May 05, 2017

Cortez Masto, Heller Introduce Eastern Nevada Lands Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) introduced the Eastern Nevada Economic Development and Land Management Improvement Act, bicameral, bipartisan legislation designed in collaboration with local officials to jumpstart economic development and enhance conservation efforts in Eastern Nevada.

“This bill will protect Nevada’s public lands while also ensuring that development projects are executed responsibly,” said Cortez Masto. “As one of the fastest growing states, land development projects have been essential to our increasing population. I am pleased that this bill will allow us to continue our conservation efforts and cater to the needs of both current and future Nevadans.”

“This legislation provides Lincoln County and White Pine County flexibility to promote responsible long-term growth and bolster conservation efforts,” said Heller. “I am proud to join with Nevada lawmakers from both parties to introduce legislation that will address the needs of local communities and empower those who know how to best strengthen Nevada.”

Section 2 of the legislation amends Lincoln County’s two public lands acts (P.L. 106-298 and P.L. 108-424) to more effectively carry out their long-term conservation and land use goals. This technical correction will help prevent catastrophic wildfire, facilitate infrastructure development, and improve sage grouse habitat.

Section 3 fixes errors in congressionally established wilderness areas located in Eastern Nevada. Specifically, it releases a small dam from the Arc Dome Wilderness Area that is owned and maintained by the Yomba Tribe. Secondly, it releases land from the High Schells Wilderness Area frequently used as a Girl Scout camp and adjusts the designation of a road near McCoy Creek. It also releases from the Mount Moriah Wilderness Area a section that will allow access to the main road and facilities at the Big Canyon Trailhead.

Section 4 amends the White Pine County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act to give the county greater flexibility in carrying out their long-term economic development and conservation goals.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and the White Pine County Board of Commissioners have endorsed the portions of the legislation that relate to their jurisdiction. In 2015, this legislation was introduced by Senator Heller and then U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.).