Economic

Strain

Not all public lands are National Parks!

Federal red tape has, for years now, bound producers and communities to the point that they cannot efficiently operate or develop in such a way as to accommodate growth. Not only does this reduce their capacity to realize their economic potential, it stifles their ability to compete on a national or global economic scale.

Unlike most anywhere else in the U.S., Nevada (and many western) communities must struggle endlessly with the federal government just to make ends meet.

The restriction of access to public lands coupled with failed federal management policies are severely hindering Nevada’s ability to compete on a national and global scale. Bear in mind, any activity from cattle grazing to the "Burning Man" festival that are conducted within the red area of this map are subject to a slew of bureaucratic regulations that require a host of studies, permits, and approvals.

As a result, private industry and small businesses who rely on multiple use public lands, at best struggle to realize the full potential of their operations and worst often fail because they can't make a project feasible due to permitting costs and time requirements.

Although efforts have recently been made to fast track the permitting and extraction of Critical Minerals in the United States; historically, mine permitting has taken on average, 7-10 years compared to other developed countries who are putting mines into production within 3-4 years (Without compromising environmental standards). The National Mining Association reports that nearly 50% of a project’s value can be lost due to permitting delays. 

It's no secret that western livestock producers have taken an enormous hit since the advent of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976. Since 1980 Nevada ranchers have witnessed a 50%  reduction of Cattle AUMs (grazing permits) while the sheep industry has struggled to stay afloat with a 95% reduction. 

Aside from business and industry who constantly struggle to navigate the bureaucratic waters of the federal ocean, Nevada communities, as well, must contend with federal landlords whose primary interest and concern often fails to extend beyond the city limits of Washington D.C. Unlike so many other communities in the United States, Nevada cities and towns are completely surrounded by federal land - tiny islands isolated within the expanse of the aforementioned federal ocean.

What does this mean? Nevada communities are stifled in their ability to expand and grow. The fact that a new business could bring thousands of jobs and diversify the economy is irrelevant... In many communities there is simply not enough room. Further, in communities where certain public lands have been deemed suitable for disposal which would allow for development, the federal government has sat on them refusing to transfer the title.

A great example of this being the tiny border town of Jackpot, NV. As you can see from the map below, Jackpot is completely surrounded by Bureau of Land Management land (Yellow). A portion of the land closest to the city limits were designated for disposal (signified by the pink line) in a Record of Decision (ROD) in 1987! That's right, in 1987 - how many companies could have utilized this land to completely redefine the economic climate of the community? Imagine, in the 30 years since this decision was finalized,  what the town of Jackpot could have done with that land to enhance community development or improve recreation opportunities. Will we ever know?

The fact is, Nevada's over abundance of federal land reduces our ability to be productive, develop our communities, and reach our full potential. It is true that there are some lands that should remain untouched by business, industry, and development (National Parks, Wilderness Areas, Areas of Critical Concern, etc.) but these are few in number compared to the millions of acres that are best suited for various forms of multiple use.... uses that do include mining, grazing, and development.

IN THE NEWS

Environmentalists, tribes oppose Clark County Lands Bill

Another attempt to steal rural Nevada's water?

Las Vegas Review Journal

Horse Overpopulation Prompts Grazing Cuts in Elko County

Elko Daily Free Press

Permits Drag on U.S. Mining Projects

With an Average Wait Time of Seven Years, Companies Look Elsewhere for Needed Metals, Minerals

Wall Street Journal

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