ECOLOGICAL IMPACT STUDY
THE BALLARDINI RANCH
The Study of the Impact Of The Development Of The Ballardini Ranch
On the Ecology of the Carson Range
Paul T. Tueller, Ph.D.
October 23, 2000
A. The Scope of the Study
The purpose of this report is to provide a study and an analysis of the impact of development of the Ballardini Ranch (also previously known as the Gaspari Ranch) upon of the ecology of the Ballardini Ranch, and the Carson Range. Development would include the construction of residential development in the area. It would also include any proposed or conceptual traffic alignment between the McCarran Boulevard (traversing in a north/south direction through the Ballardini Ranch) and the Mount Rose Highway. Any of those activities would have an effect upon the ecology of the area and that effect is discussed and analyzed in this report.
B. The Study Area
The east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, between the Mount Rose Highway and Verdi, commonly known as the Carson Range, has a unique environment. It lies within the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada and is generally relatively dry, even in the forest types. At the crest of the Sierra Nevada (elevations average about 9,000 ft.) the average annual precipitation is nearly 25 inches, while at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport (elevation 4411 ft.), the average annual precipitation is only 7.8 inches. The ecosystems, however, are quite productive. It is generally recognized by having a mixed coniferous forest at the higher elevations and then at the lower elevations a Jeffrey pine forest. Many areas in the Jeffrey pine forest have been burned (including the fire occurring in July, 2000), leaving many areas with a fire type of eastside chaparral species ñ primarily buckbrush, green leaf manzanita and squaw carpet. At yet lower elevations the forest and chaparral vegetation give way to the cold desert where the dominant plants are members of the genus Artemisia or sagebrush. In addition, much of the sagebrush vegetation at these intermediate elevations contains almost codominant stands of sagebrush mixed with bitterbrush. Bitterbrush is one of the most important shrubs providing browse for deer.
Mixed into this mosaic of vegetation are stands of curl leaf mountain mahogany and riparian or water loving vegetation along the streams. This latter vegetation consists of meadow grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, willows and other species that thrive in the wetter environments. These areas provide valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife species.
C. Wildlife and Plant Life Habitat
The fragmentation of these ecosystems has generally reduced the biodiversity of birds, small mammals, and other important components of the ecosystem. A Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared in 1979 by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), with the assistance of Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), indicated that a total of 61 mammal, 329 bird, 19 reptile and 6 amphibian species have been recorded in this area. The 1979 report also indicated that most species occupy a variety of habitats with species abundance greatest along the foothills of the Carson range. Important species still survive, although in more concentrated areas. There are still vibrant populations of raccoon, coyote, mountain lion, black bear, badger, cotton-tail rabbit, quail, and dove, in the Ballardini Ranch area and surrounding environments. Although these populations rise and fall in dominance, some of those species appear to be moving into some of the lower urbanized areas, below the Ballardini Ranch along Lakeside Drive at Holcomb Lane, possibly fighting for reduced habitat.
Having a natural environment with wild populations of mammals, birds, and their associated vegetation types, provides a valuable resource to those who live in and love the Reno area and the Truckee Meadows.
Populations of mule deer are dependent upon these winter ranges for their survival. In the understory of the shrub vegetation there is a valuable combination of perennial grasses and forbs characteristic of these ecosystems. The close proximity of these cover and forage types is of considerable importance to the maintenance of a healthy deer herd and the many associated plant, animal, and bird species that occur there.
In addition to the upland sites, the streams flowing from the east side of the Carson Range constitute valuable fisheries, with much potential for enhancement. These include Evans Creek, White Creek, Thomas Creek and, potentially, Dry Creek. A healthy upland ecosystem contributes a great deal to a healthy stream by providing shade, reduced siltation and clear water to support a population of trout in Evans Creek, which has year around water.
