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Sportsmen for the Rubies

An image from the website sportsmenfortherubies.com.

ELKO — Sportsmen for the Rubies, a coalition of 14 hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation organizations, have launched a public campaign aimed at convincing federal lawmakers to pass the Ruby Mountains Protection Act.

The proposed legislation, S.258, introduced by Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) would permanently withdraw 450,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service-managed public lands in northern Nevada’s Ruby and East Humboldt Mountains from future oil and gas leasing.

“The Rubies are recognized around the world as a premier hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation destination,” said Carl Erquiaga, Nevada field representative with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “They are also the origin of one of the most important big-game migration corridors in the state, utilized by its largest mule deer herd, and home to many other fish and wildlife species, including the Lahontan cutthroat trout.”

The coalition hopes to raise awareness, both around the state and in Washington, D.C., of the potential threats posed by energy development in the area. Its website, SportsmenfortheRubies.com, “will showcase organizational support, provide updates on this conservation opportunity, and enable individual hunters and anglers to take action by contacting their decision makers in support of this world-class hunting and fishing destination,” the groups reported.

“The streams that flow out of the Rubies provide some of the best water for Lahontan cutthroat trout in the entire state,” said Pam Harrington, Nevada field coordinator with Trout Unlimited. “The fishing opportunities that abound around the Rubies and the Ruby Marshes need to be protected for future generations.”

Other groups listed as supporters are Elko Bighorns Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers, Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife, Nevada Chukar Chasers, Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn, Nevada Waterfowl Association, Nevada Sporting Dog Alliance, and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited.

The coalition is part of a growing movement to support the Ruby Mountain Protection Act that includes diverse stakeholders, including numerous Tribal governments and other local interests.

“This is the time to make your voice heard, not after you’re upset when the good hunting is no longer there,” said Elko sportsman Justin French. “Sportsmen and women have an opportunity right now to be proactive and do what’s best for our traditions.”

For more information on Sportsmen for the Rubies and other conservation issues, contact Pam Harrington with Trout Unlimited at pam.harrington@tu.org or Carl Erquiaga at cerquiaga@trcp.org with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Other groups listed as supporters are Elko Bighorns Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers, Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife, Nevada Chukar Chasers, Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn, Nevada Waterfowl Association, Nevada Sporting Dog Alliance, and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited.

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