60°F
weather icon Clear

Beatty board backs Ash Meadows conservancy plans

BEATTY — At its May 6 meeting, the Beatty Town Advisory Board voted to send a letter supporting the Amargosa Conservancy’s conceptual map showing the boundary of its proposed Ash Meadows mineral withdrawal area.

Mason Voeht, executive director of the conservancy, explained that the mineral withdrawal would prevent new mining claims within that area for 20 years, and would buy time for other steps, such as an act of Congress, to be taken.

Creating the withdrawal is within the power of the secretary of the interior, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada recently made that request after the conservancy gave her a tour of the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to more endemic species, including the Devils Hole Pupfish, than any other site in the United States.

Voeht said that drilling and pit operations proposed by Rover Metals endangered the springs at the refuge and could also adversely affect the groundwater supply for Amargosa Valley and of the Timbisha Shoshone tribe in Death Valley. The company recently revised their plan to some extent, but not enough, in the conservancy’s view, to make a difference. Voeht said that the company’s CEO was “doubling down” on the project.

Voeht explained that existing mining claims in the withdrawal area, if proven, would be grandfathered in.

The Board of County Commissioners has already given their support to the mineral withdrawal effort.

Groundwater was also a concern for Beatty area resident Kevin Emmerich, as the BTAB OK’d sending a comment letter to the BLM concerning Corvus Gold’s North Bullfrog project. Emmerich stressed that, given that water use by the mining operation could drop the groundwater level in the northern part of Oasis Valley by several feet, and that recovery could take 200 years, this should be a serious issue of concern.

The board also voted to send a tentative fiscal year 2025 town budget to the county finance department for review and to send a comment letter to Nye County Planning Director Wagoner regarding Bill 2024-3 having to do with special use permits.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

THE LATEST
GALLERY: Pinkbox Pahrump grand opening

When asked why Pahrump, owner of Pinkbox Stephen Siegel responds with, “why not?”. Thousands flooded to the south entrance of the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino to get in line for a craft doughnut, something residents have been waiting for after rumors circulated for two years.

Fire destroys property, vehicles on Our Road

No injuries were reported after fire consumed two structures and vehicles on Sunday, May 19, just after 12:30 p.m.

RENDERING: Rhyolite Ridge gains formal county support

The Bureau of Land Management published its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron project in April, triggering another crucial step forward for the planned mining operation – the public comment period. The deadline to submit is June 3.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness maintaining local trails

Nevada is a state filled with beautiful wilderness areas, many of which can be found right here in Nye County, but the value and benefits of those areas cannot be realized unless they can be accessed by the everyday person.

Pinkbox opening in Pahrump Nugget

An illuminated oversized doughnut already overlooks Highway 160, in a central area of Pahrump where passersby will see it on their way to Death Valley. Many local leaders in the valley are excited about the grand opening of popular chain Pinkbox Doughnuts beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday inside the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino.

Pahrump man injured in gunfire with deputy

Nye County Sheriff Joe McGill told the Pahrump Valley Times the incident occurred at a residence along Bunarch Road at approximately 7:30 a.m. on May 14.

Burn ban in place — what you need to know

A new BLM Nevada Fire Prevention Order is in effect through Oct. 31. The order, issued by the Bureau of Land Management, prohibits specific fire-related activities on all BLM-managed land in Nevada.