Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after her tour of White Pine and Lincoln Counties, where she discussed her work to support travel and tourism in the state, deliver federal funding to rural communities, and create a National Monument at Bahsahwahbee (or Swamp Cedars).
“I’ll always fight for rural and Tribal communities in the Silver State, and I was thrilled to meet with so many Nevadans working to improve their communities, protect Nevada’s unique cultural heritage, and grow our economy,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Hearing from Nevadans helps guide my work as Senator, and I’ll keep working to deliver the funding and support our families and businesses need.”
In Ely, Cortez Masto joined the Executive Director of the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum on the Great Basin Star Train to see some of the darkest skies in the West. The senator has helped secure grant funding for the museum and has been a longtime advocate of Dark Sky sanctuaries that preserve skies from light pollution and support outdoor recreation and tourism across Nevada. She’s also championed the bipartisan STEP Act to support Nevada’s tourism industry and the small businesses that rely on it.
She also met with local leaders to discuss her work to make vital infrastructure improvements in downtown Ely. Senator Cortez Masto has secured $30 million in federal funding for the Downtown Ely Infrastructure and Complete Streets Project. She’s been instrumental in securing millions to help Ely upgrade aging water infrastructure, make safety improvements at the municipal airport, and expand access to broadband and affordable housing for the Ely Shoshone Tribe. She’s also championed federal investments to help rural communities across Nevada access high-speed internet, including in Ely.
Cortez Masto joined Tribal chairs and members of the Tribal council from the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, the Ely Shoshone Tribe, and the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation for a tour of the site of the proposed Bahsahwahbee (or Swamp Cedars) National Monument. Bahsahwahbee is a site of cultural and historical significance to Tribes in Nevada and is home to a sacred and ecologically-unique grove of juniper trees. Senator Cortez Masto has personally called on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Biden administration to support the creation of this monument.
As negotiations continue on the 2023 Farm Bill, Cortez Masto met with Bevan Lister, President of the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation in Lincoln County at his farm. Senator Cortez Masto is a strong supporter of Nevada’s rural and agricultural communities and led the fight to protect family farms and ranches from an unfair tax hike. She has introduced bipartisan legislation to put rural Western communities on an equal footing when it comes to applying for critical infrastructure grants to improve school buildings, promote small businesses, and bolster health care services. In recent Farm Bills, the Senator has made sure that rural Nevada communities are included in the Rural Partners Network to help them better access federal funds and services, and supported programs to prompt better interagency coordination to help rural communities access the resources they need.