Congressman Steven Horsford and Yerington Mayor George Dini visit Pumpkin Hollow

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Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford and Yerington Mayor,  George Dini visit Nevada Copper, the Pumpkin Hollow Project in Yerington, Nevada on September 28, 2014.  The topic of their visit  – The Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act (H.R. 5205). 

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Discussion was on the public lands bill the House of Representatives passed earlier this month, which would create over 1,000 jobs and more indirect jobs.  Congressman Horsford thanked the work of Mayor George Dini, which they speak on a regular basis about the bill.

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This is a bill that has unanimous support from the local community. It has unanimous support from the federal delegation of the state of Nevada. It passed without objection out of the House Natural Resources committee and passed in the House on September 15, 2014 and now goes to the Senate.

Lyon County has the highest unemployment in the State, averaging 12% over the past year. Congressman Steven Horsford says there is bipartisan agreement to make this bill a top priority.

Pass Bills. Create Jobs. Support Nevada.

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20,000 Supporters and Followers – We Appreciate You

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Wow!  Today, we reached 20,000 likes from our supporters and followers!  It has been great watching our support grow. Thank you for sharing, liking & tweeting and thank you for your input.  

We now have about six weeks before Congress – the U. S. Senate – returns. We not only need to keep the pressure on, but to expand our base of support so this bill gets passed.  There are 1.2 million people in the two Congressional districts that will benefit from this legislation.

We appreciate you!  Keep on sharing, liking, tweeting so we make sure this gets done.  Let’s get these bills passed!!

Pass Bills. Create Jobs. Support Nevada.

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Do what’s Right for Nevada – Richard Bryan

Former Senator and Governor Richard Bryan

Nevada’s Leaders have been trying to pass the lands bill for so long. We are frustrated and hungry for jobs. Had the bill passed two years ago, we would be building an open pit project at Pumpkin Hollow Copper in Yerington, Nevada.

Our message to Congress is strong and Clear:

Congress, pass the bill. Let’s get this done this year. There is no reason not too. The Nevada Congressional delegation has supported this legislation from the beginning. The proposed act has been poked, prodded, amended, and repackaged.  Isn’t it time for others in Congress to let Nevadans have control of their futures?

We elected not to write a new editorial today so that we could resurrect a great article that was written by Richard Bryan, former Senator and Governor 2 years ago.

The article below is from the Reno Gazette Journal on September 30, 2012.  Had the bill been passed then, Nevada Copper would be commissioning 500 construction workers to help build an open pit in Yerington, Nevada.

Click the link directly below to view/download the editorial by former Senator and Governor Richard Bryan, September 30, 2012:

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We look forward to celebrating passage of the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act.

“Like” our Facebook Page – Share it with your friends and family. This is power in numbers. 

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We have about 20,000 Likes on Facebook… Our goal is 40,000

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Join our Campaign. For the good of Nevada!

Pass Bills. Create Jobs.

Rep. Horsford: Northern Nevada Land Bills a model to transfer more federal land

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YERINGTON, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – The bundled seven Northern Nevada land bills is the largest package to pass congress in four years, according to Representative Steven Horsford, (D) District 4.

“These bills help transfer land that’s currently managed by the federal government to our local communities,” says Horsford.

The largest provision will allow the city of Yerington to buy about 10,000 acres from the federal government at fair market value for economic development. That includes copper mining by Nevada Copper.

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Article Source: KRNV News 4

View the original post: Rep. Horsford: Northern Nevada Land Bills a model to transfer more federal land

Congress Has Left the Building!

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Just in the nick of time. The Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act (H.R. 5205) passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on Monday September 15, 2014.

Three days later, on Friday September 19, 2014, both the Senate and House recessed.  Ostensibly they will return on November 12, after the election.  From then until late December, there will be a mad scramble to pass bills, especially very critical bills, to continue funding the government and authorize expenditures for critical government functions.  Therefore “normal” bills (like ours) must fight to be included during that time.

How Much Time Will We Have?

The U.S Senate will have 12 – 14 days left of their session after taking into account the Thanksgiving holiday, the Christmas holiday and their disdain for working on Fridays.

We have until December 18th to get the bill passed.

Besides Lack of Time, What Are the Challenges?

The dynamics of Congress also change when they return.  The Congress is in what is called a “lame duck” session, because a number of members will either be retiring or have lost their re-election bids.

