May 16, 2013
Washington, D.C.- Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller today reintroduced the Las Vegas Valley Public Lands and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act which would conserve, protect and enhance the unique and nationally important paleontological, scientific, educational, scenic and recreational resources and values in southern Nevada. Congressman Steven Horsford also reintroduced the legislation in the House today, with Representatives Dina Titus, Joe Heck and Mark Amodei as cosponsors.
“I have worked hard to protect Nevada’s rich natural heritage and I am pleased to introduce this critical legislation with the entire Nevada congressional delegation to conserve our state’s great outdoors and its fossil resources,” said Senator Harry Reid. “Tule Springs is recognized as having the largest collection of Ice Age fossils in the Southwest. We should protect these resources so that Nevadans, tourists, scientists and school children can enjoy and learn from them for decades to come. This bill will also create jobs and provide new opportunities to Nevadans for scientific research and recreation.”
“I’m pleased to work with stakeholders at every level to navigate a path forward that balances conservation, economic development, and recreational opportunities in the Las Vegas Valley. It’s important that we protect unique areas and plan for critical infrastructure that will benefit the area. Considering 87 percent of Nevada’s land is federally-owned, I’ve consistently made it a top priority to balance Nevadans' needs, and I’m pleased to coauthor this important legislation with Senator Reid,” said Senator Dean Heller.
“I enjoyed touring Tule Springs earlier this year as archeology students from UNLV worked to uncover fossils that were thousands of years old,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “I’m glad that all members of the Nevada delegation are supporting this bipartisan legislation that protects our environment, preserves Nevada history, and creates jobs. Tule Springs will become a hotbed of research, education, and tourism for our state. We owe it to future generations to protect this area and designate it as America’s newest national monument.”
About the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act
The bill designates approximately 22,650 acres as the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. The monument, which would fall within the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, would be bounded by the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the Red Rock National Conservation Area, and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.
The legislation also makes more land available for the expansion of campuses within the Nevada System of Higher Education, creates more job opportunities in southern Nevada, broadens the Red Rock National Conservation Area and helps improve management of the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area.
It also conveys land to Clark County for an off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation park and conveys a parcel of land to Nellis Air Force Base that is near their small arms range.
The bill also designates a corridor, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, for a transmission line that will be primarily used to carry renewable energy.