Las Vegas, Nevada —Today U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) and House Representative Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) introduced the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act, the largest land conservation bill in Nevada history. The bill has bi-partisan support and its co-sponsors include Nevada congressional delegation members Senator Jacky Rosen (D), Representative Susie Lee (D), Representative Steven Horsford (D), and Representative Mark Amodei (R).
Conservation Lands Foundation released the following statement from Jocelyn Torres, Las Vegas-based Senior Field Director:
“The ultimate passage of the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act will be historic. We thank Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Representative Dina Titus for leading on permanent protections for almost two million acres of our state’s natural landscape–including these additions to America’s National Conservation Lands:
- Protect more than 1.6 million acres of wilderness through new wilderness designations and additions to existing wilderness areas.
- Establish more than 350,000 acres of Special Management Areas to protect, conserve, and enhance the habitat of endangered species, such as the Mojave Desert Tortoise.
- Expand Southern Nevada’s crown jewel–Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area–by more than 50,000 acres.
- Enhance protections for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
“It will conserve lands that people love to explore at a time when there is unprecedented interest in the outdoors: between March and April 2020, the Bureau of Land Management and other public lands in Clark County saw a 400% increase in visitors.
“This legislation is a bold step towards achieving America’s goal to protect 30% of our land and water by 2030 to help mitigate the climate and biodiversity crises. This legislation will also provide much needed economic diversification, affordable housing solutions, and a new source of funding for local development and implementation of Nevada’s sustainability and climate initiatives.
“We and our Nevada network of community-based advocates are ready to work with Senator Cortez Masto and the state’s Congressional delegation to move this bill forward.”