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Nominations open for grant program

Staff Reports
John Ascuaga's Jacks Valley Ranch is one of the properties where conservation easements were approved to be purchased with money raised from the sale of federal land in the Las Vegas Valley.
Kurt Hildebrand

A federal program that has purchased conservation easements across Douglas County using money raised by selling public land in the Las Vegas Valley is open for nominations.

The Bureau of Land Management opened the nomination period for Round 18 project proposals funded under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act on Thursday. The nomination period closes Sept. 14.

Local governments may seek funds for parks, trails, and natural areas in Clark, Lincoln and White Pine counties and portions of Carson City. Federal agencies may seek funds for capital improvements, conservation initiatives and Eastern Nevada restoration projects. Federal, state and other agencies may seek 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.

One of the properties protected in the program was John Ascuaga’s Jacks Valley Ranch where a 1,184-acre conservation easement was purchased for $7.4 million.

“For more than two decades, land sales through the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act have been used to improve the quality of life for millions of people in Nevada,” said BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby. “Opening Round 18 of SNPLMA for nominations will distribute revenue generated from those land sales to fund Federal, state, and local projects that support public recreation, economic diversification and new employment opportunities.”

Since land sales within the Las Vegas Valley began under the Act in 1998, more than $3.6 billion has been generated for recreation opportunities, improved access and significantly modernized infrastructure important to all public land users, promoted species and habitat conservation, protected environmentally sensitive land, restored landscapes and reduced the risks to communities from wildfire. More than 1,400 projects have been approved for funding by the Secretary of the Interior.

Sale of these parcels does not affect public access to outdoor recreational opportunities on public land.

In accordance with the Act, 85 percent of the funds generated by sales under the Act will be used throughout Nevada for projects such as the development of parks, trails, and natural areas on federal lands, acquisition of environmentally sensitive land, hazardous fuels reduction, and landscape restoration projects. Additionally, 5 percent goes to Nevada’s general education fund and 10 percent goes to the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Specific requirements for nominating projects in the 18th round of funding are available at blm.gov/snplma. Nominations must be submitted directly to the BLM Southern Nevada District Office, SNPLMA Division, 4701 North Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130.