Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced the Douglas County Economic Development and Conservation Act to promote conservation, improve public lands management and expand economic development opportunities in Douglas County. The bill was developed in collaboration with local officials and includes U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) as an original co-sponsor.
“I’m proud to introduce the Douglas County Economic Development and Conservation Act to prioritize local economic development, preserve our environment and safeguard important recreational and cultural sites for future generations. In the Senate, I’m doing all I can to fight for legislation to stimulate economic growth in Nevada and to provide counties with the tools they need to both attract new businesses and protect the public spaces that fuel Northern Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy. This bill is the culmination of the hard work of local government, the business community, conservationists, and Native communities throughout Douglas County and contains provisions to protect environmentally vulnerable areas and convey culturally significant lands to the Washoe Tribe. I’ll keep fighting in the Senate to pass this important legislation that highlights Nevadans’ unique commitment to sustainable growth and collaborative solutions.”
Senator Cortez Masto’s legislation was crafted in a collaborative and inclusive process at the local level and involved over 100 stakeholder groups, including conservationists, ranchers, county commissioners, hunting, mining, and recreation interests. Her lands bills follow a successful, bipartisan model that has worked for Nevada’s unique situation as a state with 85 percent of its land area under federal management.
The Douglas County Economic Development and Conservation Act:
This bill will provide federal land under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act for use by the County for flood control management areas, water infrastructure, parks, trails, public recreation enhancement, and other public uses. In addition, the legislation:
- Provides for the conveyance and management of important federally-owned cultural sites for the Washoe Tribe.
- Conveys 2,669 acres to be held in trust for the Washoe Tribe, including within the Dance Hill Management Area.
- The legislation is supported by the Washoe Tribe.
- Enhances economic development opportunities.
- The bill establishes a process for the transfer and sale of 60 acres of federal land through a joint-selection process. This process will facilitate long-term land-use planning for the lands identified for disposal through the BLM’s Resource Management Planning process.
- The proceeds from these land sales will help fund additional conservation efforts, support state education programs and will be eligible for use on projects to protect the Carson River flood plain and surrounding environment.
- Prioritizes Conservation.
- Promotes the management of sage-grouse habitat by designating nearly 12,400-acres of the new Burbank Canyons Wilderness area
- Conveys 67 acres to the State of Nevada to be managed within the Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park.
- The legislation also creates an Open Space Recreation and Management Area near Dance Hill to better manage OHV recreation and public activities.
- The legislation is supported by the Wilderness Society, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and Friends of Nevada Wilderness.
The bill text can be found here.