Nevada Senators Dean Heller and Harry Reid re-introduced the Pine Forest Recreation Enhancement Act today -- the product of a comprehensive multi-year local process. Local landowners, sportsmen, conservationists, and other stakeholders in Humboldt County came together to develop this proposal through a series of public meetings and presented it to the delegation with broad community support. The Nevada State Legislature and the Secretary of the Interior have praised the robust and inclusive local process used to produce this bill as the gold standard for community-based wilderness proposals.
This bill would designate 26,000 acres within the Blue Lakes and Alder Creek Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) as the Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area and release 1,500 acres of the existing WSA lands. The bill would also direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to exchange federal lands surrounding nearby ranches for private parcels within the existing WSAs to allow for more appropriate management of public lands and ensure the economic viability of privately owned ranches.
"This legislation will enhance recreational opportunities and improve land management in the Pine Forest Range," said Senator Heller. "The Pine Forest bill is a model of how public land designations should be handled. This was done in an open and transparent manner that brought local communities and stake holders to the table."
"I applaud the Humboldt County Commission and the Pine Forest Working Group on their efforts to bring forward this locally-supported wilderness proposal," Senator Reid said. "We must ensure that our state's naturally pristine lands are protected, and this legislation will preserve thousands of acres of Nevada's public lands for sportsmen and conservationists alike."