Public hearings scheduled for Navy land renewal

Public input is being sought regarding the environmental planning process for former public land at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The land under study has been withdrawn from public use since 1994, under the California Desert Protection Act, for 20 years, which will be up Oct. 31, 2014. The Navy needs to continue using it for increased testing and training purposes, so seeks to have the withdrawal renewed for another 25 years.

The Department of the Navy, in partnership with the Department of Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Legislative Environmental Impact Statement for the renewal of the public land withdrawal.

The draft studies the environmental impacts associated with a 25-year renewal of Navy land management authority, an increase in operational activities of up to 25 percent, and revision and implementation of the Installation’s Comprehensive Land Use Management Plan.

The project’s website is www.ChinaLakeLEIS.com.

The Navy and BLM initiated a 90-day public comment period for the Draft EIS/LEIS on Aug. 10. The public comment period concludes on Nov. 8.

Public input will be accepted, from 6-8 p.m. at the following meetings:

• Tuesday, Oct. 2, Marriott SpringHill Suites, Ridgecrest

• Wednesday, Oct. 3, Trona Community Senior Center, Trona

• Thursday, Oct. 4, Statham Hall, Lone Pine

Comments may also be submitted in writing to NAWS China Lake Land Withdrawal LEIS Project Manager Gene Beale, Naval Facilities Southwest Desert IPT, 1220 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92132-5178.

Story First Published: 2012-09-26