Rosen Announces Introduction of Washoe County Lands Bill to Increase Housing Opportunities, Protect Public Lands

This Comprehensive Legislation Would Protect Public Lands, Support Tribal Communities, Allow For Responsible Development, And Create New Opportunities For Housing To Lower Housing Costs

View/Download Video of Senator Rosen’s Remarks HERE

WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced she is introducing the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act to expand economic development and affordable housing opportunities in Washoe County, support local Tribal communities, increase conservation, protect public lands and outdoor recreation, and keep proceeds from land sales in Nevada for priorities like education and restoration around the Truckee River. As the state with the highest percentage of public land in the nation, Nevada relies on federal legislation to increase land available for development, like affordable housing, and to protect outdoor spaces for future generations. 

For years, Senator Rosen has been working with a wide range of stakeholders across Washoe County to develop this comprehensive legislation. Earlier this year, Senator Rosen unveiled a working draft of the bill and collected feedback from hundreds of Nevadans during a public comment period, which she then incorporated into this legislation.

“As Washoe County continues to grow, the lack of housing available can increase home prices at a time when inflation is already hurting Nevada families. I’ve been working with a diverse group of stakeholders to make more land available for responsible development, which will help lower housing costs, as well as protect critical wildlife habitat, support our Tribal communities, and keep proceeds from land sales right here in Nevada,” dijo el Senador Rosen. “My bill strikes a balance between responsible development, permanent protection of hundreds of thousands of acres of Nevada’s public lands, and local community growth. I’ll keep working in the Senate to make sure this legislation becomes law, helping to shape a better future for our state.”

“I’m so proud that the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners supported Senator Rosen’s Truckee Meadows Public Lands Bill,” said Alexis Hill, Vice Chair of the Washoe County Board of Commissioners. “We are committed to preserving our natural resources while allocating appropriate land for affordable and workforce housing, local governmental and tribal interests. We are especially excited about the potential revenue opportunities for Truckee River investments. This Bill will be a game changer for the future of northern Nevada.” 

“Thank you to Senator Rosen for taking this all-important step to introduce a Lands Bill, which I believe is the single largest federal priority for the City of Sparks, Washoe County, and Reno areas,” said Ed Lawson, Mayor of the City of Sparks. “It will have a significant impact for all of us as we address the affordable housing issues throughout the region.”

“Reno-Sparks Indian Colony applauds Senator Rosen and her staff for their extensive collaboration with the various Washoe County local governments. This has led to the introduction of a lands bill benefitting all parties in an equitable fashion,” said Daryl D. Gardipe, newly elected Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Chairman. “We are pleased with the support we received from multiple stakeholders to preserve our culturally important areas, while also allowing the surrounding cities to continue their growth. We have been involved with the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act since 2017, and the compromises reached in this bill are going to greatly benefit the entire Truckee Meadows region.”

“The City of Reno values ideas that contribute to the economic opportunity, conservation, and recreation needs of our region,” said Hillary Schieve, Mayor of the City of Reno. “Our priority is sustainable growth that supports continued provision of the high level of service our residents expect and creating a prosperous and healthy community. As this process moves forward, the City will continue to evaluate the holistic effects of the bill through this lens.”

“This legislation is a milestone in the history of public lands conservation in Nevada,” said Shaaron Netherton, Executive Director of Friends of Nevada Wilderness. “Northern Washoe County is home to critical wildlife habitat, uniquely dark skies, priceless cultural resources, and amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. Because Senator Rosen and her team spent countless hours consulting with multiple stakeholders, we now have a widely supported bill that will protect these values. We thank the Senator for her persistent leadership and look forward to working with her to help move this bill through Congress.”

“The Nevada Wildlife Federation thanks Senator Rosen for bringing all stakeholders together to create the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act,” said Russell Kuhlman, Nevada Wildlife Federation’s Executive Director. “This legislation provides the county with the opportunity to balance our increasing human population while safeguarding our access to public lands, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation, which includes hunting and fishing.”

“The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support Senator Rosen’s land management legislation,” said Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. “The legislation provides a pathway for communities in the Truckee Meadows to develop much-needed affordable housing and expanded land uses that can be managed as we continue to grow. The legislation also conserves pristine areas in northern Nevada where residents and visitors can explore and recreate.”

“EDAWN truly appreciates the dedication Senator Rosen has given this critical issue,” said Taylor Adams, President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN). “In addition to safeguarding the natural beauty of Northern Nevada for future generations, this bill provides much-needed land that will ensure our region can continue to deliver sustainable growth of commercial development, housing, and the infrastructure required for both.”

Senator Rosen’s Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act voluntad: 

  • Permanently protect more than 900,000 acres of public lands.
  • Promote sustainable growth and economic development by directing over 15,800 acres of public lands to be made eligible for sale, all of which must be assessed for its suitability for new affordable housing. An additional 30 acres are set aside to only be sold for affordable housing. Any land sold for affordable housing would have to be sold at less than fair market value.
  • Support local Tribal communities by expanding land held in trust by more than 8,000 acres for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, 11,400 acres for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and over 1,000 acres for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
  • Provide local governments over 3,400 acres for public purposes such as parks, water treatment facilities, and schools. Land is specifically conveyed to Washoe County, the City of Reno, the City of Sparks, the Incline Village General Improvement District, the Gerlach General Improvement District, the State of Nevada, the Truckee River Flood Management Authority, the Washoe County School District, and the University of Nevada Reno.

A topline overview of the legislation can be found HERE.

A map of areas impacted by this legislation can be found HERE.

Senator Rosen has been a champion for Nevada’s public lands. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Rosen helped pass the modernization plan for the Fallon Range Training Complex at Naval Air Station Fallon, which was signed into law at the end of 2022. This compromise included her Lander County Land Management and Conservation Act, which transferred land to Lander County to improve airports, allow greater access to water infrastructure, increase recreation and outdoor tourism opportunities, and support economic development, while also designating over 14,000 acres of new wilderness. Earlier this year, she celebrated the designation of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument after working alongside the Nevada congressional delegation to push for the designation. She also led a letter requesting funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s cultural resources account and National Conservation Lands, which encompass more than 37 million acres of national monuments and conservation areas.