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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 


GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander comes to the defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci; the NAACP goes to bat over student debt and Election 2020.


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Early voting starts in Florida, and North Carolina allows election officials to start the ballot curing process. Plus, Trump's attacks on Dr. Fauci.

Conservation Groups Celebrate World Wildlife Day Today

Today is World Wildlife Day. In Nevada, habitat protection plays into the debate over control of  federal public land. (Castlelass/morguefile)
Today is World Wildlife Day. In Nevada, habitat protection plays into the debate over control of federal public land. (Castlelass/morguefile)
March 3, 2016

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Today, March 3, is World Wildlife Day and Nevada conservation groups are pushing hard on several fronts to protect wildlife in the Silver State.

Perhaps the most controversial issue is the movement to transfer federal lands to state control. Eighty-one percent of the land in Nevada is owned by federal agencies.

Robert Gaudet, president of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, says the state can't afford to take over control of the land - and thinks in the end private interests would grab the land and possibly destroy habitat and limit public access.

"The first time we have an uncontrolled wildfire, the state doesn't have the money to pay for it, so what will they do?" Gaudet asks. "The first thing they'll do is take the land that was given to them by the federal government and sell it."

Last year, Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei introduced a bill to transfer federal lands to the state, called the Honor the Nevada Enabling Act of 1864 Act, but it has languished in committee.

On the state level, the Nevada Legislature passed a joint resolution urging Congress to transfer 7.3 million acres of land to the state, an idea rejected by the Secretary of the Interior.

David von Seggern, chairman of the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, says species such as elk are doing well despite the drought, but others are struggling.

"Migratory bird counts are down, the sage-grouse has been losing habitat and its numbers are dwindling," says von Seggern. "We have predatory birds like ravens moving into the state. The Nevada Department of Wildlife does a diligent job, but they are underfunded."

Conservation groups also are closely watching the state's implementation of protections for the greater sage-grouse, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to list it as a threatened or endangered species last year.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV