WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, & Mining held a hearing on Senator Jacky Rosen’s Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act (S. 1411), along with several other public lands bills. The Rosen-led legislation would transfer land to Lander County to improve airports, access water infrastructure, better combat wildfires, increase recreation and outdoor tourism opportunities, and support economic development, while also designating over 14,000 acres of new wilderness.
“I’m proud to see that the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing on my public lands bill, which will support conservation efforts, promote economic development, and bring critical resources to Lander county,” said Senator Rosen. “This hearing was an important step forward for this important legislation, which would allow Lander County to improve its transportation and water infrastructure, support public parks and tourism opportunities, and protect wilderness areas. I will continue to work with local community stakeholders and my colleagues in the Senate to move this legislation forward.”
BACKGROUND: Senator Rosen introduced the Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act along with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) in April.
The Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act would:
- Transfer over 1,000 acres to Lander County to improve Austin Airport, Kingston Airport, and Battle Mountain Airport, allowing for better fire-fighting capabilities;
- Transfer over 4,500 acres to the County to improve access to water resources throughout Austin, Kingston, and Battle Mountain;
- Transfer about 240 acres to the County for a museum, historic society, and artisan/business development;
- Transfer 16,500 acres to the County – in the form of a park – for a racetrack and training facilities in Battle Mountain for their World Human-Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC), which takes place in Lander County every year and is a significant tourist draw;
- Designate over 14,000 acres of new wilderness areas: Desatoya Mountain Wilderness (7,766 acres) and Cain Mountain Wilderness (6,386 acres); and
- Release 1,088 acres of the Desatoya Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA) and 10,777 acres of the Augusta Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA).