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Amodei and Heller Partner to Protect Nevada Public Lands from Executive Overreach

January 4, 2017
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                

Contacts: 

Logan Ramsey(Amodei) 202-225-6155

Neal A. Patel(Heller) 202-224-6244 

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) partnered with United States Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today to introduce the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act (H.R. 243, S. 22). The legislation prevents the threat of executive action designating or expanding national monuments without Congressional approval or local support.

“Whether you agree with our proposals or not, I have always supported a public and transparent process which includes input from interest groups, local communities, and elected representatives,” said Congressman Amodei. “Unlike all of our Nevada lands bills that allow stakeholders an opportunity to voice their concerns and ultimately reach a consensus agreement that achieves bipartisan support, the Obama Administration has repeatedly bypassed Congress and local input. I continue to be amazed by the fact that some people hug unilateral, non-transparent monument designations, while at the same time, protesting vehemently over the introduction and public discussion of Congressional lands bills proposals. In contrast to the last eight years of this Administration’s one-sided approach on major land management decisions in Nevada, our bill simply ensures local stakeholders have a seat at the table going forward.”

“Late last month, without even having a say in the matter, Nevadans witnessed the executive branch quickly lock up hundreds of thousands of acres of local, public land with an effortless stroke of the pen. No matter which political party is occupying the White House, these types of unilateral federal land grabs by the executive branch should not be allowed. Public input and local support remain critical to the decision-making process of federal land designations. This legislation prevents actions like last month’s Gold Butte land grab from occurring without input from Congress and local officials. I’d like to thank Congressman Amodei for his partnership on this bill,” stated Senator Heller.  

Background:

Over the past two years, President Obama unilaterally placed restrictions on over one million acres of public land in Nevada alone via the American Antiquities Act of 1906. One million acres amounts to more land than the entire state of Rhode Island. Since the expansion or establishment of monuments under the Antiquities Act does not require the consent of Congress, the President, with the swipe of a pen, can bar millions of acres of federal lands from multiple uses. Because of this, presidential powers under the Antiquities Act have been reduced twice.

President Obama has utilized this executive action more than any other president in American history. As recently as last week, the President locked-up 300,000 acres of land in Nevada, making this the second time in less than six months Nevada has been subject to a unilateral land grab. The Nevada Land Sovereignty Act of 2017 seeks to address this abuse of executive power by ensuring Congress and local officials are not bypassed before the designation or expansion of national monuments in the state of Nevada.

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