Proposed Action and Alternatives

No Action Alternative

  • The No Action Alternative does not include the renewal of the 1999 Public Land Withdrawal of 202,864 acres, which is scheduled to expire in November 2021, nor does it include any withdrawal or acquisition of new land.
  • Under the No Action Alternative, current and proposed training on the Fallon Ranges would likely need to be accommodated elsewhere. This would likely result in the potential loss of the integrated nature of training, as well as the fragmentation and total loss of essential training functions. As such, the No Action Alternative does not meet the purpose and need since it would not provide a suitable area for military training. 

Alternative 1 (Proposed Action)

The Fallon Range Training Complex has remained relatively static, while naval aviation, aircraft capabilities, and weapons have significantly improved.

Today’s technology has outpaced the current capabilities of the Fallon Ranges. The training ranges must be able to support how the Navy fights today so personnel are prepared for the conflicts of tomorrow.

The Navy’s Proposed Action is to modernize the Fallon Range Training Complex. Modernization would include:

  • Renewal of the Navy’s current public land withdrawal
  • Land range expansion through additional withdrawal of public lands and acquisition of non-federal land
  • Airspace expansion and modifications
  • Upgrades to range infrastructure

The Navy is not proposing to change the level or type of training from what is stated in the 2015 Military Readiness Activities at Fallon Range Training Complex, Nevada Final EIS. Activities would be redistributed across the expanded ranges for more efficient use of the training space.

Under Alternative 1, the Fallon Ranges would be expanded, except for Bravo-19 and the Shoal Site. Specifically, under Alternative 1, the Navy would:

  • Request Congressional renewal of the 1999 Public Land Withdrawal of 202,864 acres, which is scheduled to expire in November 2021.
  • Request Congress withdraw and reserve for military use up to 618,727 acres of additional federal land.
  • Acquire approximately 65,153 acres of private or state-owned (non-federal) land.
  • Construct range infrastructure to support modernization, including new target areas.
  • Expand and reconfigure existing special use airspace and establish new airspace with the current boundary to accommodate the expanded bombing ranges.

Alternative 1 includes the extension of Bravo-17 over a portion of State Route 839 and part of the Paiute Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline. Implementation of Alternative 1 would potentially require the rerouting of State Route 839 and the relocation of a portion of the Paiute Pipeline, because Navy policy does not allow public land use of any kind to occur within active weapons danger zones. Follow-on, site-specific environmental analysis of the anticipated impacts associated with any potential route(s) would be required prior to making any decision with respect to a final route. 

Except for a slight expansion beyond the current northern boundary, airspace modifications under Alternative 1 would be inside existing range complex boundaries. Modifications would consist of reorganizing airspace blocks and redefining airspace ceilings and floors. The objective of these changes is to use airspace more efficiently during large-force exercises while providing civilian aviators the maximum access possible, and maintaining priority for emergency flights through the airspace. Special use airspace would be reconfigured horizontally and would increase vertical tactical airspace by 22 percent. (For more information about proposed airspace modifications under Alternative 1, please see Draft EIS Chapter 2, section 2.3.2.5.)


Public Access under Alternative 1 (Proposed Action)

Currently, the following activities are allowed on public lands requested for withdrawal:

  • Grazing
  • Hunting
  • Locatable mining
  • Geothermal development
  • Salable mining
  • Solar and wind energy development
  • Utilities and rights-of-way
  • Off-highway vehicles (OHV)
  • Camping and hiking
  • Academic and ceremonial visits
  • Management access
  • Events, such as large-scale races

Under Alternative 1, the Navy would limit public activity on the bombing ranges on withdrawn or acquired lands. Public access to Bravo-16, Bravo-17, Bravo-19, and Bravo-20 would be restricted for security and to safeguard against potential hazards associated with military activities. Public access to the Dixie Valley Training Area would continue to be allowed for certain uses.


Allowable Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 1 (Proposed Action)

Allowable Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 1 (Proposed Action)


Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization under Alternative 1 (Proposed Action)

Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization under Alternative 1 Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization under Alternative 1
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Alternative 2 (Managed Access)

The Navy considered public comments received during the 2016 scoping period and worked with cooperating agencies and tribal participants to develop Alternatives 2 and 3, which allow more public access than Alternative 1.

Under Alternative 2, the Navy would expand the Fallon Ranges and airspace to the same extent as described in Alternative 1. However, Alternative 2 would continue to allow certain public uses within specified areas of the Fallon Ranges when they are not operational, notably:

  • Bighorn sheep hunting conditionally allowed on designated portions of Bravo-17
  • Geothermal and salable materials exploration and development conditionally allowed on the Dixie Valley Training Area
  • Academic research, ceremonial and cultural visits, and large event off-road races would be allowed on all ranges, subject to coordination with the Navy

Allowing such public access would be more complex and challenging for the Navy. However, Alternative 2 would still meet the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action to ensure the Fallon Ranges possess the present and future capabilities necessary to train deploying forces for combat.


Allowable Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 2 (Managed Access)

Allowable Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 2 (Managed Access)


Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative)

The Navy’s Preferred Alternative is Alternative 3 because it best meets the purpose of and need for the Proposed Action while allowing the greatest amount of public land access and use.

Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative) is similar to Alternative 1 and Alternative 2 in terms of its requested land withdrawals and proposed land acquisitions. It differs with respect to the orientation, size, and location of expanded Bravo-17 and the Dixie Valley Training Area. Alternative 3 would shift Bravo-17 farther to the southeast and rotate it slightly counter-clockwise, retaining access to Rawhide Mine, entirely avoiding Fairview Peak, and providing increased access to Sand Springs Range. Unlike Alternative 1, the Navy would not withdraw land south of U.S. Route 50 as part of the Dixie Valley Training Area. Rather, the Navy proposes that Congress categorize this area as a Special Land Management Overlay created through withdrawal legislation. 

This Special Land Management Overlay would define two areas (one east and one west of the Bravo-17 range) as “military electromagnetic spectrum special use zones.” These two areas, which are public lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), would not be withdrawn by the Navy and would not be used for land-based military training. These two areas would remain open to public access and available for all BLM-allowable uses (e.g., grazing, hunting, recreation) and all mining. However, prior to issuing any decisions on projects, permits, leases, studies, and other land uses, the BLM would consult with the Navy.

In conjunction with shifting Bravo-17 in this manner, the expanded range would leave State Route 839 in its current configuration, but would expand eastward, requiring the rerouting of State Route 361. Bravo-17 would also expand southward, requiring the potential relocation of a portion of the Paiute Pipeline.

Under Alternative 3, airspace changes would be implemented largely in the same way as Alternatives 1 and 2. However, the Navy would create a new restricted area (R‐4805) south of existing restricted areas (R-4804 A/B and R‐4812) to overlay the reconfigured land withdrawal for Bravo‐17. Alternative 3 would include implementation of all other restricted areas, military operations areas, and air traffic control assigned airspace changes implemented under Alternatives 1 and 2. 


Allowable Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative)

Allowable Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative)


Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization under Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative)

Bravo-16 Modernization under Alternative 3 Bravo-16 Modernization under Alternative 3
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Bravo-17 Modernization under Alternative 3 Bravo-17 Modernization under Alternative 3
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Bravo-20 Expansion under Alternative 3 Bravo-20 Expansion under Alternative 3
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Restricted Airspace under Alternative 3 Restricted Airspace under Alternative 3
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Aircraft Noise Contours under Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative) Aircraft Noise Contours under Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative)
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