FEDERAL FEUD: County votes to inform BLM ‘no’

Nye County Commissioners have been divided in 3-two passage of a non-binding resolution in objection to any further implementation of the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Management Strategy.

Commissioners Donna Cox, Frank Carbone and Butch Borasky supported the measure telling the BLM “no,” even though Chairperson Lorinda Wichman and Dan Schinhofen voted against the non-binding resolution.

Cox introduced the proposal for a vote Tuesday after months of delay to fine-tune the measure’s language. The plan offers guidance for use of BLM-administered public lands.

Cox still did not get the language appropriate, according to Wichman, who mentioned that the resolution, as presented, could potentially hurt the efforts of the Nevada Association of Counties Land Management Task Force Committee that has prepared a recommendation to be presented to the state Legislative committee on the congressional transfer of public lands in February. Wichman mentioned there will be a bill on the problem sponsored by state Sen. Pete Goicoechea, who represents Nye County.

Objectionable have been use of the words “repugnant” and “deserves the condemnation” as nicely as other attainable inflammatory language, which board members argued could be interpreted in a assortment of ways. Schinhofen queried the board, “How would this function to additional our objectives at the state level?”

Schinhofen then told the board that he had received an e-mail from Ammon Bundy who had reviewed the resolution and urged the Nye County Commission not to pass it as drafted.

The Bundy loved ones, of Bunkerville in Clark County, have long opposed federal authority and have fueled an anti-BLM movement which resulted in an armed standoff with federal authorities in April 2014.

Even though the Bundy clan are not residents of Nye County they served in an advisory capacity to Cox in the drafting of the resolution.

District Attorney Angela Bello advised commissioners that passage of the resolution would not justify legal action by the BLM against Nye County, although it is particular that the BLM will disagree with some of the conclusions in the resolution.

Wichman said that Nevada’s 17-counties are seeking the very same relief that Nye County is ultimately looking for by means of the resolution which is much more time to to evaluate the impacts of the Resource Management Strategy on public lands.

“What we all agree on is we want them to give us more time. We don’t have to have a resolution to do that, we can make a phone get in touch with,” Wichman stated.

The public comment period for possible alterations to the 1998 RMP which outlines permitted use of public lands was extended from Jan. 7 to Feb. 6, soon after requests from numerous stakeholders, according to BLM personnel. Four options are suggested in the Environmental Impact Statement with a purpose of resolving conflicts amongst permitted utilizes. BLM’s preferred option is “Alternative 3” which would give possibilities to use and develop resources inside the preparing location while guaranteeing resource protection.

Carbone told the board that the BLM was contacted on Friday and asked for added time to overview the plan and to submit public comments. The request, he mentioned, was met with a resounding no.

Cox objected to making any request of the BLM saying, “I do not consider we need to ask them, I believe we need to inform them. Why are we asking them when it is our land in our county?”

Following a break, Wichman re-opened the topic for extra discussion and an amended resolution was proposed. The resolution asserts that Nye County has largely been ignored in the creation of the RMP whilst BLM continues to violate existing Nye County Code. Nye County also asserts that all proposed alternatives threaten environmental damage to the county although negatively impacting its economy.

The county, in a second split vote of three-2, passed a resolution which resists additional implementation of any Resource Management Program with no an adequate extension of time to evaluation all impacts to Nye County. The resolution also states that Nye County will continue to assistance any action to to “legally relieve the federal government of ownership, control and jurisdiction over public lands.”

Wichman and Schinhofen opposed the measure a second time, with Carbone, Cox and Borasky voting in favor of the non-binding position statement.

Commissioners are hopeful that with other municipalities poised to pass comparable resolutions that BLM will have no selection but enable an adequate extension of time for a comprehensive evaluation.

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