Amodei: Feds look to cut SNPLMA funds
A federal program that has preserved thousands of acres in Douglas County hit its 20th year and it might be time to up the ante, county commissioners were told last week.
Rep. Mark Amodei said the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act is carrying a large balance, making it a target for federal budget balancers.
He said the budget office looks for accounts with large balances that don’t generate a lot of activity.
“In the latest round they funded the top 10 projects, but why don’t you fund the top 15,” he suggested. “Not someone picking their favorite project, just a way to spend a little bit more of that bank account.”
Each year the county nominates projects for the act, which raises money by selling federal land in the Las Vegas Valley.
A proposal to preserve 1,373 acres of Park Cattle land surrounding the Dangberg Historic Home Ranch will be among the nominations under consideration for the 17th round of funding from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management opened the nomination period for Round 17 project proposals funded under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. The nomination period closes May 5.
Jacques Etchegoyhen of Legacy Land and Water confirmed that the park proposal will be reduced from the original 2,835 acres of land west of the line formed by highways 395 and 88.
The program has preserved thousands of acres of Douglas County land funded from Southern Nevada public land sales, and is seeking nominations for proposals for the next round.
In 2016, a $12.4 million conservation easement on John Ascuaga’s Jacks Valley Ranch was approved for purchase.
Earlier in 2016, 14,500 acres of Bently land in the Pine Nut Mountains worth $11.4 million was recommended for federal purchase under the act.
Local governmental entities may seek SNPLMA funds for parks, trails, and natural areas in portions of Carson City and Clark, Lincoln and White Pine counties.
Federal agencies may seek funds for capital improvements, conservation initiatives and restoration projects in eastern Nevada. Federal, state and other agencies may seek SNPLMA funds for hazardous fuels reduction in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Carson Range and the Spring Mountain Range. Federal agencies may seek funding for acquisition of environmentally sensitive land statewide.
Since land sales within the Las Vegas Valley began under SNPLMA, more than $3.5 billion has been generated for improving communities by restoring habitat, reducing hazardous fuels and much more. More than 1,200 projects have been approved for funding by the Secretary of the Interior.