By Jeri Chadwell, This Is Reno
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Nevada’s U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto on Thursday announced the reintroduction of two conservation lands bills that failed to gain traction in 2020.
The Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act would convey land to Lander County for improving its airports, accessing water infrastructure and economic development. It would also designate more than 14,000 acres of wilderness.
The Carson City Public Land Correction Act would promote conservation, improve public lands management and expand economic development opportunities in Carson City.
“In Nevada, we recognize the importance of finding common ground between our state’s conservation needs and efforts to grow and develop our communities,” Rosen said in a statement. “I’m proud to have consulted with a diverse range of stakeholders – including Nevada’s local governments, environmental groups, businesses, and land users – to craft these two important pieces of legislation.”
Rosen said the two lands bills reflect years of efforts to identify parcels that can be used to develop future residential areas, improve public safety, water infrastructure and transportation projects, public parks and wilderness areas, as well as tourism opportunities.
“I will continue working with stakeholders, including our business community and environmental advocates, on common sense solutions that help Nevada’s economy grow while also protecting our outdoor spaces for future generations,” she said.
Cortez Masto said it’s essential to ensure that Nevada’s rural communities can access land for economic and community development but that public spaces for recreation and conservation must also be protected.
“This legislation will give Carson City and Lander County, their local business communities, conservation groups, and other local partners the tools they need to provide for a sustainable future,” she said.
The reintroduction of the lands bills was praised by Bertha Gutierrez, Associate Program Director in Nevada, Conservation Lands Foundation.
“We applaud Senator Rosen for her leadership to protect portions of the Desatoya Mountains and Cain Mountain as Wilderness, adding these important ecological, scenic and historic areas to the National Conservation Lands and moving us closer to the national goal of conserving 30% of the planet by 2030,” Gutierrez said.
The Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act would:
- Designate over 14,100 acres of new wilderness areas Desatoya Mountain Wilderness (7,766 acres) and Cain Mountain Wilderness (6,386 acres);
- Convey over 1,000 acres to the County to improve Austin Airport, Kingston Airport, and Battle Mountain Airport;
- Convey over 4,500 acres to the County to improve access to water resources throughout the county;
- Convey about 240 acres to the County for a museum, historical society, and business development;
- And help provide for a dedicated park committed to protecting and continuing the success of the Battle Mountain Human Powered Vehicle Speed Challenge, allowing the “World Human Powered Speed Challenge” and other World Record attempts to advance to the next level of competition.
The Carson City Public Land Correction Act would:
- Convey approximately 258 acres of BLM land to Carson City for public purposes and flood management;
- Allow for disposal, at market value, of approximately 21 acres of Carson City land and 28 acres of BLM land for future residential development;
- Convey approximately 0.45 acres of U.S. Forest Service land to Carson City to be used for a roundabout connecting South Stewart Street and South Curry Street;
- Remove reversionary interests on land already held by Carson City to allow for a safety buffer, local school, and continued use of a golf course and park;
- And allow for any proceeds from land sales or conveyances to help fund conservation efforts, support Carson City education programs, and help acquire environmentally sensitive land.