Heller protests proposal to gut lands program | NevadaAppeal.com

Heller protests proposal to gut lands program

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is protesting a budget proposal he says would gut the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.

SNPLMA is a program that allows the BLM to sell public lands within the boundaries around Las Vegas and use the revenue for environmental and other projects in Nevada. Portions of the money are dedicated to education and the Southern Nevada Water Authority as well.

A significant percentage of that money has been used for projects in the Tahoe Basin.

The proposal reportedly suggests taking back $230 million generated by previous lands sales in Clark County, preventing BLM from using the money for public works, wildfire prevention, conservation and other projects.

“Not only would a recission usurp important economic growth and conservation initiatives, it would undermine important agreements that local communities, tribal governments and the federal government formed in good faith,” said Heller in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Heller said taking the money “would hamper any efforts to achieve a working, trustful relationship between your department and Nevada’s local government officials.”

He said SMPLMA helps spur economic development and provide necessary resources for conservation and habitat restoration and asked that Interior officials protect rather than gut the program.