Yerington land bill introduced in Congress
February 15, 2012
A bill that would convey approximately 10,000 acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management to the City of Yerington for commercial, industrial, recreational and cultural development was introduced today by Nevada’s congressional delegation in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Mark Amodei, Rep. Shelley Berkley and Rep. Joe Heck, announced today the introduction of the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act. The city and Lyon County are seeking to leverage the substantial infrastructure investments being made by Nevada Copper at its nearby Pumpkin Hollow project.
“Down, but not out, the people of Yerington are taking control of their community’s future with this plan,” Amodei said. “The potential of the Pumpkin Hollow project has been discussed for a long time. But now, thanks to the private investment of Nevada Copper and the public vision of the community stakeholders, the path to jobs and growth is clear.”
“With the highest unemployment rate in the nation, this job creating project is so important not only for the people of Yerington and Lyon County, but for the entire State. As we move forward, I would be supportive of additional considerations for conservation. However, this is an important step toward getting Nevadans back to work,” said Berkley.
“Lyon County has been hit hard by the economic downturn, and this bill would help create hundreds of good-paying jobs. It’s a positive development any time federally-controlled land can be returned to local control. I look forward to working with Amodei and the delegation on this bill,” said Heck.
At more than 16 percent, Yerington has the highest unemployment rate in Nevada.
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Nevada Copper, which breaks ground on the Pumpkin Hollow project on Saturday, invested nearly $50 million in exploration to justify the $1 billion investment necessary to fully develop the mine. Pumpkin Hollow will produce 250 to 300 million pounds of copper per year. The initial shaft sinking will lead to immediate economic benefits with the creation of 30 to 40 jobs, as well as 250 to 500 construction jobs that could start in 2013 if the land transfer is successful. At full operation in 2015-2016, Pumpkin Hollow is projected to employ 750 to 800 people directly.
For more than four years, the City of Yerington and Lyon County worked on the sustainable development plan to enable all community stakeholders to benefit from the increase in adjacent private lands. The conveyance of the BLM land would enable the city and county to grow while providing additional tax revenue and the potential for thousands of long-term, high-paying jobs.