For example, two years ago, in the lame duck of the 112th Congress, the Yerington Economic Development and Conservation Act was amended in the Senate bill to include a wilderness provision and the bill was renamed the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act.

The combination of the late changes to the bill meant that it had to go back to the House for approval. The budget stalemate and Hurricane Sandy overshadowed the bill thus delaying the proposal to convey federal lands to the City of Yerington.

What Makes Our Bill Favorable and What Makes Us Think It Will Pass?

  1. The Lyon County bill has now been combined with six (6) other bills (the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act) as Title II of that bill.
  1. The Northern Nevada bill, including the wilderness, has now been reported favorably (recommended for passage) by both Senate and House committees. The language in both House and Senate are the same.  There is no need to reconcile the differences.
  1. The Northern Nevada bill was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives, after being picked, poked, prodded and amended to make everyone happy. It has been changed enough!
  1. This bill provides much needed benefits to the respective Northern Nevada communities – Humboldt County, Elko, Carlin, Winnemucca, Fallon, Fernley, Storey County, Lyon County and Yerington. It provides lands for community and economic development; accomplishes common sense solutions to longstanding debates and controversy related to designation of certain public lands for wilderness protection. As so eloquently stated by Congressman Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming on January 28, 2014, in the committee mark-up: “I wish to express my enthusiastic support for this this concept . . . this bill has been drafted by Nevadans about Nevada, with an understanding of what is needed in Nevada right now . . . It is unconscionable that those of us who do not live in Nevada would sit here in judgment over the people of Nevada about how to use their own land.”
  1. The inclusion of seven actions in one bill makes us a bigger group of Nevadans that want something done. That should give us strength.
  1. The bill is co-sponsored by both Republican Congressman Mark Amodei and Democratic Congressman Stephen Horsford, both who represent portions of Lyon County and all of rural Nevada.
  1. The bill is co-sponsored and supported by both Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senator Dean Heller.
  1. All of the bills are broadly supported by the local communities in which they are located. The Lyon County bill is supported by the following government entities and organizations:
  • Wholeheartedly by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval;
  • Unanimously by the Nevada Congressional delegation;
  • Unanimously by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners
  • Unanimously by the Yerington City Council;
  • Unanimously by the Mineral County Board of Commissioners;
  • Unanimously by the Humboldt County Commission
  • Unanimously by the Nevada State Legislature;
  • Unanimously by the State Land Use Planning Advisory Committee;
  • Unanimously by the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO);
  • Unanimously by the Nevada League of Cities;
  • Wholeheartedly by the Northern Nevada Development Authority;
  • Wholeheartedly by the Reno-Sparks Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce;
  • Wholeheartedly by NVEnergy;
  • Wholeheartedly by the Friends of the Nevada Wilderness;
  • Endorsed by the Mason Valley News;
  • Endorsed by the Reno Gazette Journal.

So by our take, this is an impressive, broad based group of supporters! The Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act is a bill that requires no debate.  It just needs to get to the floor and passed.

But as Yogi Berra once said, it ain’t over until it’s over.  So the thousands of stakeholders in Nevada and indeed the country that will benefit from the passage of this bill must continue to urge, prod, and tell Congress – the Senate – TO PASS THE BILL!

After all a half job, half a bill, does us no good.

Proclamation:

We the community leaders and stakeholders with real skin in this game believe that the best way to do this is to continue our social media campaign:

Action – Send a Clear Message to Congress to: “Pass the Bill!”

Our grassroots initiative has succeeded in putting social pressure on Congress. But, we need more. We need to target the U.S. Senate and make this personal! We need them to see the number of people they will have to answer too if they don’t help us pass the bill.

“Like” our Facebook Page – Share it with your friends and family. This is power in numbers. 

Facebook     https://www.facebook.com/passbillscreatejobs

We have about 20,000 Likes on Facebook… Our goal is 40,000

Sign up on the website, Facebook and Twitter

Website       http://passbillscreatejobs.com    Sign Up
Facebook     https://www.facebook.com/passbillscreatejobs   Like the page “It just takes one click!”
Twitter         https://twitter.com/PassBills_4Jobs  Tweet your support

Join our Campaign. For the good of Nevada!

Pass Bills. Create Jobs.

