This past Monday - March 27th - was the last day for the Nevada state legislators to get their bills introduced in the Nevada State Legislature. More than 1,000 bills have been introduced in the 2017 Nevada state legislative session - a handful of these bills are directly related to public lands and conservation...both good and bad. We've put together a comprehensive summary of all of these bills, where we stand on them, and what you can do to take action.
On March 20th, Nevada State Senator Nicole Cannizzaro and thirteen co-sponsors introduced SB413 in the Nevada State Legislature. SB143, if passed, would establish the last Saturday in September of each year as “Public Lands Day” in the State of Nevada and would require the Governor to issue annually a proclamation encouraging the observance of Public Lands Day.
Americans are fortunate to own millions of acres of incredible public lands, many of which are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We all have a say in how these lands are managed through the ability to participate in a public process to develop land use plans. Last year, the BLM established a rule, Planning 2.0, that went into effect in January and provides additional opportunities for public input on how your lands are managed. But a resolution in Congress would undo this important step forward for the agency and the public by eliminating that rule. This resolution has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is headed for action in the Senate.
Today, Senator Heller re-introduced the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act of 2017 in the Senate (S. 414). Representatives Amodei and Titus quickly followed suit to re-introduce the House version of the bill (H.R. 1107). We applaud our members of the Nevada delegation who are working to advance this landmark bi-partisan legislation that will protect wilderness and wildlife habitat, provide needed economic development for local communities, and resolve long-standing public land issues within the County.
The Bureau of Land Management scheduled a Public Information Forum in Mesquite, NV to talk about management of the Gold Butte National Monument. On Thursday evening, the BLM will give a quick presentation and then take questions from the audience during the two hour forum. Rumors are making their way around about the future of management in Gold Butte National Monument and this is a chance to set the record straight.
To round out a great year of wilderness stewardship in Nevada, Friends of Nevada Wilderness recognized several outstanding volunteers, businesses, and activists who made a big difference for public lands. One business in particular, Barrick, has shown strong support for protecting our wild places in Nevada and to recognize their efforts, Friends of Nevada Wilderness awarded them with our "2016 Corporate Partner of the Year."
Gold Butte is Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon. It is a treasure trove of cultural, historic, and natural wonders located between the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. And today Gold Butte is our nation’s newest national monument.
This incredible victory for our public lands was made possible by the thousands of people like you in Nevada and across the country who joined Tribes, elected officials, business owners, community groups, and recreationists to call on our national leaders to safeguard a beloved landscape.
Thank President Obama and congressional champions Senator Reid and Congresswoman Titus now!
Hundreds of wilderness and wildlife activists submitted comments today in response to a recent proposal from the Air Force to expand the Nevada Test and Training Range and seize over 300,000 acres of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Beloved by Americans for its wild Mojave Desert landscapes, thriving desert bighorn sheep populations, and close proximity to Las Vegas, the proposal ignited hundreds to act in order to save this wild gem of southern Nevada.
Residents around Washoe County have been asking for a lands bill for Washoe County that is balanced and protects parks, open space, and wilderness. The Washoe County Commission will be holding a final open house for the Washoe public lands proposal. They want to hear your vision for the future of Washoe County. Please join us on November 2nd and make your voice heard!
This week, the Mother of Nevada Wilderness passed away. In remembrance, the Friends of Nevada Wilderness Board of Directors issued the following statement,
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our founding members, Marge Sill. Marge served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Nevada Wilderness for 32 continuous years, rarely missing a meeting. Marge was an activist for the cause of wilderness and we would like to acknowledge her significant contribution to wildlands and wilderness in Nevada. She directly contributed to the protection of each of Nevada’s 70 Wilderness areas.