For Immediate Release Wednesday, June 27, 2012
CONTACT: Kristen Orthman, (202) 224-9521
REID INTRODUCES LAS VEGAS VALLEY PUBLIC LANDS AND TULE SPRINGS MONUMENT BILL
Washington, D.C.- Nevada Senator Harry Reid today introduced the Las Vegas Valley Public Lands and Tule Springs Fossil Beds Monument Act which would designate approximately 22,650 acres as the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument in southern Nevada, expand the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, set aside lands for the expansion of Nevada institutions of higher education, and make thousands of acres available for private development and job creation in the Las Vegas Valley. Senator Reid introduced this legislation with Senator Dean Heller. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is introducing a companion bill in the House of Representatives.
“The Las Vegas Valley Lands and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act is an ambitious piece of legislation, built on years of stakeholder input. It provides for balanced development and job creation within the Las Vegas Valley, while protecting vital natural and scientific resources that should be made more accessible for the public’s enjoyment and education. By making long-term and forward-looking improvements to public land management and stewardship in the Las Vegas valley, I believe we have crafted a bill that will serve the best interests of Nevadans,” said Senator Reid.
Over 400 paleontological sites have been discovered, providing a record of human activity dating back 11,000 years ago, and the monument, which would fall within the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, would be bounded by the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the Red Rock National Conservation Area, and the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area.
Proponents of the monument estimate that it will generate tens-of-millions of dollars for the regional economy within the early years of operation. Supporters include the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, Clark County, the Governor of Nevada, the State of Nevada’s Division of State Parks, the National Parks Conservation Association, Protectors of Tule Springs, and thousands of Nevadans.
“The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument is the product of many years of hard work and collaboration. Designating the area as a national monument will conserve, protect and enhance this unique and nationally important resource, and many more prehistoric treasures will be found in the decades to come. The new monument will be a boost to the local economy, and Nevadans, tourists, scientists, and school children will be able to visit this one-of-a-kind place to explore Nevada’s fascinating natural history.” Senator Reid continued.
The legislation also makes more land available for the expansion of campuses within the Nevada System of Higher Education, creates job opportunities in southern Nevada, and broadens the Red Rock National Conservation Area and helps improve management of the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area.
It also conveys land to Clark County for an off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation park, and designates public lands surrounding the park as an OHV recreation area to help keep riders off of sensitive lands and habitat. Finally, the bill designates a corridor, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, for a transmission line that will be primarily used to carry renewable energy.