposed expansion withdrawal area for losses.

In Progress

The Navy will notify affected stakeholders and offer fair market value for the purchase of any property required by the Navy after withdrawal is enacted and funds appropriated.

Rotate B-17 expansion to avoid State Route 839 and the Rawhide Mine.

Complete

The Navy changed the orientation of the B-17 proposed expansion to avoid Sand Springs, State Route 839 (which leads to the Rawhide Mine), and the Fairview Peak communication site.

Establish an Intergovernmental Executive Committee (IEC) with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), State of Nevada, tribal representatives, and other stakeholders.

Complete

Both the Record of Decision and Section 2844 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA FY2021) direct the Navy and the Department of the Interior to establish an IEC "for the purpose of exchanging views, information, and advice relating to the management of the natural and cultural resources" on the lands withdrawn by the NDAA FY2021. The Navy and DOI successfully established the IEC in 2021. The 2023 NDAA expanded the membership of the IEC to include Eureka County, Nevada Department of Agriculture and Nevada Division of Minerals. 

Reduce Bravo range withdrawal areas to match proposed Weapons Danger Zones (WDZ) by utilizing the smallest possible sectional breakdown.

Complete

The Navy has reduced withdrawal boundaries as much as possible, taking into account training requirements, safety, and security.

Reduce the boundary of B-20 to avoid the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Complete

The Navy will avoid the Stillwater NWR.

Cultural Resources/Tribes

Cultural Resources/Tribes

Commitment Status Notes
Revise the Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP) with tribal input (share results of the surveys with the Tribes no later than 2 years from NDAA)

In Progress

The ICRMP revision is underway with the goal of sharing surveys with the Tribes NLT than December 2024 to meet the NDAA requirement.  The goal of the ICRMP revision is to ensure lands coming under its control are managed to protect cultural and tribal resources. Tribes will be asked to participate in the revision.

Develop a replacement Programmatic Agreement

In Progress

The development of a replacement Programmatic Agreement (PA) is in progress and on track to be completed by Dec 2024. The Draft PA is currently undergoing stakeholder review. The State Historic Preservation Office, Tribes, and other stakeholders, as appropriate, will be involved in the development and finalization of the document. 

Complete ethnographic overview study of expanded ranges.

In Progress

The Navy has awarded the ethnographic study contract. Initial discussions were held with Tribes in March 2020 and further discussions are ongoing through regular meetings.

Complete cultural resources surveys on expanded Weapons Danger Zones (buffer areas) within B-17 and B-20.

In Progress

Contracts for Class III Pedestrian Surveys have been partially awarded for B-17 and B-20. Pedestrian surveys are in-progress on both ranges, with more acreage pending contract award. Updates on survey progress are provided to the Tribes and at each IEC meeting.

Ensure Tribes are involved with the development of the ethnographic study and cultural resources surveys; compensate them as appropriate for their contributions and support.

In Progress

The Tribes were involved with the development of the survey work plans. The contractor for the survey is required to include one Native American surveyor with each survey group for the Class III Pedestrian surveys of B-17 and B-20.
Develop protocols for Tribal access to areas of religious and cultural significance in Bravo ranges that guarantees a minimum of 4-days per month.

In Progress

The Navy is actively working with Tribes to develop a Tribal Access Agreement in accordance with the FY23 NDAA. The Tribal Access Agreement is currently out for necessary signatures before finalization.

Avoid sacred sites and traditional cultural properties wherever possible.

In Progress

The Navy will strive to avoid cultural sites when placing targets, fencing, or other infrastructure. Existing and planned cultural resources surveys, which will include tribal participation, will inform placement decisions. For target areas, required surveys are complete. 

Work with Walker River Paiute Tribe to address the existing off-range ordnance contamination issue on the Walker River Reservation.

In Progress

The Navy is working with the Walker River Paiute Tribe and coordinating with the Department of the Interior and congressional delegation in an effort to resolve off-range ordnance issues.

Establish a Tribal Liaison Office.

