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Geothermal Recreation

Present, Potentially Affected

  • BLM-NV-WN-ES-08-01-1310, NV-020-08-01 (Blue Mountain Geothermal Well Field and Power Plant EA)
  • CA-96062042 (Fourmile Hill Geothermal Development Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) / Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Geothermal/Power Plant, Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Transmission)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-017-05-051 (Basalt Canyon Geothermal Pipeline Project Environmental Assessment and Draft Environmental Impact Report for Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2007-017-3200 (Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Truckhaven Geothermal Leasing Area)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2013-002+1793-EIS (Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project EIS at Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-063-EA08-091 (Jersey Valley and Buffalo Valley Geothermal Development Projects EA for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2011-0026-EA (Clayton Valley Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2012-0214-EA (Silver Peak Area Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Drilling and Well Testing for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0006-EA (Gabbs Valley and Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Exploration Projects EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0016-EA (EA for Airborne Electromagnetic Survey at Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0001-EA (Coyote Canyon Utilization Project EA for TGP for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-CC-ES-11-10-1793 (Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects EIS for Geothermal/Power Plant Development Drilling)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2010-0004-EA (New York Canyon Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2011-0001-EA (EA of the Leach Hot Springs Geothermal Exploration Project at Grass Valley Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-OR-P040-0021-EA (EA for Exploratory Wells at Midnight Point and Mahogany Geothermal Exploration Projects, Glass Buttes, Oregon for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • NV-020-07-EA-01 (EA for Observation Wells at Jersey Valley Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Exploration)
  • NV-063-EA06-098 (Reese River Valley Geothermal Exploration Project Environmental Assessment)
  • NV-EA-030-07-05 (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Salt Wells for Geothermal/Exploration)

The Recreation and Public Purposes Act (RPPA) (68 Statute 173; 43 U.S.C. 869 et. seq.) enables the sale of public lands for public recreation. These lands do not include, “national forests, national parks and monuments, national wildlife refuges, Indian lands, and acquired lands.” Recreation activities on public lands are also recognized in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (P.L. 94-579) under the multiple use clause. Lands covered under FLPMA are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and appointed by the Secretary of the Interior.

Bureau of Land Management-Recreation and Public Purposes Act

Recreation Impacts & Mitigation

Geothermal development does not pose significant impacts to recreationalists, as several projects are located away from recreation areas; however, the typical impacts and mitigation include:

Aesthetics: To mitigate visual hindrance, consolidate well pad and power plant construction. Intentional site selection also can conceal the site from recreationalists’ line of sight.

Usage: Winter activities such as snowmobiling require plowed roads to access recreation areas. To mitigate snowy roads, plow roads with minimum length and width parameters and concentrate plowing durations. Install signs indicating when recreationalists enter and exit site areas; and when transmission lines or piping is nearby. This avoids property line ambiguity, especially when snow has accrued. Disclose the acres impacted and whether or not the area will be temporarily impacted to inform users of new trail closures and restricted activities.

Traffic: Recreationalist traffic may increase on holidays, weekends and during high seasonal use. This also increases the risk of site trespassing and vandalized equipment. To mitigate site risks, enclose the site’s perimeter with fencing, install a security system and after hours lighting.

Noise and fugitive dust: Construction can cause disturbance to recreationalists and the wildlife that inhabits these areas. Noise abatement techniques include installing mufflers on all motorized equipment and buffers between metal equipment. Unpaved roads and the construction site will be watered down to mitigate fugitive dust particles, while exhaust fumes will be only used during day time hours. These are short-term impacts.

Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development-Geothermal Energy: Construction Impacts Environmental Protection Agency-Truckhaven Geothermal Leasing Area