Fourth Down and Goal

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By Lyon County Commissioner Virgil Arellano

For the last five years Lyon County has been on the scrimmage line, battling in the trenches to get a jobs bill passed in Washington D.C.  In January of 2011 the unemployment rate in Lyon County Nevada was 19.8%.

Local leadership, along with stakeholders, huddled up with Nevada Copper to devise a winning economic game plan for the City of Yerington, our county and region of western Nevada. We knew it was going to be a hard fought battle but we suited up, put the pads on and hit the field. Our running back, Congressman Mark Amodei, and in a style reminiscent of Larry Csonka, took  us from our own one yard line with some hard, smash-mouth running.   We signed a wide receiver, Congressman Stephen Horsford, who with a few nifty moves, caught several critical passes for first downs.

Unfortunately the game’s officials from Washington D.C. kept stopping the game for penalties and replay. The penalties were costly as we saw businesses close, work force leaving, foreclosures and uncertainty increase as to our economic future.

At halftime we looked to Amodei for leadership and to keep running the ball. But we needed a play that we could really move the ball down the field. He drew up H.R. 5205 and we hit the field for the second half. While calling his own plays and along with Horsford, they made some first downs and substantial yardage. This could work! We were excited and re-energized. Not only would this give the fans in Lyon County a reason to cheer but it would also bring in fans from throughout Northern Nevada. Late into the fourth quarter, Amodei got a key block from Horsford to make a critical first down in the House Natural Resources Committee. Momentum had shifted and the end zone was getting closer. With less than seconds to go, and 52,000 Lyon County residents screaming in the stands, Amodei called the H.R. 5205 option play and we completed the pass play to Horsford to the one yard line in the House with just seconds left in the game.

Timeout! We are tired, exhausted, we have fought this battle in the trenches for five long years. We are one yard away from victory. The H.R. 5205 pass play was successful. Our team is now looking to the coaches, Senators Heller and Reid, to call the next play. It’s up to you now!

We have set it up for a touchdown. We don’t want the field goal. We don’t want the risk of it being blocked. This has been a team effort, we have run the ball hard, overcome the delay of game penalties from the game officials. WE NEED A TOUCHDOWN. It’s that simple. We want the winning play from our Senators before the clock runs out!  THIS IS IT TEAM! ONE PLAY, ONE CHANCE, NO HOLDING!

SLUPAC LANDS BILL LETTER

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Below is the most recent SLUPAC Lands Bill Letter written to Senators and Congress thanking them for their efforts in helping the bill pass in the House. The letter respectfully requests that the U.S. Senate prioritize the Senate version of this legislation for Immediate action.  Click on the link directly below to view/download a PDF version of the letter.

Click to view/download a copy: Lands Bill Letter

 

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Press Release: U.S. House passes Northern Nevada lands package

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The House on Monday approved a package of Northern Nevada land bills that would create about 74,000 acres of federal wilderness while paving the way for development that could bring an estimated 1,000 high-paying jobs to Lyon County.

The House passed the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act sponsored by Reps. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, and Steven Horsford, D-Nev. The package of seven bills must still be approved by the Senate, where it has the support of Nevada Sens. Harry Reid, a Democrat, and Dean Heller, a Republican.

Amodei said he is grateful the House passed the package but frustrated it took so long. He is worried that the Senate will have little time to act in the few legislative days left this year.

“This is a bipartisan, consensus package, but I’m quite frankly worried about the ability to get anything through the Senate right now,” Amodei said in an interview Monday.

The bill with the biggest impact is the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act, which would allow the city of Yerington to partner with Nevada Copper to buy and develop about 10,000 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management.

The legislation would accelerate development of an open pit mine near an underground mine already under construction. The mine alone would create about 800 jobs that pay about $75,000 a year, Amodei said. The legislation also would allow development of an industrial park and recreation areas.

The bill would also designate about 48,000 acres in Lyon County as the Wovoka Wilderness Area, which would be protected from development. Local officials say that area has cultural significance to Native American tribes.

The wilderness designation was key to getting Democrats to support the Yerington bill. The legislation passed the House in the last Congress without the wilderness provision, but it died in the Senate.

“Yerington desperately needs an economic jolt, and this job-creating legislation will put Nevadans back to work,” Horsford said. “The Yerington Jobs Bill is an example of what we can get done in Washington when we put petty partisan differences aside and come together for the good of our constituents.”

