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Nevada Lawmakers Co-Sponsor Bill To Permanently Fund Public Lands

New Bill Would Guarantee Full Funding For Land And Water Conservation

May 09, 2019 - 2:29 pm

CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - Nevada's two U.S. Senators have signed onto a bill recently introduced in Congress that would guarantee full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports parks and public lands across Nevada and the nation.

Nevada Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez-Masto have just signed onto a new bill that would guarantee full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 55-year-old program that funds everything from local ballparks to boat ramps and national monuments across the country. The bill would let the annual appropriation at 900 million dollars. Congress permanently re-authorized the program last month after letting it lapse in the fall. Mauricia Baca with the group "Get Outdoors Nevada," said it was a big win to get it permanently renewed, and now it's time to commit to fully fund it.

"It's incredibly important that we ensure that there always be funding in the Land and Water Conservation Fund so that entities that need this money can plan around it and apply for it," said Baca.

Nevada has received more than 100-million dollars to facilitate access to public land over the years, including projects at Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead, the Walker River State Recreation Area, and Lorenzi Park in North Las Vegas. Funding comes from fees on off-shore oil and gas development that must then be allocated by lawmakers. Opponents of the bill say it would unnecessarily tie the hands of budget writers in Congress. This year and last, the Trump administration asked that zero dollars be given to the fund.

Peter Guzman with the Latin Chamber of Commerce said the bill would fund more of the projects that attract people to visit the Silver State and settle here.

"I think it's going to be great for Nevada," said Guzman. "I think it's an economic driver. I think it's going to create a lot of jobs and a lot of revenue in the process," Guzman added.

Nevada's outdoor recreation economy generates more than a billion dollars a year in revenue and currently supports about ten-thousand jobs.