To the Editor:

Representative Hardy was quoted as saying, “I think it’s time the federal government got out of our state.” (Rep. Hardy expects to see some action on federal land issues, MLN Feb. 19, 2015) What is not clear from the article is how he proposes to protect our public lands for future generations. Our treasured places, like Gold Butte, cannot be protected with good intentions alone and the state/city/county does not have the financial resources to effectively manage a 350,000 acre habitat without bankrupting us.

Hardy also noted that he views these lands as “laboratories of industry.” I urge Hardy to consider the sustainable economic gains that can be realized by protecting Gold Butte and other Nevada lands for the enjoyment of future generations. Protected lands are good for rural, local economies – certainly better than extractive and exploitative industries that privatize and destroy the land.

We all want to see this special place that is our backyard in Mesquite protected. Congressman Hardy, as a freshman in Congress, should work with the rest of the delegation to work to make that happen, or he should move out of the way so Gold Butte gets the permanent protection it deserves and that the majority of us here in Mesquite support.

Byron George