Another bill in the Northern Nevada lands package would give Elko County and the Te-moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada the opportunity to buy about 275 acres of federal land to be used as a motocross, bicycle, off-highway vehicle, or stock car racing area.

The legislation also creates a 26,000-acre Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area in Humboldt County. The bill directs the BLM to exchange federal land surrounding nearby ranches for private parcels within the wilderness area.

The bills passed by the House also would:

• Transfer about 400 acres of BLM land within the Fallon Naval Air Station to the secretary of the Navy to be used to provide housing for Navy families and allow the base to grow.

• Allow the city of Fernley to buy and develop about 9,100 acres of BLM land within the city boundaries.

• Allow the city of Carlin to buy and develop about 1,400 acres of BLM land surrounding the city.

• Transfer the surface rights to about 1,750 acres of BLM land in Virginia City to Storey County to resolve conflicting ownership and title claims in old mining areas.

Contact Erin Kelly at ekelly@gannett.com

Article Source: http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2014/09/15/us-house-passes-northern-nevada-lands-package/15693231/

RGJ Editorial: Nevada land bill deserves to be approved

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If all went according to plan on Monday — no sure thing when dealing with Congress, even for a bill with the kind of widespread support that the Nevada lands bill has — the long-awaited bill needed to help Yerington economic development efforts is on its way to the U.S. Senate today.

That’s good news for Yerington, and the rest of the state that will be affected by the package of bills that was due for a vote on Monday.

Time is running out on the current Congress, however, with the members ready to pack up and head home soon for the November election. If it’s not approved by Congress before the end, the sponsors, including Reps. Mark Amodei and Steven Horsford of Nevada, will have to start over.

Approval of the bill already is long overdue, so going back to square one would be a significant setback for everyone who has worked so hard on the package of bills and created a bipartisan compromise that Nevadans of all stripes can live with for many years to come.

Amodei and Horsford deserve praise for moving the bill this far. Now it’s up to Sen. Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader, and Sen. Dean Heller, the state’s Republican junior senator to ensure that the bills are approved by the Senate before time runs out on the 2013-14 session.

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Such is life when some 85 percent of the land in the state is under the control of Congress, as it is in Nevada.

The odds are against that statistic changing any time in the foreseeable future, so Nevada needs to seek out small victories whenever it can.

The Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act is one of those opportunities.

H.R. 5205l actually consists of six land-related bills, five sponsored by Amodei, a Republican representing Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, and one sponsored by Horsford, a Democrat representing the 4th Congressional District.

For Yerington, the most important is H.R. 696, the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act, which would allow the city and Nevada Copper to purchase about 10,000 acres of BLM land surrounding the Pumpkin Hollow mine site (at fair-market value) for industrial, recreational and infrastructure projects. That project is a key to Lyon County’s economy, which was hit particularly hard by the Great Recession.

H.R. 696 also would designate 48,000 acres in Lyon County as the Wovoka Wilderness Area, a provision sought by Reid.

If approved, the omnibus bill also would designated 26,000 acres in the Blue Lakes and Alder Creek Wilderness Study Areas as the Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area. It would allow Fernley, Carlin, and Elko and Te-moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians to buy parcels of federal land for various parcels. And it would transfer 400 acres from the BLM to the Navy for the construction of military housing. (Even the government has to beg the government for land.)

The bill is the result of a lot of disagreements, negotiations and compromises. They make sense for Nevada, but they also make sense for the federal government. Before time runs out, it should be approved by the Senate and sent to the president for his signature.

SNAPSHOT

ISSUE: Nevada Lands Bill

OUR VIEW: Reps. Amodei and Horsford deserve praise for moving the bill this far. Now it’s up to Sens. Reid and Heller to ensure final approval. in the U.S. Senate.

http://www.rgj.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/09/16/editorial-nevada-land-bill-deserves-approved/15691289/

Press Release: Horsford’s Yerington Jobs Bill Passes House

StevenHorsford
Sep 15, 2014
Press Release

*Watch Floor Remarks*

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4) successfully passed his first bill, the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act, out of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill was included as part of a package of Nevada lands bills (H.R. 5205, the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act) introduced by Representative Mark Amodei (NV-2).

The Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act would enable the City of Yerington to partner with Nevada Copper to purchase, at fair market value, and develop approximately 10,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land surrounding the Pumpkin Hollow project site for industrial, recreational, and infrastructure purposes, directly creating approximately 1,300 jobs. The bill would also designate approximately 48,000 acres in Lyon County as the Wovoka Wilderness Area, and will be the largest wilderness bill to become law in more than four years.

