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United States Department of Agriculture
Forrest Service
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Carson Ranger District
Douglas County, Nevada
July 31, 2017

Scoping Document
Clear Creek Extension Trail Project

Comments Welcome
The Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest welcomes your comments on this proposal to construct an extension of the Clear Creek Trail that would add approximately 6.5 miles to the existing trail. The proposed extension would connect the trail at its high point (6,200 ft.) to the Tahoe Rim Trail at the Spooner Summit South Trailhead (7,150 ft.). Approximately 6.5 miles of the proposed trail extension is located on National Forest System (NFS) lands on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest primarily in Sections 5, 6, 7, and 8 of Township 15N and Range 19E, Mt. Diablo Meridian. (see Figure 1: Clear Creek Extension Trail Project Map).
The Carson Ranger District has tentatively determined that this proposed project may be categorically excluded from documentation in an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.15, Section 32.2(1), “Construction and reconstruction of trails,” (36 CFR 220.6(e) (1)). A Decision Memo is anticipated to document the decision regarding this proposed action, unless extraordinary circumstances related to the proposed action warrant further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS as outlined in FSH 1909.15, 31.2.

The Carson Ranger District has been working with a variety of partners over many years to provide a sustainable system of trails that meets the needs of forest visitors and local communities while protecting resources. Generally, the District focuses on multiple use trail proposals that meet the shared goals of the Forest Service and trail partners. These goals include:

  • Connectivity between existing trails;
  • Creating long loop opportunities; and
  • Improving access to existing trailheads and communities.

Purpose and Need for Action
The proposed trail extension would provide a much-needed connector between the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Clear Creek Trail, creating opportunities for longer trips and increased connectivity to surrounding trails. In addition, the new trail segment would help address ongoing trespass issues on adjacent private lands (Old Clear Creek Road) by offering legal access to the Clear Creek watershed from the existing Jacks Valley Trailhead.

Proposed Action
The project includes full bench construction of a new trail that would be open to all non-motorized uses including hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian. The estimated trail length represents approximately 6.5 miles on NFS lands. The new trail segment would provide a connection from the existing Clear Creek Trail to the Tahoe Rim Trail at the Spooner Summit South trailhead located on U.S. Highway 50.
The trail would be constructed to Forest Service specifications as follows:

  • 18”-30” full bench construction.
  • Average trail grade would be 7% or less depending on soil type.
  • Maximum trail grade (12%) for very short sections (100’ or less).
  • Short pitch sections up to 20% with runouts and armoring.
  • Trail grade would not exceed one-half of side slope grade.
  • Minimum 2%-6% out slope on bench cut / trail tread.
  • Back slope from bench cut to be minimum 1:1 slope.
  • Bench cut material on down slope to be thoroughly dispersed.
  • Trail corridor to be clear of vegetation for a width of 6’ and height of 10’ to allow for pack stock.
  • Grade reversals or grade breaks every 100-200′ maximum spacing.
  • Switchbacks and turns would be located on side slopes less than:
    • 40% for switchbacks
    • 25% for berm turns
    • 15% for climbing turns
  • The trail layout avoids cutting of trees greater than 8 inches in diameter at breast height (DBH). No five-needle pines would be cut and the District Forester would review any trees identified for removal prior to cutting.
  • The trail alignment has been carefully placed and surveyed to avoid cultural resources, rare plants, and sensitive habitat for wildlife species.

How to Comment
Comments would be most helpful if received by August 30, 2017. Written comments must be submitted to: Irene Davidson, District Ranger; 1536 South Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada, 89701 or to the facsimile number (775) 884-8199. The office hours for those submitting hand delivered comments are: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.
To provide electronic comments please email your comments to the project contact at Please use the term “Clear Creek Extension Trail Project” in the subject line of your email.
Comments received in response to this scoping notice, including names and address of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project and will be available for public review and will be released if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
For further information, please contact Daniel Morris at 775-884-8140.