News for Immediate Release
March 8, 2023
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, [email protected]
Ruby Mountains Protection Act would conserve 340,000-plus acres home to mule deer, sage grouse, Lahontan cutthroat trout
WASHINGTON – More than 340,000 acres of public lands and waters in northeast Nevada’s Ruby Mountains would be conserved under legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate today.
The Ruby Mountains Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas leasing on more than 300,000 acres of the Ruby Mountains subdistrict of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and nearly 40,000 acres of the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The region provides a critical migratory corridor for the state’s largest mule deer herd, sage grouse habitat, and robust fisheries including Lahontan cutthroat trout, the Nevada state fish. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) reintroduced the bill in the 118th Congress. It passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the 117th Congress with bipartisan support.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which now has supported the legislation across three Congresses, highlighted its importance to Nevada’s fish, wildlife and public lands and waters.
“We thank Sen. Cortez Masto for her leadership on reintroducing the Ruby Mountains Protection Act, which would withdraw nearly 350,000 acres of public land from oil and gas leasing, removing the threat of habitat fragmentation while maintaining multiple use,” said Bryce Pollock, BHA Nevada chapter policy co-chair. “Sportsmen and women applaud this legislation that would conserve critical habitat in the migratory corridor for Nevada’s largest mule deer herd as well as streams and lakes populated by Lahontan cutthroat trout.”
“With the introduction in the 118th Congress of the Ruby Mountains Protection Act, we have the opportunity to conserve critical habitat and support healthy populations of fish and wildlife in a northeastern Nevada region that is absolutely unique,” said John Gale BHA vice president of policy and government relations.
“Speculative oil and gas leasing, as well as other development, have long threatened these public lands and waters,” Gale continued. “Sen. Cortez Masto has taken a step toward addressing the problem of habitat fragmentation by championing this legislation, which also allows commonsense, multiple-use management to continue. We appreciate her commitment to the fish and wildlife of northeastern Nevada and to the hunters and anglers whose traditions rely on them.”
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