Expansion of Fallon Range Training Complex to be included in National Defense Authorization Act

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 4:54 AM PST
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FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) - A plan to expand the U.S. Navy’s Fallon Range Complex will be included in the National Defense Authorization Act for the upcoming fiscal year. Including the project in the annual funding bill was a priority for Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen and Republican Rep. Mark Amodei. The agreement will provide the Fallon Range Training Complex with an additional 558,535 acres for military training.

The expansion will pull land from five counties, including Churchill, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing and Nye.

The bipartisan compromise also includes Rosen’s Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act which will transfer land to Lander County to improve airports, allow access to water infrastructure, increase recreation and outdoor tourism opportunities, and support economic development. 14,000 acres will also be designated as a new wilderness area.

The Fallon compromise includes mitigations for local and tribal governments, including protecting more than 500,000 acres of public lands, managing and protecting tribal and cultural resources, and continued access for Tribes, sportsmen, and the public. Additional land will be provided to Churchill County for economic development and public purposes.

“This is a pretty significant jump forward in a cultural sense, in a economic development sense, and in protecting sacred sites and in giving Great Basin Tribes a significant voice in the management of their cultural heritage,” said Rep. Amodei.

“The City of Fallon is pleased that our voices have been heard and our views represented in this legislation. We know many parties’ interests were involved but as always, Senator Cortez Masto was masterful in bringing those many different interests together to reach a solution that both addresses national security and respects local interests,” said Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford. “We’re grateful for the collaboration from the entire Nevada delegation to move this proposal forward.”

The measure also aims to resolve the Walker River Paiute Tribe’s claims for the contamination and loss of land on their reservation, providing the Tribe with $20 million and over 8,000 acres in trust land. The Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe would acquire $20 million to develop and construct a Numu Newe cultural center to sustain the knowledge and culture of local tribes, as well as 10,000 acres in trust land.

“After years of negotiations, this landmark achievement will provide our Naval aviators with the training environment they need to meet our national security threats, while also providing necessary mitigations and protections for local governments, Tribes, and public lands,” said Rosen.

“As the current national security environment demonstrates, the need to modernize the Fallon Range Training Complex has never been more urgent.  I am grateful for the support and cooperation that we have enjoyed, working alongside the Nevada Congressional Delegation, Churchill County, the city of Fallon, our local Native American Tribal Councils, and the numerous state and federal agencies that have each been critical to advancing this multi-year effort.  Naval Air Station Fallon remains committed to working with all stakeholders as we implement congressional legislation over the next several years,” said Capt. Shane Tanner, Commanding Officer of NAS Fallon.

Read more about the bill here.