Guinn opposes Bush attempt to take land sale money

Gov. Kenny Guinn says he is strongly opposed to the Bush Administration's attempt to take away profits from public land sales in Nevada.

Bush's proposed budget would divert the bulk of the money derived from selling federal lands in Southern Nevada into the national treasury to help reduce the deficit. The total value of land sold over the past year was more than $700 million. The amount is expected to exceed $1 billion this coming year.

"I am in agreement with our congressional delegation that this must not be allowed to happen," Guinn said Tuesday.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., and the other members of Nevada's congressional delegation have already said they will fight to stop the plan. At present, money raised by selling Southern Nevada lands goes to education, conservation, environmental projects, parks and recreation as well as to buy up sensitive lands that should be preserved in Nevada. But members of the delegation as well as Guinn said all the money now stays in Nevada.

"This is an issue of critical importance to the future of our state," said Guinn.

He said he intends to take his case to the Bush Administration and Interior Secretary Gale Norton personally "to tell them this proposal is not good for the people of Nevada."

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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