Recently, United States Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) sent the following letter to President Barack Obama urging the Administration to abandon any plans to unilaterally designate a national monument that affects Nevadans before the end of the Administration’s term. Heller remains committed to “the Nevada model” of advancing conservation priorities legislatively through Congress, a process that guarantees that all Nevadans have an equal opportunity to provide constructive comments and shape proposals that change the management of our public lands for years to come.
A PDF copy of the letter can be found here.
Full text of letter:
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As the end of your presidential term approaches, I strongly urge you not to designate any new national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 that would affect Nevadans. Many of my constituents have expressed strong concerns to me about two monument proposals that some advocates have been lobbying your Administration to designate – roughly 350,000 acres of federal land located in northeast Clark County, Nevada, known as Gold Butte and roughly 2.1 million acres of federal land in southeastern Oregon, much of which borders Nevada, known as the Owyhee Canyonlands. Despite what some advocates may portray, there is widespread local disagreement regarding these proposals.
The only way to approach multiple use of our public lands is through a transparent and collaborative effort that includes input from state and local governments, as well as stakeholders. Any action that vastly changes the management of hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land, including the establishment of any new national monuments, ought to be considered through the public Congressional process. The Nevada Congressional Delegation takes pride in its long history of success implementing conservation initiatives in this manner. In fact, you have signed into law multiple bipartisan bills over the course of your Administration, including the Las Vegas Valley Public Land and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act (P.L.113-291) in 2014.
In this Congress alone, our delegation has introduced three Nevada-specific public lands bills that improve the management and conservation of public lands in Nevada: the Douglas County Conservation Act, the Eastern Nevada Land Implementation Improvement Act, and the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act. Each of those bills were written in an open and transparent process and accordingly have garnered near-unanimous support within the affected communities and have unanimous support from our Congressional Delegation. It is my hope that these proposals reach your desk for signature before the end of your term.
Again, I urge you to abandon any plans to unilaterally designate a national monument that affects Nevadans before the end of your term. I remain committed to “the Nevada model” of advancing conservation priorities legislatively as I assume the role as Nevada’s senior Senator in the 115th Congress. That process guarantees that all Nevadans have an equal opportunity to provide constructive comments and shape proposals that change the management of our public lands for years to come.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions.
United States Senator