The BLM seed warehouse sought by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is now open in Ely.
Reid asked the department to put a major seed facility in Nevada because the state has had serious problems getting native seed to replace plants destroyed by wildfires.
“Nevada has faced some tremendous wildfires in recent years,” he said. “These burns have destroyed critical sage grouse and mule deer habitat and allowed invasive weeds to spread.”
Reid said the facility will give land managers access to the native seed supplies needed to restore rangelands and vital wildlife habitat.
The warehouse was paid for with funding from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act that Reid helped get through congress in 1998. The land act allows the sale of federal lands around Las Vegas and dedicates the revenue to a variety of conservation and other projects as well as to the Southern Nevada Water Authority. The money has also been used extensively for environmental and sensitive land purchase projects in the Tahoe Basin.