State Board Acts to Support Lyon County Land Bill

lyon county

The State Land Use Advisory Board has approved a resolution expressing its support of the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act.

The resolution, approved at last month’s meeting, had been requested by Lyon County Commissioner Virgil Arellano, who is Lyon County’s appointed representative to the SLUPAC, serving as its current chairman. It passed at the May 23 meeting.

The resolution is in support of the act, currently Title II of H.R. 433 and as Senate Bill 159, as it is making its way through the 113th Congress.

The Lyon County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution on Aug. 18, 2011, expressing its support of this congressional action, while the Yerington City Council supported a similar resolution on Aug. 22, 2011.

The bill would allow for purchase of more than 10,000 acres of BLM-administered lands near the Nevada Copper Pumpkin Hollow Mine at fair market value, paid by Nevada Copper, to be conveyed to the city of Yerington for economic development and recreation purposes — land to be annexed into the city — and designation of 48,000 acres in southern Lyon County as the Wovoka Wilderness area.

The bill has had a lengthy journey through Congress. It began as the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act in the 112th Congress, introduced in the House of Representatives as HR 4039 on Feb. 15, 2012, and as SB 2228, introduced in the Senate on March 23, 2012, over a year after the city of Yerington and Nevada Copper began working towards its introduction. It was later introduced as SB 3701 under the revised title, “Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act” on Dec. 20, 2012.

It was reintroduced in the 113th Congress as S. 159 on Jan. 28, 2013, and as HR 696 on Feb. 18, 2013. The Senate bill (S. 159) was then considered and reported favorably by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on June 18, 2013, without one vote of dissent. It was then listed on the Senate Calendar/General Orders on April 28 this year, which lists it as ready for consideration and vote on the floor of the full Senate.

HR 696 was included in a combined bill as Title II, combined with six other bills, becoming known as HR 433, the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act. It passed the House Natural Resources Committee by 29-14 vote on Jan. 28.

The bill would allow the city of Yerington to annex the lands and obtain a share of property and net proceeds of mines taxes. The resolution also notes 63 percent of the total acquired federal lands would be dedicated for uses other than mining, including infrastructure, commercial and industrial development, recreation, an events-concert venue and open space. It also notes the transfer of lands would not affect any sensitive natural resources.

The resolution also includes history about the conservation component that includes the proposed wilderness lands in the South Pine Grove Hills-Bald Mountain-East Walker River area. It also notes this area includes the Desert Creek-Fales Population Management Unit of the Bi-State Sage Grouse Distinct Population Segment, which is proposed for listing as a threatened or endangered species.


The land act is awaiting consideration and a vote o the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Article Source:  RGJ



Nevada Still One of Worst in Nation for Home Foreclosures!

forclosure in Nevada

Nevada Bills in Congress Would Help.

Article Source: RGJ – Reno Gazette Journal via Associated Press

Nevada foreclosure rate at No. 8 in U.S.

 — Nevada’s foreclosure rate was eighth in the nation in April after falling behind Florida, Maryland and five other states in the rankings.

RealtyTrac statistics released Thursday show 1,522 foreclosure-related filings in April, or one for every 770 homes in Nevada.

The rate is down 9 percent from March, and down 53 percent from the same time a year ago.

Nationwide, the foreclosure rate fell 1 percent from March and 20 percent from a year ago.

Also Thursday, average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages were reported down for a third straight week. The low rates could give a boost to the spring homebuying season, which has gotten off to a slow start.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said that the average rate for a 30-year loan eased to 4.20 percent from 4.21 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.29 percent from 3.32 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen nearly a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Warmer weather has yet to boost homebuying as it normally does. Rising prices and higher rates have made affordability a problem for would-be buyers. And many homeowners are reluctant to list their properties for sale.

Home sales and construction have faltered since last fall, slowing the economy. A harsh winter, higher buying costs and a limited supply of available homes have discouraged many potential buyers. Existing-home sales in March reached their lowest level in 20 months.

“Yerington land-transfer remains locked away in a dungeon somewhere in the bowels of Congress”

In rural Nevada, the recently-passed Assembly Speaker Emeritus Joe Dini will be remembered as “Good King Joe.” . . . Dini’s son, George, is the mayor of Yerington. He has beseeched the House of Reid and Congress for a BLM land transfer to help his town climb out of the recession. So far, however, the Yerington land-transfer remains locked away in a dungeon somewhere in the bowels Congress. Ray Hagar, Reno Gazette Journal, April 23, 2014.

Wow, did Ray hit the nail on the head! Send a message to Congress to pass the bill! – Like this page and like this post.

If you want Congress to pass the bill, Retweet to House Leadership!


Board supports quick passage of county bill

Lyon County Logo

As requested by Lyon County Commissioner Virgil Arellano, the Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution “regarding Congressional action dealing with the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act S. 159 and H.R. 696” and seeking expeditious passage of the bill.

It concludes by saying the county supports the state’s Congressional delegation “to expedite passage of this bill … without any further delay for the immediate sustainability and future of Yerington, Lyon County and our communities. The board further implores leadership in the Senate and House of Representatives and other congressmen “to acknowledge critical needs and desires of Yerington and Lyon County, and without any further delay, pass” the federal legislation.

The resolution states the Lyon County Commission approved a resolution in support of the legislation that seeks approval for the purchase at fair market value of more than 10,000 acres from the BLM more than two years ago by the city of Yerington, with Nevada Copper funding the acquisition and receiving some of the property.

Meanwhile, it continues, unemployment in Lyon County remains the highest in the state and unemployment has averaged 15 percent the past three years, the real number of people employed in the county has declined by 1,500 people over the past two years, and resulting loss of tax revenue to the county and its cities, with Lyon County terminating 120 employees since 2008.

It goes on to cite the resulting struggles for small business owners in Lyon County, a rise in violent crime and theft and loss of revenues affecting funding for law enforcement, and notes the bill’s immediate passage would “create substantial economic activity within the City of Yerington and Lyon County.”

The resolution also says “an overwhelming majority of Lyon County residents support the passage of the Yerington/Lyon County bill,” the Nevada Congressional delegation supports it, the 2013 Nevada Legislature supported it, as does Gov. Brian Sandoval.

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Losing Workers. Losing Jobs. We need help. Congress, PASS THE BILL.


Unemployment numbers have been released for January 2014 and show that we’re losing workers, losing jobs and the only reason the unemployment rate has declined is that we have lost people in Lyon County.  If Congress is serious about job creation, they would pass the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act.  Congress, PASS THE BILL.

People of Nevada, pass this on to a friend.

Let Congress know we want them to act!

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American People Know What They Want Their Representative in Congress to Do


*Reno Gazette Journal (USA Today) March 24, 2014

A bipartisan Policy Center poll taken this month shows no change in the overwhelming consensus that U.S. politics have become more divided in recent years.

This poll says there remains an overwhelming consensus that U.S. politics have become more divided in recent years.  One comment summed up the state of affairs in Congress:

“It’s the same old, same old,” said one person. “Nothing changes with these people. They get in there and all of a sudden, it’s about them and not about us.”’

The poll also reported:

“Americans have some clear ideas about what they want their representative in Congress to do:

  • Vote based on what their constituents want (80%), rather than on what their own conscience and experience would dictate (17%).
  • Work across party lines and be willing to compromise to devise solutions to the nation’s problems (66%), rather than stick up for principles even if it means legislation to address serious problems doesn’t pass (30%).”

We agree.  The Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act is clearly stalled by philosophical battles that need to stop.

We also need to start filling the ranks of “we”.

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Why America Can’t Have Nice Things: Congress and a Stalled Nevada Mine

*The following post was written by BEN TERRIS and was originally published by The Atlantic February 2, 2013, over one year ago and may be seen here.


Everyone agrees that the copper mine, which would create 1,300 jobs in a highly unemployed county, is a good idea — and yet the Senate won’t pass a bill allowing it to go forward.

Downtown Yerington, Nevada (Ken Lund/Flickr)

In Greek mythology, the gods tortured Tantalus by making him stand, thirsty, in a pool of water that was always barely out of reach.

The residents of Lyon County, Nevada, can relate. Only for them, the water is valuable copper deposits buried beneath their feet. And the gods are the members of Congress who are keeping it unavailable.

At about 14 percent, the county has the highest unemployment rate in Nevada (which, as a state, has the highest unemployment rate in the country). And the federal government is partially to blame. A copper-mining company has designs on opening a new mine in the town of Yerington that would create about 800 mining jobs, 500 construction jobs, and plenty of ancillary employment opportunities. That’s a lot of jobs in a town of 3,000. The only problem: The federal government owns the land surrounding the mine.

“This one project can probably take several points off the unemployment rate in this county,” George Dini, the mayor of Yerington, said in a telephone interview. “The community is on life support, and it gets worse every week.”

Dini has been watching with bated breath for the past 14 months as a bill that would allow the city of Yerington to buy 10,000 acres of federal land around the Pumpkin Hollow mine site for commercial, industrial, and recreational use has stalled in the Senate.

“People who are thinking about moving on ask me daily how the legislation is going,” he said. “At this point, I’m saying they should look elsewhere. We’ve been working on this bill for 14 months. I can’t keep looking them in the face and tell them it’s just going to be a few more months.”

In Nevada, this isn’t an altogether uncommon problem. In fact, the federal government owns about 86 percent of the state’s land. If Republicans are looking for tangible proof that the federal government’s involvement is hurting economic development (a common rallying cry), Yerington is a good example.

“It’s hard for the state’s economy to grow if you can’t have a larger footprint,” said Rep. Mark Amodei, the Republican who first introduced the bill early last year.

What is perhaps most frustrating to residents of Yerington is that there seem to be no objections to the bill, at least not from the Nevada delegation. The bill passed out of the House with no problem, and after the inclusion of a provision that would designate other Nevada land as protected wilderness, Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave it his support in December.

Reid and his Republican counterpart, Senator Dean Heller, reintroduced the bill this year, but there is still no timeline on when it will see any action.

“We have political disagreements all the time around here, but this is not that,” Amodei said. “Here we have a land transfer for full value with no cost to the taxpayers or the government. Who is opposed to that? You know what, nobody.”

Amodei noted that the mine did not violate any National Environmental Policy Act concerns, which has been a problem for Yerington in the past.

Even though it’s not really a partisan issue, the struggles of this bill manage to elucidate the difficulties of turning a bill into a law. The bill may have had no objections, but unfortunately it never got the opportunity to be judged on its own merits. Instead, it was wrapped up with 15 other land bills in an omnibus package that was destined to die in the Senate. That larger bill included, among other things, a provision to let Border Patrol agents bypass environmental laws where they found them inconvenient, creating what Democrats called a “drone zone” through several national parks.

Things were made even harder by the fact that Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla.,was so strongly against land bills in general that he took to placing holds on them so they couldn’t be brought up for a vote.

In December, it finally seemed like the bill was making forward progress. Dini, the mayor, says Reid told him that it would happen before the end of the year. But with the fiscal cliff taking all the oxygen out of Congress, even the majority leader couldn’t make it happen for his constituents.

“I’m still new here, and even though everyone warned me about things moving slowly in the Senate, this does surprise me,” Heller said in an interview in his office. “And for my constituents, they have a good argument when they say it’s one step too many. If the federal government wasn’t involved in this process, it would have been accomplished six months ago.”

If it seems confusing to Heller, Dini says that to him and the people of Yerington, it’s “mind-boggling.”

“I don’t know if broken is the right word,” he said about Congress. “I think they’ve altered the intent of what Congress should be doing. They should be acting a lot quicker on things that are favorable to their constituents.”

The Nevada delegation agrees, and believes that something will be done quickly. But that term is relative. What’s quick for the Senate can feel like Tantalus’s eternity to an out-of-work miner.