Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Heller protests proposal to gut lands program

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is protesting a budget proposal he says would gut the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. SNPLMA is a program that allows the BLM to sell public lands within the boundaries around Las Vegas and use the revenue for environmental and other projects in Nevada. Portions of the money are dedicated to education and the Southern Nevada Water Authority as well. A significant percentage of that money has been used for projects in the Tahoe Basin. The proposal reportedly suggests taking back $230 million generated by previous lands sales in Clark County, preventing BLM from using the money for public works, wildfire prevention, conservation and other projects. "Not only would a recission usurp important economic growth and conservation initiatives, it would undermine important agreements that local communities, tribal governments and the federal government formed in good faith," said Heller in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke...more

Does Heller support cutting the over all budget of Interior? If so, why doesn't he propose an alternative way to save $230 million? Or has he become one of those Republicans who don't have the fortitude to cut anywhere? It is true, though, that enviros and some in the BLM don't like the model that SNPLMA represents: selling some lands to raise the funds to purchase more environmentally sensitive lands.

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