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Is Nevada next for federal land swaps?

Mountain range scenery

The public land transfer debate continues with Nevada taking center stage. The House Committee on Natural Resources met this week to review a bill sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City) that could transfer millions of acres of federally-owned land to the state of Nevada.

According to the Reno-Gazette Journal, the federal government currently owns about 85% of the land within the state; the bill would decrease federal control over about 7.2 million acres, condensing the amount of federally-owned land to roughly 75%. The bill should leave designated wilderness, conservation areas, national monuments, wildlife refuges, defense, and energy-managed land and American Indian reservation land alone.

Yet, like the Wyoming land transfer dilemma, many conservation groups do not support the idea and believe it would hinder more than help. Supporters of the transfer disagree.

The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that Nevada rancher Demar Dahl submitted a written testimony that backs the bill and states, “If you can hunt, fish, camp, graze or prospect on the public lands now you will be able to do it after the transfer. In other words anything you can do on the public lands now you will be able to do after the transfer. The difference will be the land will be owned and managed by the state and access will be better protected.”

Many believe the push to make a decision on this issue and the slew of last minute committee meetings is due to the changing of the guard this January when President-Elect Trump is sworn into the White House. What will the fate be of public lands? Stay tuned to goHUNT for future updates.




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Rob H. - posted 3 years ago on 02-01-2017 09:42:00 am
Minden, Nevada

Here's the problem we face in Nevada. Every time you turn around, the federal government (former senator Harry Reid) is creating a new "wilderness" areas. Most of these were set up only to harass hunter access, under the guise of preventing future oil exploration. We as outdoor enthusiasts need to prevent these land grabs as well. I'm not saying I'm for the transfers, I'll go watch Newburg's YouTube to help educate myself on this issue.

Alexander K. - posted 3 years ago on 11-18-2016 01:03:38 pm
Denver, CO

@Randy thanks for posting the Randy Newburg links. You beat me to it. The rancher quoted is either lying or is ill-informed. Both are equally concerning. The states are mandated by their constitutions to sell public land to fund the school systems. Also the states do not have the budget to manage these lands adequately. All else about the president-elect aside, he has claimed that he is against the GOP land transfer platform. So if anything gets through both houses, he would hopefully veto it.

BRETT S. - posted 3 years ago on 11-18-2016 12:01:02 pm

As Randy would say "cold dead hands"!

Randy D. - posted 3 years ago on 11-18-2016 10:38:21 am
Vancouver, WA

The thing is, once federal public land has been transferred to state ownership, there is very little stopping the state from selling that land, effectively closing it off to public access forever. As hunters and conservationists we can't let that happen. Randy Newberg put together a great web-series on YouTube laying out how it works and what we can do about it. Please check it out: