Panel to Develop Plans for Nevada Wilderness

Nevada Legislature 2003
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A legislative study committee will meet in Winnemucca Dec. 18 to begin developing recommendations on what Congress should do with Nevada's 20-year-old Wilderness Study Areas.

Congress set aside more than 5 million acres of Nevada for study as potential wilderness more than 20 years ago.

State Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, said that while 2 million acres of have been set aside as wilderness, the various groups interested in the land have been unable to reach consensus on what to do with the remaining 3.8 million acres.

Rhoads, who will chair the panel, said those areas remain in limbo, administered by the Bureau of Land Management as though they are wilderness areas.

He said his Public Lands legislative subcommittee was established to review the status of the remaining areas and draft recommendations, which will be forwarded to Nevada's congressional delegation. He said input is critical from the counties that include the lands.

"Although the Nevada Legislature does not have the authority to make decisions regarding WSAs, it can make recommendations to Nevada's congressional delegation based on information provided at these meetings," Rhoads said. "All Nevadans deserve to have a voice in this issue."