NV conservationists push for proposed BLM public-lands rule
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Nevada conservationists want to get a proposed Bureau of Land Management rule across the finish line.
The rule would put conservation efforts on par with other uses on public lands.
Jen Gurecki, CEO of Coalition Snow in Reno, said in 2022, Nevada's booming outdoor recreation sector contributed almost $5 billion to the state's economy. She added the sector also accounts for more than 50,000 jobs, representing almost 4% of employment statewide.
Gurecki believes it is clear Nevadans support outdoor recreation and want to see the state's public lands preserved.
"You can't hunt if there is nothing to hunt. You can't fish if there is nothing to fish," Gurecki pointed out. "No one is going to hike through ravaged forests; you have to preserve all of those areas for people to be able to recreate on them. Conservation goes hand-in-hand with strengthening the economy of Nevada."
Gurecki argued conserving public lands through the proposed rule is not what she would call "anti-business or anti-economy." She contended it is quite the opposite. She said as Nevadans' use of public lands continues to grow, the state's outdoor recreation sector is increasingly solidifying itself as an economic force.
Russell Kuhlman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, said conservationists and those engaged with the proposed rule are trying to dispel the skepticism many opponents of the proposal hold. Kuhlman hopes stakeholders understand the rule will be beneficial for everyone. He noted with the multiple uses taking place on Nevada's public lands, conservation has not had an equal voice.
"What this conservation rule does that the BLM has announced is guarantee that seat at the table when those discussions are happening of how we are going to make our lands sustainable for future generations to enjoy," Kuhlman stressed.
Kuhlman added while the Nevada Wildlife Federation supports the transition to renewable energy, it has to be done sustainably. He views the proposed rule as a tool to ensure it is achieved.
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