The Nevada Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers have partnered with a coalition of conservation groups in Southern Nevada to submit a letter regarding the Clark County Land Bill procedure.
The submitted letter below addresses the need to work with all stakeholders and approach this comprehension package with a responsible balance of conservation, recreation and economic development.
Conservation organizations at the local, state and national levels, and the public we represent, are deeply interested in the management of public lands in Clark County and have worked for decades to preserve those lands. From the Spring Mountains to the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Gold Butte National Monument to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and many unprotected areas in between, the public lands in Clark County provide outstanding habitat, offer opportunities for solitude and outdoor recreation, protect important cultural resources, and support Nevada’s strong outdoor economy.
We have diverse views and differing priorities for public lands legislation in Clark County. However, we all agree that public lands legislation in the county must appropriately balance conservation, recreation, and economic development. We will not support legislation that fails to adhere to the following principles:
- Legislation must ensure permanent protection, through wilderness or other appropriate designations, for high value conservation lands in the county, with a focus on lands identified and prioritized by conservation stakeholders due to their important ecological, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, or natural values.
- Legislation must not undermine bedrock environmental laws through language that mandates changes to mitigation requirements, permit terms, and conservation area designation without adhering to and fulfilling the requirements for scientific assessment and review and public processes that are specified in the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act that would otherwise apply if the changes were not being pursued legislatively.
- Legislation must not undermine public participation in the management of public lands through limits on public engagement in public land planning or management, or limits on administrative and judicial review of land management decisions.
- Legislation must consider outstanding ecological, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and/or natural values when choosing public lands for disposal.