100°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Input spotty as BLM works to update Southern Nevada blueprint

With time running out in the public comment period, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has received about 120 unique comments on an ongoing update of its blueprint for Southern Nevada.

Fewer than 400 people total turned out for a series of six public meetings the BLM held last month in various communities impacted by the Southern Nevada District Resource Management Plan, which is undergoing its first substantial revision since 1998.

At the Jan. 17 meeting in Henderson, members of several off-roading clubs turned out in bright orange T-shirts that read, “Public lands are for public use.”

The Jan. 11 meeting in Las Vegas drew a large contingent of environmentalists who called for greater resource protection.

“We all thought we’d see more people at some of the meetings,” said John Asselin, spokesman for the BLM’s Southern Nevada District Office. “I imagine we’ll see a lot more people when the draft resource management plan comes out. Then there will be an actual document with alternatives for people to comment on.”

The resource management plan helps guide specific land-use decisions for 3.1 million acres of federal land in Clark County and the southern tip of Nye County.

Since the plan’s last major update 20 years ago, the region’s population has grown by almost 1 million people.

The bureau started work on the current update in 2008 and released a first draft of the revised plan in October 2014.

The approximately 2,200-page document stirred a great deal of criticism, including a resolution from the Nye County Commission calling it “repugnant,” so BLM State Director John Ruhs put the planning process on hold for more than a year. The work resumed in the fall and is expected to lead to the release of a new draft for public review in 2019.

The final draft is slated for release in 2020, and BLM officials hope to have the revised resource management plan in place by 2021.

To shape the update, the BLM is seeking public input through today on five specific topics: renewable energy development zones, areas of critical environmental concern, lands with wilderness characteristics, land suitable for disposal and development and socioeconomic needs in Southern Nevada.

As of last week, the BLM had received fewer than 400 comments overall, and 255 of those were form letters from conservation groups urging continued protections for Gold Butte National Monument.

The BLM’s planning process for Gold Butte has been put on hold as the Trump administration considers changes to the monument’s boundary recommended by U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Wild summer storms whip through Pahrump

As monsoonal moisture made its way across the southwestern portion of the United States over the last couple of weeks, much of the severe weather had missed Pahrump, until the night of Sunday, July 25 when a substantial summer thunderstorm finally broke over the valley, dumping rain and bringing fierce winds that wreaked havoc in certain parts of town, all the while illuminating the dark sky with streaks of lightning for a period of several hours. The storm let up in the late-night hours but revived with ferocity the next day and though wind speeds did not match Sunday’s, the storm on Monday brought even more rain than the previous night and resulted in extensive flooding throughout Pahrump.

New mask mandate effective on Friday, commissioners to discuss Nye County policy on August 3

Whether or not a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, come Friday, July 30, all residents and visitors in a dozen Nevada counties, including right here in Nye County, will be required to once again don a face mask when they are in public indoor settings.

Man allegedly exposes himself at Pahrump bar

A local man was taken into custody after allegedly exposing himself to a bar full of patrons and driving under the influence.

Purple Heart Day ceremony set for Pahrump Veterans Memorial

Pahrump and Nye County as a whole are both well-known for their support of the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces and every year sees multiple military ceremonies to honor those who have proudly put on a uniform and offered their service in defense of the nation.

Nye County gold mine project acquired

Eminent Gold Corp. has acquired an option to purchase the Gilbert South Project located approximately 26 miles west of Tonopah, according to the press release.

ANGELICA PULIDO-HULL: Try a new Pahrump local shopping experience

The month of July is dedicated to local and independent retailers across the country. Before the end of the month, choose a Pahrump retailer you have not shopped at before to visit and show your community small business support.

Ringle wants recall

Beatty businessman Ed Ringle is looking to start a petition to recall two members of the Beatty Water and Sanitation Board of Trustees.