Washington D.C. — A number of bills significant to managing Nevada’s public lands cleared a major Senate vote Sunday, allowing them to move forward to a final vote this week, Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced today. The package of 160 public lands bills includes crucial legislation for Nevada, where nearly 90 percent of the land is managed by the federal government. Working with stakeholders throughout Nevada, this package has been developed over several years. Once passed, this legislation will benefit the Silver State by designating land and resources for projects important to both southern and northern Nevada.
Projects benefitting Southern Nevada:
- The Nevada Cancer Institute Expansion Act will provide 80 acres of land to the Nevada Cancer Institute. The non-profit Nevada Cancer Institute will use the parcel to build a facility devoted to developing new treatments for Nevadans afflicted with cancer.
- The Orchard Detention Basin Flood Control Act releases a small section of the Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area to allow for construction of a flood control project vital to protecting nearby neighborhoods, schools and businesses. The bill also helps expedite the remediation of the Sunrise Landfill.
- The Southern Nevada Limited Transition Area Act conveys land near the Henderson airport from the Bureau of Land Management to the City of Henderson for the development of a new economic hub and urban green space.
- The Cold War Historical Sites Study Act requires the Department of the Interior to evaluate sites and resources for commemorating and interpreting the Cold War, including the Mt. Charleston Plane Crash Memorial.
Projects benefitting Northern Nevada:
- The Reno ReTRAC Act removes restrictions on land owned by the City of Reno in and around the downtown railroad corridor. It will allow for additional commercial development in Reno’s urban core.
- The Aging Water Infrastructure and Maintenance Act was introduced by Sen. Reid following the devastating Fernley flood. This bill would provide resources and direction to the Bureau of Reclamation to inspect and maintain aging water facilities owned by the federal government. Under this bill, extraordinary repairs can be paid for over 50 years instead of the current one year and emergency maintenance repairs are eligible for funding from Reclamation. Reclamation is authorized to develop inspection guidelines for aging water facilities to help ensure they do not fall into disrepair.
- The Carson City Vital Community Act is a comprehensive land bill for Carson City which increases open space opportunities and helps the city pursue its smart growth plans. The bill includes a land exchange between the city and the Forest Service, giving each entity land that is more suited to its mission and management abilities. The bill also conveys the Silver Saddle Ranch and Prison Hill to Carson City for continued public use, with a conservation easement retained by the Bureau of Land Management.
- The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Reservation Water Settlements Act would ratify a water rights settlement agreement between the tribal governments, the State of Nevada and individual rights holders along the East fork of the Owyhee River and settle the Tribes’ claims against the United States for failing to protect its water rights and natural resources.