52°F
weather icon Clear

Lawsuit wants protections for Nevada’s Amargosa River, 7 others

Environmentalists have filed suit against federal regulators over protections for eight rivers in California, including one that originates in Nevada, the Amargosa River.

Congress designated portions of the Amargosa and seven other rivers as wild and scenic in 2009, but the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management never completed comprehensive management plans for them as required by law, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Tucson, Arizona-based group sued the two agencies in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles late last month, arguing that the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act required the development of management plans for the rivers within three years of their designation.

“These rivers are some of southern California’s crown jewels and provide critical habitat for endangered birds and other imperiled species,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist for the environmental group, in a written statement. “They also provide respite and recreation for people, who rely on the government to protect these special places for their kids and grandkids. Without a management plan, a wild and scenic river designation is meaningless.”

Martha Maciel, deputy state director of communications for the BLM in California, said agency officials were aware of the lawsuit and were reviewing it.

The Amargosa River originates in the Oasis Valley, north of the Nye County town of Beatty, and flows mostly underground into California. It eventually winds its way into the southern end of Death Valley, where it is swallowed up by the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.

The wild and scenic portion of the river runs for about 25 miles from the tiny town of Shoshone, California, to Dumont Dunes.

Brian Brown owns and operates the China Ranch Date Farm, a spring-fed oasis and agricultural operation in California, about 85 miles southwest of Las Vegas. He helped lead the fight for federal protections for the Amargosa, and he has been pressuring the BLM to draft a management plan for the river ever since.

“To my knowledge it hasn’t even been started,” said Brown, whose roots in the area go back to 1903.

He isn’t a party to the lawsuit, but he said he understands why the Center for Biological Diversity filed it.

“They’re basically trying to force the BLM to follow its own rules and do what it’s supposed to do,” Brown said.

Maciel said the bureau has completed some work on a plan for the Amargosa, but the draft remains unfinished.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Small Business Saturday returns in Nye

Nye County will celebrate another year of Small Business Saturday, with Nye County commissioners formally declaring the event in 2019.

 
Nye County commissioner faces charges related to CARES Act

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo turned himself in to authorities on charges he voted on CARES Act programs while he was benefiting from them.

Angel Trees out in Pahrump community

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas season is officially upon the community, bringing with it the opportunity for residents to help spread a little holiday cheer by participating in the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree program.

California Lottery

Because of early holiday deadlines at the Pahrump Valley Times, winning lottery numbers for the Wednesday night drawing of the California Super Lotto were not available but will be published in the Wednesday Dec. 2 issue with the results of Saturday night’s Super Lotto.

Turkey divan makes Thanksgiving leftovers divine

One of the best things about the Thanksgiving holiday is enjoying the wonderful leftovers. Now, I don’t know about your post-turkey-day turkey, but mine usually has no legs, or thighs but lots of leftover breast. If that happens to your turkey too, then you’re going to love this week’s recipe, Turkey Divan. We’ve got turkey, broccoli and mushrooms smothered in a cheesy creamy sauce, topped with crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs to make a classic casserole.

Pahrump’s Community Christmas Tree Lighting to be held virtually

The Thanksgiving festivities are at an end and the community is now turning its attention to the Christmas season, which for the town of Pahrump always includes the placement and lighting of the enormous Community Christmas Tree.

COVID surge leads to adjustments in Pahrump Justice Court operations

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to swell in the Silver State, Pahrump Justice Court is taking action now to curb any potential spread of the disease in its courts, which were shut down for two weeks earlier this year after an employee tested positive for the virus.

Murder suspect convicted in jury trial

The man arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of a child more than three years ago, was found guilty following a jury trial this week.