CARSON CITY — Nevada’s Legislative Committee on Public Lands will meet at 10 a.m. Monday in the Winnemucca Convention Center.
The meeting will begin with updates from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service on agency activities and planning efforts in north-central Nevada.
The agenda includes a review of a drought environmental assessment being conducted by the BLM. The assessment involves an analysis of grazing activity across northern Nevada.
“The ongoing assessment may result in significant changes in grazing allotments on federal land in the year ahead,” said Assemblyman Paul Aizley, chairman of the committee. “The proposals being considered will likely impact the region’s cattle industry.”
Also on the agenda are reports regarding fire suppression activities and planning efforts for the coming fire season.
“We are very excited to hear from State Forester Pete Anderson, the Wildfire Support Group, and from BLM and USFS staff,” said Aizley. “As we suffer through a third straight year of drought, the risk for large scale wild land fires is as high as ever. Firefighting agencies throughout Nevada need to collaborate and pool resources to effectively manage what is shaping up to be a very dangerous fire season.”
The meeting will provide a forum for the committee and the public to learn about what measures are being taken to plan for and alleviate the risk of wild land fires this summer.
Also on the agenda is a discussion of land ownership issues in the I-80 corridor.
“Thousands of acres of land along the I-80 corridor are owned and managed in a checkerboard pattern. This ownership pattern creates unique land management challenges both for private and public land owners,” said Aizley.
To address the issue, presenters representing private and public interests will review the challenges they face in managing and developing land with limited access and, at times, conflicting land use policies.
The agenda also includes an update and review of the activities of the State Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“These agencies provide vital services to the state’s agricultural industry, particularly in north-central Nevada” said Aizley.
Director Jim Barbee and State Conservationist Bruce Petersen are scheduled to provide a review of the programs administered by each agency.
Finally, the committee will receive an update from the Pershing County Water Conservation District on its activities, as well as a review of water issues pertaining to mining, pit lakes and underground pumping.
The Public Lands Committee was created in 1983 as a permanent Committee of the Nevada Legislature. Its purposes are to review and comment on federal land management policies and practices and to provide a forum for the discussion of public lands matters. The Committee holds meetings throughout Nevada during the interim period between sessions of the Nevada Legislature and looks to local governments and residents to provide information that may be used for future legislation or other legislative actions.
The other members of the Public Lands Committee are Sen. Aaron D. Ford (D Las Vegas); Sen. Pete Goicoechea (R-Eureka); Sen. Donald G. Gustavson (R-Sparks); Sen. David R. Parks (D-Las Vegas); Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (D Las Vegas); Assemblyman John Ellison (R-Elko); Assemblyman Ira Hansen (R-Sparks); and Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins.