Thursday, August 5, 2021


Another state in play for new congressional districts; Nevada and California cope with massive wildfires.


Capitol Police officers who defended Congress on Jan. 6 receive the Congressional Gold Medal; Senate examines the threat of domestic terrorism; and a champion of workers' rights passes away.

Bills Heard in D.C. to Protect Ruby Mountains, Desert National Wildlife Refuge


Thursday, June 17, 2021   

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two bills to expand protections for Nevada public lands got a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources yesterday.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto - D-NV - sponsored the Ruby Mountains Protection Act, and cosponsored the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act along with Sen. Jacky Rosen - D-NV.

Russell Kulhman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, said the Ruby Mountains area is the jewel of Nevada's public lands.

"It also is home to the largest mule deer herd in our state," said Kulhman. "And any disturbance - whether it be from mining, oil and gas development or human development - would definitely jeopardize those wildlife corridors and the outdoor recreation that the Ruby currently provides."

The Ruby Mountain bill would exempt the area from the government's oil-and-gas leasing program, which allows anyone to request that public lands be reviewed for oil, gas or mineral deposits and then put up for auction.

The feds rejected a request from speculators in 2017 to open up 50,000 acres in the Ruby Mountains to leasing. Justin French, an avid outdoorsman from Elko who hunts and fishes in the Ruby Mountains, said frivolous requests take land managers away from more important tasks.

"We didn't think it was right to have to deal with somebody renominating a piece of this, or all of it, again," said French, "when during the process, they said there wasn't much for oil-and-gas reserves there anyway."

The Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act would expand Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and add protections to the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, which provides important habitat for bighorn sheep.

Kuhlman said the Southern Nevada bill would stop expansion plans at Nellis Air Force Base.

"It would prevent the Air Force from ever coming in, in the future, to ask that those areas to be part of an additional bombing range or training site," said Kulhman.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, Nevada's outdoor-recreation economy generates $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue per year, and supports 59,000 local jobs.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

get more stories like this via email
In the United States, home-care workers, mostly women and people of color, earn on average only $12 an hour. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Advocates for people with disabilities in New York are pushing for the federal budget resolution to include $400 billion in Medicaid …


ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Freshwater mussels are key to keeping the Chesapeake Bay watershed clean, and with more than half of all species now facing …

Social Issues

BUFFALO, Wyo. -- The doors of five historic community halls across Johnson and Sheridan counties were opened this past weekend for 15 people curious …

Over the past six decades, there has been a steady increase in the number of fires in the western United States, according to NASA. (Adobe Stock)


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Massive wildfires in the Western U.S. and Canada have triggered poor air quality in North Carolina over the past few weeks, and …


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Farmworkers are in Olympia today, calling for stronger protections from extreme heat. The farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la …

A video from July shows sockeye salmon with red lesions and fungus because of the Columbia River's hot water. (Conrad Gowell/Columbia Riverkeeper)


BOISE, Idaho -- Rallies are taking place across the Northwest to support salmon, which face dire conditions in the Columbia River Basin. Saturday…


IXONIA, Wis. -- The public comment period has ended, but opponents of proposed natural gas storage facilities in southeastern Wisconsin still hope to …


HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvanians are growing worried about the environmental consequences of natural-gas drilling in the state, according to a new …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021