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Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in

October 4, 2016

Summary

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–A). The purpose of the proposed action is to protect the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and its habitat from potential adverse effects of locatable mineral exploration and mining. The U.S. Geological Survey Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment (SaMiRA) project was initiated in November 2015 and supported by the Bureau of Land Management to (1) assess locatable mineral-resource potential and (2) to describe leasable and salable mineral resources for the seven SFAs and Nevada additions.

This chapter summarizes the current status of locatable, leasable, and salable mineral commodities and assesses the potential of selected locatable minerals in lands proposed for withdrawal that span the Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah borders. In this report, the four study areas evaluated were (1) the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex SFA in Washoe County, Nevada, and Harney and Lake Counties, Oregon; (2) the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada SFA in Humboldt County, Nevada, and Harney and Malheur Counties, Oregon; (3) the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada SFA in Cassia, Owyhee, and Twin Falls Counties, Idaho, Elko County, Nevada, and Box Elder County, Utah; and (4) the Nevada additions in Humboldt and Elko Counties, Nevada.