Using social media, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced his withdrawal of the proposed bill H.R. 621 which would sell off 3.3 million acres of federal land. Sportsmen and women, outdoor recreationalists, and conservationists across the country came together to oppose this bill and in Chaffetz's words "I am withdrawing HR 621...I hear you and HR 621 dies..."
Thank you for listening to the people! And thank you to all who voiced their opinions!
From the LWCF Coalition:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress has allowed America’s most important conservation program to expire, putting America’s National Parks, battlefields, forests, Wildlife Refuges and outdoor recreation sites at risk. For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has kept a simple promise to the American people: when we allow offshore drilling for oil and gas that belongs to all of us, we set aside a small portion of the proceeds to protect America’s greatest places. Today that linkage between resource extraction and investment in the parks and places that make America great disappeared.
“This is a sad day for everyone who cares about our National Parks and outdoor conservation, recreation and wildlife. Congress has broken an enduring promise to the American people,” said Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands at the Wilderness Society and Co-Chair of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition. “Starting tomorrow, oil drilling will continue, but the American people won't see a penny of the proceeds reinvested in outdoor conservation and recreation. This is a shameful and brazen assault on America’s greatest places.”
Read more here: http://lwcfcoalition.org/in-the-news/1256-sept-30-2015-congress-terminates-americas-most-important-conservation-program.html
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined members of Congress, state elected officials, and local business and community leaders in applauding the President’s designation of the Basin and Range National Monument on public lands in southeastern Nevada. This national monument – located in one of the most remote and undeveloped areas of the state – exemplifies the rich cultural history, varied wildlife and vast open spaces with stunning views for which the state is known.
The Basin and Range National Monument is one of three new national monuments announced by President Obama today that help tell the story of significant events in American history and protect unique cultural and natural resources for the benefit of all Americans.
“This area is a spectacular expanse of rugged public lands that tell the proud story of the West, from the ancient rock art of our First Americans to the early homesteaders looking for opportunity on the open range,” said Secretary Jewell. “Today’s action builds on local efforts to preserve and protect this special place, while also allowing traditional ranching practices, recreational opportunities, future scientific study and national security exercises. The President’s action ensures that this area will remain a beloved resource for generations to come.”
Basin and Range National Monument, located in Lincoln and Nye counties about two hours from downtown Las Vegas, spans approximately 704,000 acres of rugged mountains and sweeping valleys. The monument tells the story of the area’s native peoples as well as the history of more recent settlers and mining communities. The designation also preserves current uses of the land, including traditional ranching practices and ongoing military training operations, while ensuring that the land remains unspoiled for future generations.
See more here: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/secretary-jewell-applauds-president-obamas-designation-of-basin-and-range-national-monument-in-nevada.cfm
WASHINGTON, D.C. –As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to making government information more readily available and useful, and in an effort to help more people discover public lands and waterways near their own communities, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced today they will host a developer summit to expand the use of federal information about America’s lands and waters.
The myAmerica Developer Summit, which is scheduled over the weekend of April 11 and 12, 2015 at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., is meant to make recreation data more accessible and user friendly to all Americans.
The myAmerica initiative reaches out to federal agencies, private industry, academics, entrepreneurs, and others to develop trip-planning tools, enhance current online resources and cultivate methods for sharing data more easily – all in the name of improving access to America’s federal lands. The summit will support this effort by bringing together people with experience in technology, development, outdoor recreation, government, academia and industry to build products that leverage available data sources and other technological resources to help promote and protect America’s public lands.
“The myAmerica initiative will unlock the creativity of the private sector to make it easier for people to discover and experience America’s natural and national treasures,” said U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “Engaging entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to help transform disparate sources of information on public lands into useful, user-friendly formats will inspire visitors to explore our public lands and resources, while boosting tourism, outdoor recreation, jobs and economic activity in local communities.”
According to the most recent visitor and economic data available, national parks, wildlife refuges, monuments and other public lands managed by Interior hosted an estimated 407 million recreation visits in 2013. These visits alone contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy, supporting approximately 355,000 jobs nationwide.
“Our goals for this summit are to improve access to federal recreation information,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By working with innovative and creative experts from the technology industry, we hope to make it easier to find a campground near your favorite fishing hole, discover for the first time a beautiful lake just an hour from your home, participate in a ranger-led tour of an elaborate system of caves, and so much more. Travelers from around the world will have the potential of more travel planning options to discover the special places that make up the fabric of the natural, historical and cultural heritage of America.”
In advance of next month’s summit, this week, DOI and USDA also collaborated on an initiative to make it easier to access current recreation data using modern technology. The Application Programming Interface (API) for the Recreation Information Database (RIDB) allows the public to request data in very specific ways – by date, state, activity, keyword, organization, proximity, and timeframe – and is able to effectively provide all RIDB data in fully machine-readable and filtered data feeds or downloads, once again meeting the Obama Administration’s request for more open and transparent access to government data. The RIDB API is built out of data from several federal agencies and is considered the authoritative source of federal recreation data.
Those interested in more information on the myAmerica Developer Summit and how to participate should visit http://openglobe.github.io/myamerica-devsummit/
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Today, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor visited the recently-designated Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, the newest addition to the National Park Service. The visit builds on the Department’s work to support locally-driven efforts to preserve and protect places that hold special meaning to communities across the country.
"Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument is a worthy addition to our National Park System with its rich history and remarkable access for the two million people of the Las Vegas metropolitan area," said Connor. "A broad group of community members stepped forward to support the legislation to make this a national park, and we are committed to continuing that collaboration as we take care of this exceptional area.”
Spanning 22,650 acres of the Upper Las Vegas Wash, Tule Springs is regarded by scientists as one of the best collections of Pleistocene mammal fossils in the United States. Researchers count among their discoveries Columbian mammoths, dire wolves, saber-tooth cats, prehistoric camels and giant sloths. The National Monument lies just minutes from the community of North Las Vegas and only 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, providing a boost to the tourism and outdoor recreation industries of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area.
The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument was created through Title 30 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in December of 2014. Originally sponsored by Senator Reid, Congresswoman Titus and the rest of the Nevada delegation, the legislation was supported by the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, Clark County, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, local and national conservation partners, as well as thousands of individual Nevadans.
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Carson City, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Sierra Front Field Office, Carson City District is hosting a public workshop to gain public input and provide information on a proposal from the Canoe Hill Trail Working Group (CHTWG) and the Great Basin Institute (GBI) for the development of the Canoe Hill Trail System. The workshop will be held Tuesday, February 17, 2015, from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the Spanish Springs Elementary School multi-purpose room (100 Marilyn Mae Drive) in Sparks, Nevada. At 6:45 p.m. there will be a short presentation about the project. The meeting will be conducted in workshop format with staff available to provide information and maps for review. The project area is located on public lands southwest of the Golden Eagle Regional Park in Washoe County, Nevada. Comments will be accepted until March 12, 2015.
An environmental assessment to evaluate the potential effects of trail construction and maintenance will be prepared by the BLM.
In preparing their proposal, the CHTWG and GBI have provided the BLM with the following information and needs:
For more information contact Brian Buttazoni at 775-885-6004 or email at email@example.com.
Las Vegas – Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State Director Amy Lueders announced today that she will extend the public comment period for the Las Vegas and Pahrump Field Offices Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The extended timeframe means that the comment period on the Draft RMP/EIS, which is currently set to close February 6, 2015, will now close on March 9, 2015.
Once finalized, the Las Vegas and Pahrump Field Offices RMP/EIS will provide management direction for the 3.1 million acres of public land managed by the Southern Nevada District Office.
The four alternatives in the Draft RMP/EIS offer a range of approaches to achieve and maintain desired resource conditions.
Written comments related to the Las Vegas and Pahrump Field Offices Draft RMP/EIS may be submitted by any of the following methods:
CDs of the Las Vegas and Pahrump Field Offices Draft RMP/EIS are available in the Southern Nevada District Office at the above address or on the following website http://tinyurl.com/qzvaht7. Printed copies are available at Laughlin Library, James I. Gibson Library, Pahrump Community Library, Las Vegas Library, Mesquite Library, Moapa Valley Library, Moapa Town Library, Searchlight Library, Beatty Library and Amargosa Valley Library.
USGS: A new geologic map of the Bodie Hills, Calif. and Nev., is now available. Ancient geologic processes created important mineral deposits including gold- and silver-rich veins in the Bodie and Aurora mining districts. Understanding the complex geologic processes that formed the Bodie Hills, and the historically mined mineral deposits within this area, aids geologists in locating and defining other potential mineral deposits. The comprehensive map can also be used by geoscientists to address environmental problems associated with abandoned mine lands and in studies of earthquake and volcano hazards.
The Bodie Hills covers about 1,200 km2 straddling the California-Nevada state boundary just north of Mono Lake in the western part of the Basin and Range Province, about 20 km east of the central Sierra Nevada. The area is mostly underlain by the partly overlapping, middle to late Miocene Bodie Hills volcanic field and Pliocene to late Pleistocene Aurora volcanic field (John and others, 2012). Upper Miocene to Pliocene sedimentary deposits, mostly basin-filling sediments, gravel deposits, and fanglomerates, lap onto the west, north, and east sides of the Bodie Hills, where they cover older Miocene volcanic rocks. Quaternary surficial deposits, including extensive colluvial, fluvial, glacial, and lacustrine deposits, locally cover all older rocks. Miocene and younger rocks are tilted ≤30° in variable directions. These rocks are cut by several sets of high-angle faults that exhibit a temporal change from conjugate northeast-striking left-lateral and north-striking right-lateral oblique-slip faults in rocks older than about 9 Ma to north- and northwest-striking dip-slip faults in late Miocene rocks. The youngest faults are north-striking normal and northeast-striking left-lateral oblique-slip faults that cut Pliocene-Pleistocene rocks. Numerous hydrothermal systems were active during Miocene magmatism and formed extensive zones of hydrothermally altered rocks and several large mineral deposits, including gold- and silver-rich veins in the Bodie and Aurora mining districts (Vikre and others, in press).
WASHINGTON – Capping a year of progress for public land priorities, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze today highlighted major accomplishments of the BLM in 2014, including major steps forward for energy, conservation, and public engagement.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the professionals at the BLM, last year saw some remarkable successes for the responsible management of our nation’s public lands,” said Kornze. “These accomplishments underscore the importance of public lands to the American people. I could not be prouder of our work this past year and look forward to a very productive 2015.”
Kornze identified significant progress in a number of priority areas, including:
· Providing an economic boost to Western communities;
· Institutionalizing responsible renewable energy development;
· Enhancing conventional energy opportunities and management ;
· Building lasting partnerships for meaningful conservation;
· Enhancing the connection between the American people and their public lands; and
· Improving the way the BLM does business.
A summary outlining the BLM’s major milestones from 2014 is available here.
Last year, the BLM announced that public lands under the bureau’s management had contributed $107 billion to the U.S. economy in fiscal year 2013. During that time, public lands and resources managed by the BLM supported more than 440,000 jobs throughout the country.
In renewable energy, the BLM built upon its impressive legacy of clean energy development with its first successful solar auction. As a result of the work done under the Western Solar Plan, projects proposed in solar energy zones are being permitted in months instead of years. “In 2014, the BLM delivered on the promise of the Western Solar Plan, achieving better environmental outcomes while providing industry with a more predictable, streamlined process,” Kornze said. “The advance planning and stakeholder outreach of the Western Solar Plan has proved to be a win-win approach for responsible solar development on public lands.”
The BLM Director also identified progress in conventional energy development and drew special attention to the agency’s strengthening of its oil and gas inspection efforts. Domestic production from Federal onshore oil and gas wells accounts for 11 percent of the nation’s natural gas supply and 5 percent of its oil. The Bureau offers millions of acres for lease each year and has already approved nearly 6,000 drilling permits that are ready for immediate use by industry. “The BLM is proud to be part of America’s resurgence in oil and gas. We are working with partners in states all across the country to ensure that development takes place in the right places and is done safely and responsibly,” Kornze said.
Also of note, Kornze cited progress in a number of conservation efforts, including increased rangewide protections for the Greater Sage Grouse and new additions to the National Conservation Lands. “Our field and district office teams do extraordinary work,” Kornze said. “Because of the strength of their relationships in communities across America, we made major strides in 2014 in providing meaningful protections for sage grouse habitat and other critical landscapes.”
Kornze also stressed the importance of connecting Americans of all ages to their public lands. “In 2014, the BLM took important steps forward in engaging with the public,” Kornze said. “Through new efforts like our Planning 2.0 initiative, the BLM is finding ways to make our planning efforts more efficient and more meaningful for the public.” The BLM also stepped up its efforts to get information out to the public using popular online tools like Google Maps, Facebook and Tumblr.
Kornze predicted further progress on these priorities for 2015. “In the year ahead,” Kornze said, “the same principles that have guided our work in the past – thoughtful stewardship of our nation’s resources; meaningful collaboration with stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels; and using the best science and technology available – will help us take great strides.”
For a full list of bureau announcements from the year, please visit the BLM Newsroom.
ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Wells Field Office announces the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Newmont Mining Corporation’s (Newmont) Long Canyon Mine Project for a 30-day public review period.
The Long Canyon Mine Project is located approximately 30 miles east of Wells, Nev., in Elko County.
The proposed mine would be located on the eastern side of the Pequop Mountain Range and five miles south of Interstate 80 at the Oasis exit. Currently, Fronteer Development, a subsidiary of Newmont, is authorized to disturb up to 115 acres for exploration purposes. The associated disturbance for the proposed operations would increase to 1,631 acres of public land, including 480 acres of split estate lands of federal surface and private subsurface. The projected life of the mine is eight to 14 years, including construction, operations, closure and post-closure monitoring. An estimated annual workforce would be approximately 300 to 500 people during the life of the mine.
The public review period began Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 when the Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register. Copies of the FEIS are available at the BLM Elko District Office, located at 3900 Idaho Street, Elko NV 89801, and also online at the BLM Elko District website address: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office.html
Questions concerning this project should be addressed to Whitney Wirthlin, Project Lead, at (775) 861-6568.
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