167 years ago, in 1850, my 2nd gr-grandparents and their toddler children came across Nevada in a wagon train. They passed by present day Winnemucca and turned southwest crossing the dreaded 40 mile desert, found the Carson River and followed it to Eagle Valley, where Carson City is today. They passed by Genoa which was just starting up as Nevada’s first settlement with a trading post and turned west to head up the West Fork of the Carson River to California. Along the way, near Winnemucca, my 2nd gr-grandfather was killed in a skirmish with the natives. He lies out there today.
Whether you have a story like mine or if you are like me and just enjoy the knowledge that we can jump in our SUV, bike, ATV, horse or boots and explore and recreate on endless mountains, valleys and playas, you appreciate Nevada’s Public Lands as one of the benefits to being an American.
This is why I take an owner’s interest in our Public Lands. I have noticed that our military is taking an additional 600,000 acres permanently near Fallon in addition to the huge Nellis complex near Las Vegas. Our Representative in Congress, Mr. Amodei, is proposing to give our native tribes additional thousands of acres, which they can develop as they see fit. If I were them, I would industrialize it.
In addition to this, the new Congress passed a rule this week (Jan 3, 2017) that essentially designates federal land worthless and thus removing the financial cost of giving it away to corporations, cronies and elites for their own use. This is the first step in giving away our national heritage for the benefit of a few.
Of course, they will say that Americans in the West are demanding greater local control of their public lands. They want the land given to the states. Well, what happens is, the states find they can’t afford to maintain the lands and the feds did and also see the lands as a ATM machine. So they start selling off state lands to private interests as they have been doing in Idaho and Montana. So it just takes awhile for the private land grabbers to get what they want.
Whether you are Republican or Liberal, preservationist or recreationist, all Nevadans and Americans have an equal stake in preserving our Public Lands for the Public. In this era of diminishing rights and resources, we should hold this birthright as precious for the inspiration of future Americans.
Please join me in watching this situation and calling and writing Representative Amodei, Senators Cortez-Masto, and Heller, Gov Sandoval and your state Reps and let them know your feelings on the risk of losing our freedom of, well, freedom.