D. Studies by the Nevada Department of Wildlife
1. Context In Which The Studies And Reports Were Made
In 1976, and again in 1979, The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) conducted studies of Carson Range, of which the Ballardini Ranch is an important part. The purpose of these studies was to analyze the impact upon wildlife, and the ecology generally, along the Carson Range which would occur upon construction of certain highway alignments which were then under consideration for selection by NDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The 1976 NDOW ("The 1976 NDOW REPORT") discussed various alignments then under consideration but focused principally on the effect upon the ecology of the area in the event of the selection and construction of the "A Alignment" then under consideration. The 1976 NDOW Report also discussed a proposed "C Alignment," which was proposed to be aligned farther east of the "A Alignment," traveling northward from Thomas Creek Road and then in a southwesterly direction to the Callahan Ranch and then on to the Winters Ranch. However, the "C Alignment" had less of an overall impact, negatively, on the study area, except that, as can be seen, the negative impact was still significant. As discussed below, the "A Alignment" approached and touched the Ballardini Ranch property and had the most negative effect of all the other alignments then under consideration upon the Ballardini Ranch and foothills.
The 1976 NDOW Report did not discuss the "S Alignment" because it was not then on the drawing boards. After several hearings evaluating the 1976 NDOW Report, and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared by NDOT in 1976, it became clear that an alternative was preferable and, "S Alignment" became the favored route. Consequently, it was necessary to prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement to study the "S Alignment," thus resulting in the 1979 NDOW Report and the 1979 Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Both the 1976 NDOW report and the 1979 NDOW Report were prepared at the request of NDOT to facilitate the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in 1976 and Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement in 1979 for the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) which was the funding source for the segment of the I-580 freeway between the intersections of Hash Lane/McCarran Boulevard and South Virginia Street and the Winters Ranch in Washoe Valley.
As stated above, one of the proposed alignments for this segment of the I-580 freeway was the well-known "A Alignment" which was initially proposed because of its straight alignment and less expensive construction route. The "A Alignment" proposed a freeway from the intersection of South Virginia Street and McCarran Boulevard (then Hash Lane) in a southwesterly direction behind (west of) Windy Hill traveling further in a southerly direction along the eastern Carson Range foothills, skimming the easterly border of the Ballardini Ranch, traversing the other Ballardini Ranch Properties, across the Mount Rose Highway, traversing the Callahan Ranch, and then joining the Winters Ranch in Washoe Valley. This so-called "A Alignment," if approved, would have bifurcated the entire southwest Truckee Meadows with a wide swing of the I-580 Extension.
The initial alignment of the I-580 Extension through the City of Reno anticipated the selection of the "A Alignment," and the early construction of the I-580 freeway (the segment traveling through the City of Reno) curved in a direction which would have been compatible with the selection of the "A Alignment." However, after the "A Alignmentî" was discredited, NDOT ultimately selected the "S Alignment" (as it subsequently came to be known), with the unanimous concurrence of the City of Reno, City of Sparks, and County of Washoe. The "S Alignment" travels through the center part of the Truckee Meadows disturbing both the east and west portions of the South Truckee Meadows. A portion of the "S Alignment" has been constructed as of the date of this report from the intersection of South Virginia Street and McCarran Boulevard southerly to the Mount Rose Highway.
In the view of the undersigned, the 1976 NDOW Report made clear that the selection of the "A Alignment" would have drastic ecological effects upon the Carson Range and would devastate the deer herd along the Carson Range between McCarran Boulevard (then Hash Lane) and the Mount Rose Highway. In view of the undersigned, the impact of the development of the Ballardini Ranch (or any transportation system which would bifurcate the Ballardini Ranch) would have equal, if not more severe negative impact upon the ecosystem than the selection of the ìA Alignmentî would have had.
On September 9, 1991, Task Force 395 ("Task Force 395"), a task force comprised of Washoe County Commissioners, Reno City Council persons, and the Nevada Department of Transportation unanimously recommended adoption of the "S Alignment," as it subsequently came to be known. The "S Alignment" travels through the center part of the Truckee Meadows alleviating the impacts on the ecosystem along the Carson Range. The northern segment of the "S Alignment" has been constructed to date. The portion constructed to date is from the intersection of South Virginia Street and McCarran Boulevard southerly to the Mt. Rose Highway. The second segment is being planned for construction shortly.