“I am so proud we were able to get this done for Nevada,” Horsford said. “In addition to moving this important job-creating bill, I am working with my colleagues to have the Tule Springs National Monument bill considered for action next. It is another critically important lands bill that will make Southern Nevada a world-class destination for archaeological tourism and revitalize the region’s economy.”

Below is a transcript of Rep. Horsford’s remarks on the House floor outlining the bill:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let me thank Ranking Subcommittee Chairman, Mr. Grijalva, for his leadership, and the Chairman for the House Natural Resources Committee.

“It’s my honor to be here in support of this legislation today.

“With this bill, the City of Yerington, which is one key provision of this bill within this measure, will be allowed to purchase at fair market value over 10,000 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management.

“It is a very technical bill, but has tremendous impacts to the state of Nevada at large. This is a true benefit for Lyon County, and it is in no way a giveaway.  This project will generate between $15-25 million in annual revenue for Lyon County, Lyon County Schools, South Lyon Hospital District, the Mason Valley Fire Protection District and the State of Nevada.  Nevada Copper, the relevant mining company, already owns roughly 95% of the minerals to be mined, and it is contained on 1,500 acres of privately held land.

“We expect that the total economic impact of this development will create approximately 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, when you include indirect employment.  The mine itself will directly employ approximately 800-900, providing high quality wages for nearly two decades. This is in addition to the more than 500 people who will be employed during the construction phase.

“In this comprehensive development, up to 63%, of the acquired federal lands will be used for infrastructure, other economic development, and local recreation. We further anticipate that the City of Yerington will be able to draw in additional economic activity due to these infrastructure investments, which include power, roads, water, and sewer infrastructure.

“Additionally, this project is environmentally sound. In fact, the legislation includes the creation of the Wovoka Wilderness Act, which will protect old growth pinion pine, unique archeological sites, and preserve this region for future generations of Nevadans.

“This is a common sense bill that will create jobs for one of the most economically depressed counties in our country. And while it took time for this legislation to move, it reminds me that with hard work, determination, and a little bipartisanship, we can get things done.

“This is a bill that has unanimous support from the local community. It has unanimous support from the federal delegation of the state of Nevada. And it passed without objection out of the House Natural Resources committee.

“Let’s use the passage of a non-controversial bill out of the House as a lesson; that there is a place for Congress to help the American people. There is good that government can do, and something that appears to be a small achievement in the constellation of national politics will mean a lot to Lyon County, particularly the City of Yerington.

“In addition to moving this important job-creating bill, I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to move the Tule Springs National Monument bill considered for action next.

“On top of the national park designation, this bill would transfer land from the BLM to the Cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas for two 600-acre economic development zones. It would also transfer land across the street from the Southern Nevada Veterans Hospital. Mayor John Lee and I envision this space for a new medical complex that could be the anchor for a new medical school in southern Nevada.

“So let’s keep working. We have great momentum right now. Nevadans today see that we can get things done here in Washington. Washington can solve problems. And while today’s bill is just a tiny crack in the dam of congressional gridlock, if we keep moving forward where we have consensus, we can achieve great things for our constituents.

“I want to especially thank my colleague, Representative Mark Amodei, for all of his hard work on this important legislation. Our congressional districts both contain parts of Lyon County. He fought hard for this bill during previous sessions of Congress. His support has been critical to getting this entire package of bills through this House. And I want to continue working with him and our entire Nevada delegation to put our state first.

“I also want to thank the Ranking Member, Mr. DeFazio, for helping make this bill a top priority for our side of the aisle, as well as to the Subcommittee Chairman, Mr. Grijalva, for advocating for this bill to move quickly through the process.

“Last but not least, I want to thank Chairman Doc Hastings and the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Mr. Bishop, for working across the aisle and making this bill a priority. Since I have arrived in Congress, you both have been willing to work with me on important public lands issues for my home state, and I am grateful to you both for your service and for your civility in working together on the House Natural Resources Committee.

“Again, Mr. Speaker, this is an important bill that will create jobs that are desperately needed in a portion of Nevada’s fourth district, and I’d like to thank this body for their consideration and passage of this important legislation.”

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Article Source: http://horsford.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/horsfords-yerington-jobs-bill-passes-house