November 18, 2021

Cortez Masto’s Legislation to Protect the Ruby Mountains Advances

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today secured passage through the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of her legislation to protect Nevada’s beautiful and pristine Ruby Mountains by prohibiting oil and gas development there. The legislation has cleared a major committee hurdle and will now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

“The Ruby Mountains are a Nevada treasure, and they must be protected,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Nevadans depend on the Rubies for everything from ranching to outdoor recreation, industries that support thousands of jobs in the region. My bill would prohibit destructive and unproductive oil and gas leasing in the Rubies and make sure that they’re protected for generations to come. I’ll keep working in the Senate to safeguard Nevada’s economy and its incredible landscapes.” 

Cortez Masto has been a longtime champion of Nevada’s outdoor recreation industry and the public lands it depends on, including the Ruby Mountains. In 2020 alone, outdoor recreation in the state added $3.90 billion to Nevada’s economy and supported over 49,000 jobs. The Senator’s Ruby Mountains Protection Act, which is cosponsored by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), would withdraw approximately 309,272 acres of National Forest System land, comprising the Ruby Mountain Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, from any eligibility for oil and gas leasing under the Mineral Leasing Act. The bill would also expand this same protection to the 39,926 acre Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

In addition, Senator Cortez Masto also secured passage of the Great Basin National Heritage Area and Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Extension Act, which extends the authorization for Great Basin, Nevada’s only national heritage area.