Las Vegas —Today the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining considered several public lands bills–including the largest public land conservation bill in Nevada history–that protect, restore and expand public lands that are vital for the health of the planet and America’s communities.
The Conservation Lands Foundation supports five of the bills heard and released the following statement from Jocelyn Torres, Las Vegas-based Senior Field Director who testified at the subcommittee hearing:
“America’s public lands are vital to addressing the climate, biodiversity and public health crises. The choice before all of us is whether we are going to conserve and protect our public lands in order to protect ourselves and our future. These bills introduced by Senators from Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado are a big and needed step forward. We thank Subcommittee Chair Cortez Masto for inviting us to express our support for these conservation priorities and for being a conservation champion for Nevadans and Americans alike. We urge all members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to support and swiftly pass these critical public lands bills.”
The five bills supported by Conservation Lands Foundation heard today are as follows:
- Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act (S. 567), sponsored by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada, is the largest land conservation bill introduced in Nevada history with enhanced protections for Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
- Ruby Mountains Protection Act (S. 609), sponsored by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada, prohibits oil and gas development in the Ruby Mountains and enhances protections for the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
- The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) Act (S.173), sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet and John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado, protects over 400,000 acres of public land, establishing new wilderness, recreation, and conservation areas, and safeguarding existing outdoor recreation opportunities.
- The Cerro de la Olla Wilderness Establishment Act (S. 177), sponsored by Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, establishes the Cerro de la Olla Wilderness area within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico.
- The Pecos Watershed Protection Act (S. 182), also sponsored by Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, protects portions of the Pecos Watershed in northern New Mexico from all mineral development.