Complete

The Navy has established and on-boarded two new positions at Naval Air Station Fallon: Tribal Liaison and Range Access Coordinator.

Commit to unrestricted tribal access to the Dixie Valley Training Area (DVTA), including new expanded areas.

Complete

There will be no Navy restrictions on tribal access to the DVTA. DVTA will remain unfenced.

Execute the amended 2011 Programmatic Agreement (PA) and invite Tribes to sign as concurring parties.

Complete

An amended PA was signed March 3, 2020, by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Officer, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Navy. Tribes have been invited to sign as concurring parties.

Initiate development of a replacement PA within 90 days of the signing of the Record of Decision.

Complete

The Navy sent letters to Tribes and stakeholders in early June 2020 to initiate consultation concerning a replacement PA. The plan and schedule for the development of the replacement PA was shared with Tribes in January 2021.

Access Protocols and Agreements

Access Protocols and Agreements

Commitment Status Notes
Develop protocols for tribal access to areas of religious and cultural significance in Bravo ranges. In Progress The Navy is actively working with Tribes to develop a Tribal Access Agreement in accordance with the FY23 NDAA. The Tribal Access Agreement is in the final phase as of February 2024.

Air to ground ordnance targets shall be prohibited through the Monte Cristo Range Protection Area (within B-17)

In Progress

The Navy will not place air to ground targets within the Monte Cristo Range Protection Area.

Develop an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to address land management of the Dixie Valley Training Area (DVTA). Include protocols for leasable geothermal and uses compatible with the military mission.

In Progess

The Navy and BLM are working on a memorandum of agreement for land management of the DVTA.

Coordinate with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) for management access within B-16 and B-20 ranges to facilitate flood control measures.

Planned

The Navy will develop range access procedures with BOR to ensure accountability and safety.

Develop range access procedures to facilitate scientific, research, and management activities within the Bravo ranges.

In Progress

The Navy is collaborating and will continue collaboration with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and other state agencies on agreements to facilitate resource management, scientific, and research measures compatible with the mission.

Develop written agreements between the Navy and State and Local Governments to access B-16, 17 and 19.

Planned

The Access Agreement and Addendum will be applicable to State and Local Governments.

Post signs warning the public of risk associated with entry into withdrawal land.

Planned

Warning signs are standard Navy protocols and will be installed when the fences are erected and expanded operations begin.

The Navy will expand operations on a range-by-range basis as commitments are completed.

Planned

The Navy will complete all commitments at a range prior to expanded operations.

Mining and Mineral Resources

Mining and Mineral Resources

Commitment Status Notes

Notify and make payments to mining claim holders if impacted by the modernization.

Planned

The Navy will notify owners of validated mining claims and compensate them after the withdrawal is enacted and funds are appropriated. Nominal payments will be offered to holders of non-validated claims to relinquish their claims.

Allow saleable mineral mining activities in the Dixie Valley Training Area (DVTA).

Complete

The Navy has committed to allowing saleable mineral mining in the DVTA.

Allow geothermal exploration/ development in the DVTA west of State Highway 121, consistent with design features identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Complete

The Navy has committed to allowing geothermal development (with required design features) in the DVTA, on the west side of State Highway 121.

Minimize withdrawal overlap with the Bell Mountain mining claim area on northeast corner of expanded B-17.

Complete

The Navy worked with mine owners to reduce potential impacts, including aligning the proposed withdrawal to the smallest possible area.

Livestock Grazing

Livestock Grazing 

Commitment Status Notes

Notify grazing permit holders of impacts and potential changes of the existing boundaries.

In Progress

The Navy sent letters to all potentially affected permit holders in May 2023 notifying them that the FY23 NDAA land withdrawal had been approved, that the Navy would be moving forward with the modernization efforts, and that the Navy would be directing the BLM/BOR to potentially modify their permits.  BLM/BOR plan to send their permit modification notification letters approximately 2-years before fences will be erected. To date, letters were sent in May 2023 to permittees affected by the B-16 withdrawal.
Make payments to grazing permit holders for losses from the modernization under Taylor Grazing Act.

In Progress

The Navy will notify BLM and each permit holder to begin the process of trying to replace forage and/or making payments arising from loss of grazing privileges (once funds have been appropriated), and has already done so for permit holders impacted by expansion of the B-16 range. Any grazing payments for losses will be made in accordance with requirements set forth in the FY23 NDAA.
Commit to allowing grazing in the Dixie Valley Training Area (DVTA).

Complete

Grazing permits in the DVTA will not be impacted by the proposed withdrawal.

Transportation and Utilities

Transportation and Utilities 

Commitment Status Notes
Reroute Sand Canyon and Red Mountain Roads consistent with Alternative 2A.

In Progress

The Navy is working with BLM, BOR, and Churchill County to relocate Sand Canyon and Red Mountain roads off Navy property. BLM is handling National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)-related actions for the project and is currently developing baselines.
Accommodate a right of way for Sand Canyon and Red Mountain Road, Pole Line Road and East County Road to the appropriate County. In Progress The Navy is coordinating with state and county representatives to accommodate rights-of-way for the roads being relocated.
Reroute Pole Line Road consistent with Alternative 3B. 

Planned

The Navy will work with BLM and the affected counties to relocate Pole Line Road off Navy property consistent with Alternative 3B in the March 2022 Road Alternative Study.
Improve Lone Tree Road (Highway 718), which is heavily used by Navy SEALs training on B-16.

In Progress

A Congressional appropriation has been programmed for funds to improve a three-mile section of Lone Tree Road. The Navy is coordinating requirements for the road with NDOT and the County.
Purchase the portion of the Paiute Pipeline within the proposed B-17 Weapons Danger Zone (WDZ) and facilitate construction of the relocated portion of the pipeline to circumnavigate the WDZ. In Progress A Congressional appropriation provided funds to relocate 27 miles of the Great Basin Pipeline off expanded B-17. The Navy is providing funds to Great Basin Pipeline Company to initiate NEPA-related actions for the relocation project.
Realign State Highway 361, which will be impacted by the expansion of B-17. 

In Progress

A Congressional appropriation has been programmed to relocate a 15-mile section of State Highway 361. The Navy has funded NDOT to complete an Alternative Analysis and to initiate NEPA actions. NDOT awarded its NEPA contract for the project in December 2023.

Accommodate a right of way along the northeast boundary of B-16 to allow the I-11, B-2 corridor between the northeast corner of the withdrawal area and existing private property at the end of Lone Tree Road.

Complete

The Navy has committed to allowing this right of way.

In coordination with state and county representatives, fund and conduct a study to identify alternatives and costs to reroute Pole Line Road out of the expanded B-20 range or identify alternative regional ingress/egress routes.

Complete

The Navy funded and completed a Pole Line Road Alternative Study in 2022 with public and County involvement. The Navy will work with state and county representatives to relocate the road.

Relinquish the currently withdrawn areas that include Simpson Road and the area south of the road.

Complete

The Navy relinquished existing withdrawn land on and south of Simpson Road as part of legislation.

Avoid identified county roads.

Complete

The Navy will avoid identified county roads where possible.

Recognize and honor existing rights of way for roads that qualify under Revised Statute 2477.

Complete

The Navy recognizes and honors any existing rights of way for roads that qualify under Revised Statute 2477 but defers to courts of appropriate jurisdiction or the Department of the Interior on Revised Statute 2477 determinations.

Avoid withdrawing East County Road or land east of the road.

Complete

The Navy will not withdraw East County Road or adjacent public lands to the east of the road.

Avoid withdrawing areas along U.S. Routes 50 and 95, State Highway 839, and Earthquake Fault Road. Assure public access to State Highway 121.

Complete

The Withdrawal does not impact U.S. Routes 50 and 95, State Highway 839, and Earthquake Fault Road. State Highway 121 will remain a public conveyance.

Support the Dixie Valley Water Project.

Complete

The Navy will accommodate development of the Dixie Valley water project in the DVTA consistent with Navy training requirements.

Accommodate two additional (electrical) transmission lines or a utility corridor in the DVTA.

Complete

The Navy will accommodate additional utility transmission lines or a utility corridor that run(s) parallel and as close as possible to the existing power line that runs parallel to State Highway 121 to facilitate a larger energy corridor.

Airspace and Noise

Airspace and Noise

Commitment Status Notes
Implement a three-nautical-mile airspace exclusion zone over Gabbs, Eureka and Crescent Valley airfields.

Complete

The Navy has implemented these inclusion zones in the Range Operations Manual.
Revise the Range Operations Manual (ROM) to identify Crescent Valley and Eureka as noise-sensitive areas.

Complete

The ROM was revised to include this measure.

Provide for an airport exclusion zone (five-nautical-mile radius and 0-1,500' AGL) around Gabbs, Crescent Valley and Eureka airports.

Complete

The Navy will partially accommodate this request by providing a three-nautical-mile exclusion zone for each airport.

Extend the VFR corridor through the newly established airspace.

Complete

The Navy will ensure the FAA incorporates VFR corridor extension in various airspace charts.

Water Resources

Water Resources

Commitment Status Notes

Notify water right owners of impacts on access to water rights and potential use inside of new Weapons Danger Zones and Surface Danger Zones; compensate appropriately.

Planned

The Navy will notify impacted water rights holders and offer fair market value.

Allow the Nevada Department of Wildlife to access spring and wildlife guzzlers monitoring and maintenance.

In Progress

The Navy is developing range access procedures to ensure access and accountability and safety.
Implement management practices and mitigation measures specifically designed to reduce or avoid potential impacts on surface water and groundwater, such as placing targets outside of washes.

In Progress

Management practices, such as avoiding placing targets in washes, will be addressed in the revised Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan. 
Relinquish 23 acres along State Highway 839 to allow unabated access to support livestock and wildlife with water resources.

Complete

The Navy adjusted boundaries to relinquish this area, reducing the withdrawal by 23 acres.

Conservation/Biological Resources

Conservation/Biological Resources

Commitment Status Notes

Incorporate four-wire, wildlife-friendly fencing to minimize impacts on wildlife.

Planned

The Navy will use four-wire, wildlife-friendly fencing.

Revise the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).

In Progress

The Navy is revising the INRMP to address the expansion. Additional management practices are expected to be included in the revised INRMP given the increased number of acres.

Revise the Fire Management Plan.

In Progress

The Navy is revising the Fire Management Plan to address the expansion.

Avoid target placement in Biologically Sensitive Areas.

In Progress

The Navy will avoid these areas.

Fund and complete a study in collaboration with NDOW to further assess the impacts of aircraft overflight on the greater sage-grouse.

In Progress

The Sage Grouse Noise Study is in progress. The Navy, NDOW, and other stakeholders are developing a final study design. Field work is expected to begin in 2024.

Fund two conservation law enforcement officers to patrol fence lines and address trespassing violations.

In Progress

 The Navy has programmed funding for two Conservation Law Enforcement Officers and is working with human resources to have these positions filled in 2026. 

Recreation and Socioeconomics

Recreation and Socioeconomics

Commitment Status Notes

Establish and maintain a bighorn sheep hunting program on B-17.

In Progress

The Navy is currently developing a memorandum of agreement with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and is continuing discussions to ensure a minimum two-week hunting season on B-17.

Develop a collaborative plan with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and NDOW to evaluate wildlife guzzler locations and develop access protocols to maintain those guzzlers within the Weapons Danger Zones.

In Progress

The Navy will develop a plan with BLM and NDOW to maintain wildlife guzzlers.

Compensate property right owners/holders for losses associated with the withdrawal.

In Progress

Dependent upon funding appropriations, the Navy will begin the process to acquire any required non-federal property. Multiple private property appraisals are in-progress.
The Navy will make three, $20 million payouts to Churchill County, Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, and Walker River Paiute Tribe no less than 1 year following the NDAA.

Complete

All payments are complete.