In the environmental impact study process, the 1976 NDOW Report and the 1979 NDOW Report were utilized by NDOT and FHWA to consider the impact of the "A Alignment" as well as other alignments.
2. 1976 NDOW Report
As stated above, in the view of the undersigned, the impact of development of the Ballardini Ranch would have equally, if not more severe, impact on the ecosystem than selection of the "A Alignment" would have had. The 1976 NDOW Report made some comments of interest in connection with the subject of this report, namely the impact of development of the Ballardini Ranch and related properties upon the ecosystem generally and the fate of the mule deer in particular.
The most severe impacts are those resulting in the loss or disturbance of the mule deer winter range. Corridors A and C [Corridor C was proposed to be located east of the "A Alignment" traveling in a direction more parallel with Thomas Creek Lane] would adversely affect deer populations, since they encounter deer winter habitat along 45 percent of their total distance. Deer population levels depend on fawn survival, which in turn is directly related to the availability of food, cover, and water and access to critical winter range (Robinette et al 1952). Freeways are known to prevent or significantly restrict movements between summer and winter ranges (Reilly and Green 1974).
Destruction of habitat due to the construction of the proposed freeway facilities per se is minor in comparison to their probable impact in limiting access to the relatively undisturbed winter range at lower elevations. Winter habitat in the study area is considered critical to the future welfare of the Mt. Rose deer herds (Natural Resource Consultants 1975, p. 109; Walstrom 1973).
The A corridor would block access to about 3 square miles of critical habitat and 10 square miles of good winter range; the C corridor would occlude 0.5 and 9.5 square miles of the critical and good range, respectively. Both corridors, but particularly the A route, would prevent deer from effectively utilizing lower-elevation habitat essential for their survival through extreme winters (about one year in ten). Mortality of adults and fawns would undoubtedly occur and would be especially severe during extreme winters, probably resulting in a permanent decline in population density since alternative winter habitat is not available.
Other factors may adversely affect wintering habitat in sections of the study area. Urban development is beginning to encroach on deer habitat in the Lakeside area south toward Holcomb Lane and some subdivision is taking place in the vicinity of the Callahan Ranch. Disruption of deer herds by dogs is frequently a significant effect of development. Thus the impact of the A or C corridor would also depend on the extent to which non-freeway-related development takes place along these corridors. The degree of future development in the area is hard to predict at this time.
It should be noted that key public agencies recognize the incompatibility of development in deer wintering range. The Nevada Department of Fish and Game is working cooperatively with the Regional Planning Commission to minimize the impacts of urban developments on the winter range in the study area. (Nevada Department of Fish and Game 1975.) Furthermore, the Blue Ribbon Committee on Physical Constraints recommended that development be prohibited in critical wildlife habitat areas such as deer wintering grounds (Area Council of Governments 1973-1974f). Consequently, with controlled urban development the A or C corridor would significantly disrupt deer herds. In the event of continued urban encroachment of deer habitat, impacts associated with these corridors would be reduced to the degree that development would intrude upon winter habitat. . . .
The loss of habitat due to implementation of the A or C corridor could not be mitigated since alternative deer winter habitat is not currently available in the project area. The establishment of suitable forage outside the zone of environmental impact would probably be infeasible since alternative low-elevation areas are not available and range management techniques would probably be exceedingly complex and possibly infeasible, and the costs would be excessive. Deer are habitual animals and it would prove difficult to induce them to relocate. (Gruell and Papez 1963). . . .
In view of the higher ambient water quality levels and fishery values, the greater number of stream crossings, steeper topography, and the presence of relatively erodible soils, Corridors A and C would be expected to have the most severe impact on fish resources. Although much of the fish habitat is upstream of the proposed alignments, important habitat exists downstream and would be affected. Habitat may be removed from productivity as a result of siltation, erosion, and the alteration of stream banks by bridge buttresses, temporary access road placement, and other construction activities . . . .
