Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Congressman won't revive bill to unload federal land

A proposal for the federal government to unload millions of acres of land in Nevada probably won’t return to Congress. That’s according to Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., who introduced a massive lands bill last session and had considered reviving it. “Transferring millions of acres of public lands ... is not something I think the majority of people think is a good idea,” Amodei said during an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board. During the previous session of Congress, Amodei introduced a measure known as the Honor the Nevada Enabling Act. The first phase covered nearly 7.3 million acres, about half within a checkerboard pattern that traverses the state from Sparks to Wendover. Other phase one land included property the Bureau of Land Management has already “designated for disposal.” The second phase would have transferred millions more acres. A summary of the bill called for non-exempt lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation to be “conveyed upon request by the state or local governments.” The bill got a hearing in November but died when the congressional session ended Dec. 31. Backers of the bill hoped to revive the issue, and Amodei sought public input on the subject. Widespread public support for the idea never materialized. Also, the Nevada Wildlife Commission, which controls the Nevada Department of Wildlife, in February voted unanimously to send Amodei a letter summarizing opposition from dozens of hunters and anglers who testified on the idea. A Colorado College poll of voters in Nevada and six other Western states in January also showed majority opposition among Democrats, Republicans and independents to transferring federal land to state or other hands. In remarks Monday, Amodei said he won’t revive the bill. “Will that be being reintroduced in that form, no,” he said...more

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