Road Monitoring, Rehabilitation and Designation. The growing population and popularity of Mesquite, NV, and northeast Clark County in general, have greatly increased attention to the Gold Butte area and a subsequent increase in illegal road usage and natural habitat disturbance. The largest source of damage to the area is the unauthorized use of OHVs and camps erected outside of pre-existing camp areas. As part of the BLM’s Travel Management Plan for the region, Research Associates in the Roads Designation Program inventory both designated routes and inappropriate vehicle use in the region’s 500,000 acres of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs), then coordinate NCC crews to decommission illegal user-created impacts and sign designated routes.
BLM Battle Mountain, Winnemucca and Elko districts. In order to support the BLM’s mandate to “provide a broad spectrum of resource-dependent recreation opportunities to meet the needs and demands of Public Land visitors,” GBI Research Associates have conducted travel management planning by completing and digitizing route inventories throughout Nevada. Equipped with ATVs, 4WD trucks, and Trimble GPS units, RAs collected data on location, condition and management needs for BLM databases.
U.S. Forest Service Travel Management. Travel Management is a U.S. Forest Service process designed to control and mitigate the widespread growth of user-created roads. GBI Research Associates conduct surveys and assessments of unpaved forest routes across northern Nevada. The data collected by the RAs helps USFS resource specialists (including Range, Fuels, Recreation, Minerals, Fire, and Archeology) assess the impact of visitation and use on their particular resource. This work has led to the creation of a standardized Travel Management database used by the FS to document routes, identify sensitive resources, measure impacts to these resources, and inform mitigation, restoration, repair, law enforcement actions and road closures.
USFS Ely Ranger District. As a result of Travel Management planning, the USFS Ely Ranger District added more than 220 miles of existing user-created roads to their official road system. GBI RAs conducted a complete road inventory of these routes to measure the impact of increased visitation on archeological resources. RAs have added many unknown archeological sites to the Ely Ranger District’s records, monitored more a number of known sites, and presented a talk at the Nevada Archeological Association on Aurum, Nevada – a previously undiscovered mining operation north of Ely, NV.
Statewide Recreational Trail Inventory. The overall goals of the Statewide Recreational Trail Inventory are to (a) develop a comprehensive listing of recreational trails within the State of Nevada and (b) create and maintain a website of this information for public use. With support from the Nevada Recreational Trails Program (RTP), two GBI RAs partnered with the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Nevada Division of State Parks, and numerous county and city recreation planners throughout the state to mine existing data. They followed up with site visits during field season, collecting and documenting directions, conditions, facilities and regulations, and capturing GPS data and photographs at trailheads and other significant locations. GBI launched NVTrailMaps.com in 2008. The site provides a clearinghouse of information for all the recreational trails within the State of Nevada, motorized and non-motorized, while helping to disperse recreational trail use, encourage proper use of trails and public lands, increase tourism, and provide an effective management tool.