Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced today that her legislation to responsibly expand the Navy’s Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC) will be included in the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will consider in the coming weeks. Senator Cortez Masto worked closely with Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) to complete this bipartisan compromise.
“The responsible expansion of the Navy’s Fallon Range Training Complex that I negotiated will improve our national security, fuel economic growth in Churchill County, and preserve important cultural heritage sites for Tribal nations,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I worked closely with Senator Rosen and Congressman Amodei, the administration, Senate Armed Services Committee, Congressional leadership, and all local stakeholders to secure this agreement and will make sure it is in the final NDAA.”
“The Fallon Range Training Complex is the Navy’s premier training environment and vital to ensuring tactical aviation readiness and improved ground forces training that can meet the demands of today and the threats of tomorrow,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “This critical legislation enhances our Nation’s security by allowing our Carrier Air Wings and Naval Special Warfare Teams to train in a more realistic environment and better prepare for strategic competition .I am grateful to Congressional leadership, especially Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), and the tribal stakeholders, local and state government leaders, and the people of Nevada who worked together to support this modernization for our Navy and our Nation.”
“The inclusion of Nevada’s plan for the Fallon Naval Air Station expansion in the National Defense Authorization reflects the best in bipartisan collaboration between the Nevada Congressional delegation, the United States Navy, the Department of Interior, the Walker River Paiute Tribe, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Churchill County, conservation advocates, sportsmen and many, many other Nevadans,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “I salute Congressman Amodei and Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen for their hard work on the frontlines and behind the scenes to deliver this great win for the Silver State.”
“The Silver State should be proud that when Churchill County’s future was challenged by the Navy’s proposed expansion, Nevadans stood together, worked together, and created an exciting plan for the future. Over time, Governors Sandoval and Sisolak, Congressman Amodei, Senator Cortez Masto, and Senator Rosen fought shoulder to shoulder with Churchill County to ensure the prosperous future we see for the County,” said Churchill County Chairman Pete Olsen. “When this bill becomes law, we will commence a new chapter focused on ensuring that Congressional intent translates into real world progress. Churchill County looks forward to continuing its strong relationship with the Navy in support of their important mission and partnering with Nevada’s Congressional delegation to ensure the Administration’s implementation accounts for the realities of day-to-day life in Northern Nevada.”
“This is a momentous day where an historic injustice against the Walker River Paiute Tribe has been resolved because of the great leadership of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in concert with the Nevada congressional delegation. We can now begin the healing process, with restored sacred lands, expansion of our tribal homeland, just compensation, and the opportunity for new economic development for the benefit our people,” said Amber Torres, Chairman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe. “This landmark legislative settlement marks a new day for the Walker River Paiute Tribe and our friends and neighbors in the great state of Nevada.”
“The City of Fallon is pleased that our voices have been heard and our views represented in this legislation. We know many parties’ interests were involved but as always, Senator Cortez Masto was masterful in bringing those many different interests together to reach a solution that both addresses national security and respects local interests,” said City of Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford. “We’re grateful for the collaboration from the entire Nevada delegation to move this proposal forward.”
“We thank Senator Cortez Masto for her work in crafting a delicate community compromise within the NDAA for the state of Nevada. We are pleased to see the Wilderness and National Conservation Areas included, which will join the most spectacular natural, historical, cultural and archaeological sites in the country – the National Conservation Lands,” said Jocelyn Torres, Nevada-based Senior Conservation Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “We appreciate the complexity and size of the challenge Senator Cortez Masto has addressed with this proposal and look forward to its passage.”
This agreement will provide the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC) with an additional 558,535 acres for military training vital to our national security, some of which will remain under Interior Department oversight in order to facilitate other regional land management interests. The legislation designates over 581,887 acres of conservation, wilderness areas, and other protected areas, and holds a total of 18,170 acres of land in trust for the Walker River Paiute and Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribes. The bill also transfers $20 million to the Walker River Paiute Tribe in recognition of historical contamination of their Tribal lands and $20 million to the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe to create a new cultural center to sustain the knowledge, culture, and language of the Fallon Paiute Shoshone tribe. Additionally, the agreement will allow Churchill County and Lander County to access land for economic growth.
Senator Cortez Masto has led significant efforts to secure this expansion. In 2020, she released a preliminary alternative proposal for NAS Fallon’s expansion after extensive discussions with stakeholders, and she has continued to lead negotiations on this issue. She also passed legislation to establish an Intergovernmental Executive Committee (IEC) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon to provide local, state, and Tribal governments a public forum to collaborate with the military and the Interior Department in providing advice and exchanging information on the management of natural and cultural resources within local lands used for military purposes. This committee will continue to provide input on the use and management of lands within FRTC’s expansion.