Nevada has 48 million acres of federal land, most of it BLM. According to a bipartisan poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, 78% of Nevadans believe that these lands belong to all Americans and 62% do not want to foot the bill for managing these lands. Despite strong public opinion in favor of keeping these lands public and for all Americans several bills have been introduced to transfer the lands to the state. Newly-elected official AG Adam Paul Laxalt supports public land seizures.
AB 227 passed in 2013, creating the “Nevada Land Management Task Force.” Unlike other “task forces” the cost of this task force was paid by the counties from which the 17 members were appointed. A final report from the committee was issued in August 2014. The report was brought to the interim legislative committee of the Nevada Legislature, but the committee took no action. Nevertheless, proponents of the report’s plan of action introduced resolutions for the 2015 legislative session.
Nevada’s Enabling Act states “That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.”
2015 Public Lands Legislation
- Senate Joint Resolution 1: Urges Congress to enact legislation transferring title to certain public lands to the State of Nevada in accordance with the report prepared by the Nevada Land Management Task Force.
- Senate Joint Resolution 2: Urges Congress to require the sharing of federal receipts from commercial activity on certain public lands with the State of Nevada and its counties.
- Assembly Bill 408:Enacts provisions governing the acquisition and use of certain public lands.
- Assembly Bill 283: Revises provisions governing law enforcement powers on certain lands