In conclusion, it is evident that the A and C corridors would be most likely to affect fishery resources. In contrast to other alignments, these corridors are located through areas with more valuable fish populations, greater erosion potentials, the need for greater applications of de-icing salt, and higher water-quality conditions. . . .
Adverse impacts would occur with the reduction or modification of habitat and the disruption of wildlife movements. Some species of wildlife would be killed by vehicles. The A and C corridors would eliminate prime deer winter range in the study area directly, through placement of the roadway, or indirectly, as a result of the inhibition of migration to winter range east of the corridors. These impacts cannot be effectively mitigated by available techniques, including deer underpasses or barriers.
3. The 1979 NDOW Report
The 1979 NDOW Report was directed principally to the impact of the "S Alignment." Since the "S Alignment" could not intrude upon the east side of the Carson Range, but affected the deer herd principally because it added an additional barrier to the migratory paths historically used by the deer herds in difficult winters, the NDOW Report did not concentrate on the impact of development (or construction of the freeway alignment) in that part of the Carson Range between McCarran Boulevard and the Mt. Rose Highway. Nevertheless, the 1979 NDOW Report reaffirmed the contents of the 1976 NDOW Report and the underpinnings of its conclusions.
The 1979 NDOW Report added little to the 1976 NDOW Report but reaffirmed its contents and the underpinnings of its conclusions. It recognized the ìunusual geographical settingî of the area, the diversity of the wildlife, the fact that the migratory paths had been permanently altered for deer (making the portion of the Carson Range more important than ever to the survival of the deer herd) and value for fisheries. Some of the comments and conclusions in the 1979 NDOW Report include:
E. Wildlife And Fisheries
By virtue of its unusual geographical setting, the project area supports a diverse spectrum of wildlife species. Located at the interface of the Sierra and Great Basin (Nevada) biotic provinces, Truckee Meadows and Washoe Valley are notably rich in habitat types. At the eastern and western edges of the study area are the forests and rangelands of the Virginia and Carson Ranges, providing relatively undisturbed conditions for wildlife. The valley floor itself is strongly influenced by urbanization and the many irrigation ditches that permit agricultural land uses.
Perennial streams with a fringing riparian vegetation drain the Carson Range, and the Steamboat Creek, with its discontinuous riparian growth, flows through the area from Washoe Lake in the south to the Truckee River in the north. Such local topographic features as the alluvial pediment in the southwest, Huffaker Hills, and Steamboat Hills provide habitat diversity to the otherwise modified valley.
Local wildlife is abundant because of water availability, plant community interspersion and diversity, and the rural environment south of Reno-Sparks. Natural topographic features permit some ingress of wildlife into habitats close to developed areas....
Deer are primarily browsers, feeding on bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, sagebrush, and willow. They migrate between winter and summer ranges, a pattern involving elevational movements between foothills and upper mountain elevations. Grasses and forbs are more heavily utilized during the spring and summer months. Bitterbrush is a particularly palatable species and sagebrush is heavily utilized in the late winter months. Deer tend to concentrate where these food species are most abundant. Such other factors are the availability of cover and water, favorable topography and edge effect, and forage density are important in establishing an area as key deer winter habitat....
Most deer winter west of existing U.S. 395. Some cross the valley into the Virginia Mountains, where favorage tree or brush cover and topographic features allow safe passage. The main crossing is at Washoe Hill on the southern edge of Pleasant Valley; minimal crossing occurs at other locations. The crossing at Washoe Hill is a long-established corridor for migrating deer moving into adjacent winter habitat. Deer do not readily adapt to new migration routes. Increasingly rapid urbanization in southwest Reno, the Callahan Ranch area and in Steamboat and Pleasant Valleys has drastically curtailed the available winter habitat and migration opportunities for deer in the study corridor....
