For several years, the ranchers of eastern Nevada have been asked by the Bureau of Land Management to develop a Wilson Creek Allotment Management Plan.
Connie Simkins, reporting to the Lincoln County Commission Board Oct. 20, said ranchers have done all that has been asked, but the BLM has yet to prepare the allotment management plan.
“There has been significant progress in the last year though,” Simkins said, “because there have been independent scientists, and a range consulting firm, Resource Concepts from Carson City, to work on the plan with Ken Vicencio, a range conservation specialist from Ely. He is very knowledgeable and was doing a very good job, and worked hard to comply with BLM rules and to bring forward on paper what the ranchers had been doing and what needed to be done to maintain this in an increasingly valuable situation.”
She noted also the BLM has taken into account the information gathered by independent sources.
However, Vicencio has since moved to Carson City, and the allotment management plan is only 50 percent completed.
Simkins was before the Board of Commissioners to ask them to approve sending a letter to Ely District BLM Manager Rosemary Thomas, “to have Ken Vicencio temporarily assigned back to Ely and be allowed sufficient time to finish the field work on the Wilson Creek Allotment, then return to his regular duties in Carson City.”
Simkins, who is secretary of the N4 Grazing Board, said that group has also sent a letter to Ms. Thomas asking for the same thing, “and the ranchers themselves have written a very dynamic letter.”
She said she was concerned all the good work Mr. Vicencio has done may be discounted if he is not allowed to complete his task.
Simkins said she expected BLM would agree to the request, “because we have had very good cooperation from the Ely District Manager.”
Commissioners gave unanimous support to the letter and Commissioner Kevin Phillips said the need to have this work completed quickly is great because Ms. Thomas has announced her retirement from the BLM as of Jan. 2, 2015.