Legislation would convey townsites to counties and local residents
May 24, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Dean Heller today introduced legislation to convey the historic mining townsites of Ione and Gold Point to Nye and Esmeralda Counties. The Nevada Mining Townsite Conveyance Act will resolve decades-old property rights disputes between the federal government and local residents. Senator John Ensign is cosponsoring the Senate bill.
“This bill will end disputes over land ownership that threaten the homes and well-being of Ione and Gold Point residents. These Nevadans will finally have resolution of their property claims after generations of living in legal limbo.” Reid said. “I thank Nye and Esmeralda counties, the Bureau of Land Management, the Nevada State Legislature, and local residents for their years of hard work to resolve this complicated issue.”
“Because of the amount of federal land in Nevada, our communities face unique challenges. Too often, private property is impacted by how federal land is managed. This bill provides a process for residents of Gold Point and Ione to gain clear title to their property. Those who have been legally living on their land and paying taxes deserve to have this issue settled. I am pleased to work with the Nevada delegation to resolve this on-going problem,” said Heller.
"The confusion over land in the historic mining townsites of Ione and Gold Point has lasted long enough," said Ensign. "This legislation will once and for all clear up title and ownership issues so that individuals will own their property outright."
· Instruct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to determine the validity of any existing mining claims in Ione and Gold Point.
· Direct the BLM to then convey any unencumbered real property in each of the mining townsites to Nye and Esmeralda counties.
· Allow the counties to use a special state law to convey the townsite properties to long-term residents.
· Put restrictions in place to protect the citizens of Ione and Gold Point from injuries to their homes and properties that could result from nearby mining.
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