Douglas lands bill back in Congress
After 11 years waiting on a literal act of Congress, Douglas County commissioners said they’re not ready to throw in the towel on lobbying for a lands bill.
County Manager Patrick Cates placed the contract with the county’s federal lobbyist and with consultant Jacques Etchegoyhen on Thursday’s agenda for the county to review.
Both contracts amount to $98,000, according to Cates.
Etchgoyhen, who owns Legacy Land and Water, has been working on the Douglas County Conservation Act since the beginning.
“I consider it my job to reach out to the public about this,” Etchegoyhen said “Things have been relatively quiet. I meet with the Fish Springs folks regularly along with Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Toiyabe Sierra Club and try to keep communications wide open.”
Professional lobbyist Marcus G. Faust represents the county on the lands bill and also advocates on the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act.
The bill was introduced in the Senate late last year and Rep. Mark Amodei re-introduced it in the House as part of a compromise bill he’s working on for the expansion of Naval Air Station Fallon’s training range in order to glean additional support.
“This has been a very long process Faust said. “It enjoys a great response from our delegation.”
A turnover in leadership at the Washoe Tribe delayed the bill, Faust said, but it has been rewritten to answer the Tribe’s concerns.
“The new bill has great support from the tribe and all other stakeholders and conservation groups,” he said.
The right of ways for back routes for Ruhenstroth and Indian Hills are included in the bill, along with 10,000 acres of BLM land in the Pine Nut foothills.