WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to help introduce the Ruby Mountains Protection Act to expand protections and prohibit oil and gas development in Nevada’s beautiful and pristine Ruby Mountains. This legislation would withdraw approximately 450,000 acres of National Forest System district land, comprising the Ruby Mountain Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, from any eligibility for oil and gas leasing. The bill will also expand protection to the 39,926-acre Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
“The Ruby Mountains are an iconic landmark for outdoor recreation in Nevada, bringing visitors from all over our state and the country and contributing to the local tourism economy,” said Senator Rosen. “I will fight to see that it remains protected, which is why I’m helping introduce legislation to prevent oil and gas companies from targeting these lands.”
This legislation also prevents any future land or interest in land acquired by the United States for inclusion in these areas from being used for oil and gas leasing. The Ruby Mountains Protection Act would not affect any recreational use of these pristine lands, including for hunting, hiking, and fishing.
Senator Rosen has actively worked to protect and preserve Nevada’s public lands, environment, and outdoor recreation economy. She helped introduce and pass legislation to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which protects public lands in Nevada and across the United States. As Chair of the Senate subcommittee overseeing tourism, Senator Rosen held a hearing last Congress examining the state of the outdoor tourism and recreation economy, which specifically highlighted the benefit of the Ruby Mountains to Nevada. Senator Rosen has also led efforts to reform oil and gas leasing on our public lands, by introducing the bipartisan Fair Returns for Public Lands Act, which updates the nation’s outdated public lands royalty system and ensures that taxpayers and our rural communities get fair returns on leases of public lands for oil and gas production. Key provisions of this bill were included in the Inflation Reduction Act.