Friday, July 01, 2016

Commentary: Pershing lands bill a win for everyone

June was a red-letter month for Pershing County. The Pershing County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support Federal public lands legislation for Pershing County and Senators Heller and Reid introduced S. 3102, the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act on June 28th. This bill is the result of the County Commissioners’ hard work with many stakeholders and will bring great benefits to Pershing County and everyone that relies on, or cares about, public land. Conservationists, mining companies, ranchers, prospectors, and Pershing County residents worked hard with the County Commissioners to make this proposal the best it can be. And while this broad stakeholder group did not agree on everything, we all agreed that this proposal is good for Pershing County and good for Nevada. Under the leadership of the County Commissioners, Pershing County stakeholders have crafted a locally-made proposal that balances conservation, recreation, and economic development based on the original Checkerboard Committee’s work, which has been updated to reflect changes in the past decade. The bill that Senators Heller and Reid introduced is based on the Pershing County stakeholders’ discussion of what the proposal should include. The bill would authorize the Bureau of Land Management to sell or exchange appropriate lands in the checkerboard area. It would allow mining companies to purchase at fair market value public lands with current mining operations, thus expediting mine expansion and reclamation. The proposal would also resolve the status of the county’s wilderness study areas by designating some of these areas as wilderness while releasing others to uses other than wilderness...more

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