Proposed Action and Alternatives

The proposed modernization of the Fallon Ranges would address the gaps between current training capabilities and current and future training requirements. Modernization would provide the land and airspace necessary to train to tactically acceptable parameters in accordance with the Navy mission.

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.

Under Alternatives 1, 2, and 3, the Navy would use the modernized FRTC to conduct aviation and ground training of the same general types and at the same tempo as currently authorized. The Navy is not proposing to increase the number of training activities under any of the alternatives. Rather, the Navy would redistribute training activities across the expanded ranges for more efficient use of training space. 
 

No Action Alternative

  • The No Action Alternative consists of not renewing the 1999 Public Land Withdrawal of 202,864 acres, which is scheduled to expire in November 2021, and not withdrawing or acquiring any new land.
  • Under the No Action Alternative, current and proposed training on the Fallon Ranges would need to be accommodated elsewhere. This would 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 (Modernization of the Fallon Range Training Complex)

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.

Under Alternative 1, the Fallon Ranges would be expanded, except for B-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 for a term of 25 years.
  • Acquire approximately 65,159 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 within the current boundary to accommodate the expanded Bravo ranges.

Alternative 1 includes the extension of B-17 over a portion of State Route 839 and part of the Paiute Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline. Implementation of Alternative 1 would 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. 

Except for a slight expansion beyond the current northern boundary, airspace modifications would be within existing range complex boundaries. Modifications would consist of reorganizing airspace blocks, redefining airspace ceilings and floors, and establishing new airspace. 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 Final EIS Chapter 2, Section 2.3.4.7.)


Public Access under Alternative 1

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 Bravo ranges on withdrawn or acquired lands. Public access to B-16, B-17, B-19, and B-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.


Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 1

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


Modernization of Fallon Ranges under Alternative 1

This figure is a map showing the Fallon Training Range Complex under Alternative 1 and the surrounding areas. The map includes Bravo-16, Bravo-17, Bravo-19, Bravo-20, and Naval Air Station Fallon, all of which are closed to the public. The map also highlights the Dixie Valley Training Area, the Shoal Site, several Wilderness Study Areas, the Walker River Tribal Reservation, county lines, proposed fence lines for the Bravo-16, Bravo-17, and Bravo-20 training areas, several highways and interstates, the Paiute Pipeline and three notional relocation corridors for it, land ownership by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy, non-federal land, State-managed land, and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. Fallon Range Training Complex Modernization under Alternative 1

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Alternative 2 (Managed Access)

The Navy considered public comments 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 and continue to allow certain public uses within specified areas of the Fallon Ranges when they are not operational, notably:

  • Bighorn sheep hunting program, as described in the Draft Memorandum of Agreement between the Navy and Nevada Department of Wildlife in Appendix D (Memoranda, Agreements, and Plans) of the Final EIS, allowed on B-17.
  • Geothermal and salable materials exploration and development, and water development, conditionally allowed on the Dixie Valley Training Area.
  • Academic research, ceremonial and cultural visits, land management activities, 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 Navy’s purpose and need to ensure the Fallon Ranges possess the present and future capabilities necessary to train deploying forces for combat.


Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 2

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 modernization while minimizing impacts on public land access and use.

The Navy received public comments requesting the size of the withdrawal and acquisition be reduced as much as possible. Alternative 3 reflects the reduced the size of the proposal.

Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative) is similar to Alternative 1 and Alternative 2 in terms of its requested land withdrawals and proposed acquisitions, except with respect to the orientation, size, and location of B-16, B-17, B-20, and the DVTA, and is similar to Alternative 2 in terms of managed access. With respect to B-16, unlike Alternatives 1 and 2, Simpson Road and the lands south of it would not be withdrawn. Additionally, currently withdrawn lands south of Simpson Road would be relinquished by the Navy back to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Alternative 3 would move B-17 farther to the southeast and rotate it slightly counterclockwise, retaining access to Rawhide Mine, entirely avoiding Fairview Peak, and retaining access to Sand Springs Range. Under Alternative 3, the Navy would not withdraw East County Road or the land east of it for B-20.

Between the Draft EIS and Final EIS, the Navy received public comments requesting that the size of the withdrawal and acquisition be reduced as much as possible. The Navy has reduced the size of the withdrawal from the proposal in the Draft EIS. The Navy would continue to evaluate range usage in order to determine if further reductions in acreage could be realized.  

Under Alternative 3, the land requested for withdrawal for the DVTA north of U.S. Route 50 would remain the same as in Alternative 1. Unlike Alternatives 1 and 2, the Navy would not withdraw land south of U.S. Route 50 as DVTA. Rather, the Navy proposes Congress categorize this area as a Special Land Management Overlay created through legislation. This Special Land Management Overlay would define two areas (one east and one west of the B-17 range) as “military electromagnetic spectrum special use zones.” These two areas would be public lands under the jurisdiction of the BLM and would not be withdrawn by the Navy for land-based military training. The zones would remain open to public access and available for all BLM-allowable uses (e.g., grazing, hunting, recreation) and mining. However, prior to issuing any decisions on projects, permits, leases, studies, and other land uses, the BLM would consult with the Navy to ensure compatibility with training requirements.

In conjunction with shifting B-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. B-17 would also expand southward, requiring the 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 B‐17. Alternative 3 would include implementation of all other restricted areas, military operations areas, and air traffic control assigned airspace changes in the same manner as Alternatives 1 and 2.


Activities within the Land Areas of the Fallon Ranges under Alternative 3

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


Modernization of Fallon Ranges under Alternative 3

This figure is a map of the Bravo-16 range and the Proposed Action drill areas under Alternative 3. The map showcases the areas proposed to be closed to the public and the fence line with gates to accommodate these closures, immediate action drill ground maneuver area surface danger zones and weapon danger zones, the Bravo-16 combat village, and existing target areas. The map also shows state managed land, lands already closed to the public, lands currently open to the public but would be closed under the proposition, withdrawn lands to be relinquished, highways, roads, county lines, and the Pony Express Trail. Bravo-16 Modernization under Alternative 3
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This figure is a map of the Bravo-17 range and its proposed withdrawal areas under Alternative 3. This map showcase the lands proposed to be withdrawn and the fence line and gates that would facilitate the closure, maintenance buildings, proposed electronic warfare training, weapon danger zone, proposed target area, existing target area, proposed convey routes, and the Paiute pipeline and its SR361 Option 1 Notional relocation corridor. Throughout this map you can also see various highways, county boundaries, Navy owned lands, non-federal lands, and special land management overlay. Bravo-17 Modernization under Alternative 3
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This figure is a map showing the land ownership and use around the Bravo-20 range under Alternative 3. This map showcases lands that would potentially be closed or open to the public and the fence lines and gates that would accommodate this, along with the weapon danger zone proposed target areas, and existing target areas within these potentially withdrawn lands. The figure also shows land owned by the Navy and Fish and Wildlife Service, non-federal land, wilderness study areas, state managed land, lands currently closed to the public, and various roads and county lines. Bravo-20 Expansion under Alternative 3
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This figure is a map showing the Fallon Range Training Complex restricted airspace under Alternative 3. This map showcases the restricted special use airspace that is proposed and would undergo horizontal, vertical, and no modification. Along with this the maps shows cities/towns, highways, interstates, military installations, training ranges, training areas, and the overall Fallon Range Training Complex. Restricted Airspace under Alternative 3
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This figure is a map showcasing A-weighted Day-Night-Level sound contours ranging from 50 to 75 decibels within and around the existing and proposed Fallon Range Training Complex airspace under Alternative 3. The map also highlights churches, noise sensitive areas, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, airport exclusion areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Federal Tribal Land, National Wildlife Refuges, and State Managed Land in this area. The figure also shows cities, towns, and highways in the area. Aircraft Noise Contours under Alternative 3 (Preferred Alternative)
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This Figure is a map showing the Bravo-17 training area, which is closed to the public, and the updated withdrawal area south of it. The area is updated from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and also shows the areas removed in this update to highlight the difference between the Draft Environmental Impact Statement proposed withdrawal and the Final Environmental Impact Statement proposed withdrawal. The map also shows the Shoal Site, highways, and county lines. B-17 Proposed Withdrawal Revisions
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This Figure is a map showing the Bravo-20 training area, which is closed to the public, and the updated withdrawal area south of it. The area is updated from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and also shows the areas removed in this update to highlight the difference between the Draft Environmental Impact Statement proposed withdrawal and the Final Environmental Impact Statement proposed withdrawal. The map also shows the roads, and county lines. Restricted Airspace under Alternative 3
To view the large version, download Map

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