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Rallies in Support of Public Land Today in Las Vegas, Carson City

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017   

LAS VEGAS – People who support federal public lands are holding rallies in Las Vegas and Carson City at 12:30 P.M. Monday afternoon, as lawmakers consider three related bills this week. At 1:30 P.M., the Committee on Natural Resources, Mining and Agriculture will hear a bill declaring support for Gold Butte National Monument, which was designated by President Obama using the Antiquities Act just before he left office.

Shaaron Netherton, the executive director of the Friends of Nevada Wilderness supports the move.

"For our Gold Butte National Monument, that was decades long, people advocating for the protection of those incredible cultural resources," she said. "So we believe that the presidential declaration of a national monument was totally appropriate."

The bill also supports Basin and Range National Monument. It is unclear whether President Trump will try to reverse the national monument status of the two parks, but in January, Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei and Sen. Dean Heller introduced bills to guarantee that any future monuments declared under the Antiquities Act in Nevada would require congressional approval.

On Monday, the State Senate Committee on Legislative Operations held a hearing on a bill to rescind a declaration by the 2015 Legislature that supported a transfer of federal public lands to the state, something Netherton says would end up putting public lands in private hands.

"We're very concerned that we have no funds to manage those lands and they would sell them off to create an income stream in order to manage them," she added. "And on so many levels it's ridiculous and makes no sense."

The State Senate Committee on Government Affairs also considered a bill to create a Public Lands Day in Nevada, mirroring the national event. Each of the public-lands bills are due for a vote in committee sometime before Friday.


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