Good news for Nevada’s wild spaces

The Pine Forest Range in Northern Nevada’s Humboldt County receives designation as a national wilderness Area. Photo by Brian Beffort.

Nevada land bills passed the Senate Dec. 12, 2014, and are headed to the President’s desk for signature! These bills would designate Wovoka in Lyon County and Pine Forest Range in Humboldt County as national wilderness areas, declare Tule Springs in Clark County as a 22,650-acre national monument and expand Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area by 1,530 acres to the Northwest.

These initiatives are part of the multi-measure National Defense Authorization Act that would reconfigure public land in Nevada.

More wild spaces, about 1,500 areas, in the Northwest Las Vegas Valley will join the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area thanks to a public lands bill.

More wild space—about 1,530 acres—in Northwest Las Vegas will join the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area thanks to a public lands bill.

The proposals would:

  • Set aside 1,886 acres for use by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for a new campus in North Las Vegas.
  • Allow the sale of 11,500 acres of land in Lyon County to the city of Yerington to support development of the Pumpkin Hollow Copper Mine, advertised as a major jobs generator in one of the poorer counties in Nevada.
  • Create the 49,000-acre Wovoka Wilderness in the largest remaining tract of wild country in Lyon County.
  • Create the 26,000-acre Pine Forest Range Wilderness in Humboldt County, one of the most highly visited outdoor recreation areas in the region.
  • Expand the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Clark County by 1,530 acres at the northwest corner of the Las Vegas Valley.
  • Convey 660 acres of federal land to the city of Las Vegas and 645 acres to North Las Vegas to establish “job creation zones.”
  • Transfer 400 acres of Bureau of Land Management property within the Fallon Naval Air Station to the Navy for base housing.
  • Release 10,240 acres along Sunrise Mountain for multiple uses. The property had been under study by the Bureau of Land Management but was rejected as possible wilderness.
  • Convey 1,211 acres within the BLM’s Nellis Dunes Recreation Area to Clark County to be transformed into a park for off-roaders.
  • Grant 1,329 acres to the city of Carlin, in Elko County, for development while giving 1,745 acres to Storey County and 9,114 acres to Fernley in Lyon County.
  • Convey nearly 300 acres to the city of Elko for a motocross park.

The congressional action is a triumph for organizations, such as Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Friends of Red Rock Canyon, which work to preserve, protect, restore and maintain Nevada’s precious wild spaces. Learn more at knprnews.org and reviewjournal.com.

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