Congressman Mark Amodei holds agriculture town hall in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Congressman Mark Amodei holds agriculture town hall in Carson City

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Rep. Mark Amodei drew about 30 residents to a small townhall meeting at the state's tourism offices Wednesday to discuss issues ranging from the sage grouse to BLM handling of issues with ranchers and grazing.

He said since the vast majority of Nevada is federal land, the challenge has been convincing the federal government the status of the "sage hen" is much more a federal problem than a state or private landowner issue.

He said to that end, he was happy to see BLM put $60 million in the proposed budget for that purpose.

"Our job is to make sure they use it for the right stuff," he said.

That, he said, is for on the ground projects because, Amodei said, the issue is wildland fire.

"It's what do you do before the fire — fuels reduction — and what do you do after the fire — wildland restoration," he said.

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Amodei was also asked to get involved in what one audience member said was the over-reach by federal agencies like BLM into law enforcement.

"A lot of federal agencies have grown their law enforcement capabilities," he said.

But he said he has joined in legislation by a member from Utah to "rein in" some of that. That bill, he said, "would tale away a lot of that."

There were also concerns raised about the drought and other issues including potential changes to the program that lets sheep ranchers in the state bring in alien workers for up to three years to handle the flocks of sheep.

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