A total of 61 mammal, 329 bird, 19 reptile, and 6 amphibian species have been recorded in the study area, of which 175 species are considered common and 57 are listed as rare or infrequent visitors. Most species occupy a variety of habitats; species abundance is greatest along the foothills of the Carson Range, where coniferous forest, brushland, riparian, and meadow habitats are interspersed. The Callahan Ranch meadow area, Joy Lake, and Wintersí Ranch provide particularly diverse habitats for wildlife. Other prime habitats include Washoe Lake, and the riparian fringes along Thomas, Whites, Dry, Evans, and Steamboat Creeks....
Coldwater fisheries occur in the perennial steams (Galena, Thomas, Whites, and Evans that drain the eastern slopes of the Carson Range. Common game fish include the rainbow and brook trout. The only native species is the cutthroat trout. Along the Carson foothills only Galena, Thomas, and Whites Creeks support important fisheries. Evans Creek provides fishing opportunities at high elevations only, outside the strict confines of the project area. Browns and Dry Creeks contain no fishery resources.
Available fish habitat is strongly influenced by a combination of riffles and deep pools, availability of food, undercut banks and streamside vegetation that shade portions of the water and the composition of the stream standpoints. Changes brought about by logging, road construction, livestock overgrazing and flooding have adversely affected the productivity of streams like Evans and Galena....
Evans Creek originates at 8,200 in the Carson Range and runs for 14.2 miles including tributaries. Part of the main creek runs directly through the Ballardini Ranch. At the time of a 1978 survey (October) by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Evans Creek was flowing between 7,400 feet and 5,400 feet. Available fish habitat is influenced by a combination of riffles and deep pools, availability of food, undercut banks and streamside vegetation for shade and the composition of the stream bed. In 1978 the Nevada Department of Wildlife surveyed 3.0 miles of the stream which is also the fishable length. The average width was 4.3 feet and the average depth was 12.2 inches. The average velocity was 2.4 feet per second and the average discharge was 0.6 cubic feet per second. The water was clear along the surveyed area. It was found that the cover percent optimum was 83% with 70% of the stream banks rated as stable. Average stream shading was 88%. The average stream gradient was 9%. During the same survey it was found that there were 792 fish/mile at 2" or better. Of the fish sampled 27% were in the 6" to 8" size class. At the time of the survey, the water was being entirely diverted for irrigation (Gaspari Ranch) at the 5,400 foot elevation.
Dry Creek, located near two of the parcels included within the definition of Ballardini Ranch Properties, has year around water, although primarily at the lower elevations. Planters from Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) hatcheries could be used to improve and maintain these fisheries. NDOW would be encouraged to do so if those streams were in public hands as opposed to privately owned.
F. Significance of the Ballardini Ranch
It has been documented for many years that increasing urbanization along the east side of the Sierra Nevada, along the Wasatch Front in Utah and along the Front Range in Colorado has negatively impacted wild deer populations. With respect to the Sierra Nevada, mule deer populations normally move from the north side of the Carson Range, and even on Peavine Mountain, southward to lower elevations for winter habitat. Historically the mule deer populations often moved, in a difficult winter, across the area between the Truckee Meadows and Washoe Valley, through what was then commonly known as the Callahan Ranch, to the Virginia foothills and Virginia Range near Virginia City. Because of increased population densities, traffic arterials, highways, and the planned freeway, these deer migratory paths have been severely restricted.
The Ballardini Ranch property consists of approximately 1,016 acres, and is situated between McCarran Boulevard south to approximately Lone Tree Lane, just to the southwest of and adjacent to Reno. This property is an excellent example of such a wildlife area as described in the foregoing paragraph. But if the existing habitat were lost along the east side of the Sierra Nevadas between McCarran Boulevard and the Mount Rose Highway, there would be a serious, if not fatal, impact upon this part of the Carson Range deer herd. Furthermore, as mentioned below, the value of the federal lands adjacent to and situated west of the Ballardini Ranch as a refuge for wildlife and other habitat would be greatly diminished.
The placing of the Ballardini Ranch property and certain of the adjacent properties, into public hands, would create an excellent buffer between the wild lands above Reno and the urban onslaught. This buffer has many benefits to the population of the Truckee Meadows as well, of course, as wildlife habitat and the natural vegetation.
The protection of the Ballardini Ranch and the adjacent properties would provide a critical link for a buffer area between McCarran Boulevard and the Mount Rose Highway, which at this juncture is the last remaining habitat for the potential survival of the Carson Range deer herd in a difficult winter.
G. Enhancement of the Value of Adjacent Federal Lands
by Preservation of the Ballardini Ranch
1. Value to the Ecology of the Area
a. Adjacent Federal Lands
Adjacent to the Ballardini Ranch to the west are significant U.S. Forest lands along the Carson Range, and to the south are some federal lands held by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These federal properties are critical to complete the landscape structure for the long-term protection of the deer herd and other important wildlife species and the natural vegetation; however, unless the Ballardini Ranch is retained as open space, those federal properties will not serve that purpose to the maximum extent, if at all. In fact, those federal lands may, if the Ballardini Ranch was developed into a high-density development, become devoid of this natural resource and its value for habitat would be correspondingly, and permanently, diminished. Ballardini Ranch is ripe for a federal/state/local partnership consistent with the planning efforts of those entities for many decades.
b. Arrow Creek Dedicated Property
The Estate of Redfield has owned a significant portion of the foothill property between the Ballardini Ranch and the Mount Rose Highway. The Redfield Estate and, ultimately Arrow Creek Properties, agreed in the early 1980's to dedicate approximately 1400 acres of its property to open space for public use which, together with the federal property mentioned above, provides the principal refuge for the mule deer in the Carson Range and Truckee Meadows. This acreage is adjacent to the Ballardini Ranch and travels along the foothills. If the Ballardini Ranch is lost, the value of the open space dedication by Arrow Creek is substantially diminished as well. Therefore, those potential open spaces, the federal lands, and the Arrow Creek dedication, will no longer serve as a valuable resource, to the same extent it would have, if the Ballardini Ranch is developed instead of making it permanently available to the public and wildlife.
In fact, those federal lands may, if the Ballardini Ranch was developed or north/south transportation system implemented, become devoid of their potential to support a wintering herd of mule deer as well as other important wildlife species. Protection of this property, along with the Forest Service lands and other acquired properties would provide an effective buffer along the urban fringe that would be 13.25 miles long. The Ballardini Ranch is ripe for federal/state/local partnership consistently with the planning efforts of those entities for many decades.
2. Value for Public Enjoyment
Further, the Ballardini Ranch provides access to these scenic federal lands which are a natural resource for both wildlife and the public as well. Access to the Ballardini Ranch would provide the public right to view, enjoy and study scenic and educational parts of the U.S. Forest and BLM lands by traveling through Evans Creek, as well as viewing the wooden flume system as well as viewing the remnants and path of the wooden flume system which was constructed in the late 1800s to facilitate the transfer of logs from the mountain range to the Truckee Meadows by utilization of water from Lake Tahoe. These natural and historical sites which are ones which could be enjoyed to a much greater degree if the Ballardini Ranch was preserved for access by the citizens of the Truckee Meadows.
H. Other Acceptable Public Uses
Further, this buffer area provided by the Ballardini Ranch provides a unique opportunity for the citizens of the Truckee Meadows, and those who visit the area, to gain appreciation of the unique environment that lies in that portion of the Carson Range. With the public access which would be made available through the Ballardini Ranch if it were to be left open, there would be unique areas made available for hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, mountain biking (unmotorized), wildlife and plant life observation, youth educational programs, and other uses which would not degrade the fragile ecologic system residing there. It would also provide unique opportunities for study by the youth of the outdoors, appreciation for wildlife and plant life, and the conservation of our natural resources. Groups providing programs for youth such as 4-H, FFA, Outward Bound, Reno Rodeo Foundation, and others, could utilize the Ballardini Ranch for their activities, study and programs. It has been stated that there are many open areas in the State of Nevada; while this is true, the practical effect is of little significance to the average citizen. The Ballardini Ranch provides a unique opportunity for citizens who do not have the ability to travel to distant places in Nevada, to enjoy this unique habitat Nevada has to offer. All of these youth activities could take place without interruption of the wildlife and plant life habitat necessary to preserving these important species. If the Ballardini Ranch is placed into development such potential uses for enjoyment by all citizens of the Truckee Meadows, and especially its youth, will disappear.
It is crucial for the Ballardini Ranch to remain as open space if the mule deer population is to survive in healthy numbers and if other ecologic resources are to remain vibrant. The federal lands and the Arrow Creek Dedicated Property clearly complement the value of the Ballardini Ranch to the wildlife populations and for natural resources generally, and the Ballardini Ranch allows the federal lands and the Arrow Creek Dedicated property to have increased value in that regard themselves.
The undersigned agrees completely with the 1976 NDOW Report which states that "These impacts cannot be effectively mitigated by available techniques, including deer underpasses or barriers." Development or injection of a transportation system into the heart of the Ballardini Ranch would virtually obliterate the integrity of the area as homogonous refuse for mule deer and other wildlife and for public use generally. Some properties must simply be left pristine for them to have value. Further, the federal lands and Arrow Creek Dedicated Property will become significantly devoid of wildlife and their natural resource habitat without the retention of the Ballardini Ranch as open space. This is clearly a situation where the value of the whole is greater than the sum of each of the parts.
While the federal government is often chary of retaining its forest lands along the "urban fringe," this is an especially natural place for federal government to participate in the long-term preservation of the Ballardini Ranch open space and public use. If the Ballardini Ranch is left as open space and public use, the federal lands will have enhanced value, not only for habitat, but also for public generally.
Dated this 23rd day of October, 2000.
Paul T. Tueller, Ph.D.
1. It should be noted that the portion of Evans Creek which traverses the Ballardini Ranch is included in that portion referred to in the 1976 NDOW Report as "upstream of the proposed alignments." The proposed alignments were proposed below that portion of Evans Creek, which travels through the Ballardini Ranch. Accordingly, with reference to Evans Creek, the comments made by NDOW to NDOT (and FHWA) in the 1976 NDOW Report refer to the portion of the Evans Creek which travels through the Ballardini Ranch.
2. A portion of the above quotation in brackets was added for clarification, and the underlining of some of the foregoing text was added for emphasis.
3. The reference in the 1979 NDOW Report to "high elevations only" includes that portion of the Evans Creek which traverses the Ballardini Ranch and portions above the Ballardini Ranch. Accordingly the 1979 NDOW Report reaffirms the fact that Evans Creek does provide fishing opportunities both in the Ballardini Ranch and above 4. References to the changes in the nDOW Report with respect to "logging, road construction, livestock overgrazing and flooding" refer to the portions of Evans Creek which is (sic) situated and lies (sic) below the Ballardini Ranch. There is a project at this time to restore the Evans Creek from the portion of the Evans Creek line below the Ballardini Ranch through what is now known as the Bartley Ranch/Anderson Ranch properties situated beneath Windy Hill on the east side of Lakeside Drive.
4. References to the changes in the NDOW Report with respect to "logging, road construction, livestock overgrazing and flooding" refer to the portions of Evans Creek which is (sic) situated and lies (sic) below the Ballardini Ranch. There is a project at this time to restore the Evans Creek from the portion of the Evans Creek line below the Ballardini Ranch through what is now known as the Bartley Ranch/Anderson Ranch properties situated beneath Windy Hill on the east side of Lakeside Drive.
Paul T. Tueller, Ph.D., is a professor of range ecology management at the University of Nevada, Reno.
P. O. Box 20397
Reno, NV 89515
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