What is SLUPAC?
SLUPAC is the acronym for State Land Use Planning Advisory Council – Nevada. SLUPAC is the only Governor appointed council that has representation from all seventeen counties as well as a representative from Nevada Association of Counties (NACO).
At the last SLUPAC Meeting held in Carson on May 23, 2014, Chairman and Lyon County Commissioner Virgil Arellano introduced a resolution supporting the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act.
The resolution was approved unanimously by all county representatives in attendance.
RESOLUTION – SLUPAC 2014-01
RESOLUTION OF THE NEVADA STATE LAND USE PLANNING ADVISORY COUNCIL SUPPORTING THE LYON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION ACT
WHEREAS, the Nevada State Land Use Planning Advisory Council (SLUPAC) advises the Nevada Division of State Lands regarding the development of plans and statements of policy concerning lands under federal management;
WHEREAS, Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act (“Lyon County Bill”) is currently pending action in the 113th Congress as Title II of House Bill H.R. 433 and as Senate Bill S. 159;
WHEREAS, Lyon County Bill was originally introduced as Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act into the U.S. Senate in the 112th Congress as Senate Bill S. 2228 on March 23, 2012;
WHEREAS, Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act was re-introduced into the U.S. Senate in the 112th Congress as Senate Bill S. 3701 on December 20, 2012 under the revised title, the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act;
WHEREAS, Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act (“Lyon County Bill”) was introduced into the U.S. Senate in the 113th Congress as Senate Bill S. 159 on January 28, 2013;
WHEREAS, S. 159 was considered and reported favorably by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on June 18, 2013 without one vote of dissent;
WHEREAS, S. 159 was listed on Senate General Orders on April 28, 2014 for consideration and vote on the floor of the full Senate;
WHEREAS, the Lyon County Bill was originally introduced in the 112th Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 4039, the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act on February 15, 2012;
WHEREAS, the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act was re-introduced into the 113th Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 18, 2013 as House bill H.R. 696 (“Lyon County Bill”);
WHEREAS, H.R. 696 was included in a combined bill as Title II the “Northern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act (H.R. 433, the “Northern Nevada Bill”) by the House Natural Resources Committee on January 28, 2014;
WHEREAS, H.R. 433 was sponsored by Congressman Mark Amodei and co-sponsored by Congressman Steven Horsford and Congressman Joe Heck, all representing the great State of Nevada;
WHEREAS, all of the titles of H.R. 433 are supported by the respective communities of Elko, Carlin, Winnemucca, Fallon, Fernley, Storey County, Lyon County and Yerington;
WHEREAS, all of the titles of H.R. 433 provide much needed benefits to the respective northern Nevada communities to provide lands for community and economic development; accomplish common sense solutions to longstanding debates and controversy designation of certain public lands for wilderness protection; that, in combination, provide balanced approach to economic development and land conservation objectives;
WHEREAS, Lyon County Bill (Title II of H.R. 433 and S. 159) will allow the City of Yerington, in collaboration with Nevada Copper, to acquire, at fair market value, approximately 10,400 acres of BLM administered federal lands located in Mason Valley near Yerington;
WHEREAS, the said lands would be purchased at fair market value based upon an appraisal performed in accordance with Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions;
WHEREAS, the acquisition has been proposed in full consultation with and support from Lyon County; and, on August 18, 2011 the Lyon County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed Resolution 11-008, a “Resolution in Support of Congressional Action” on the transfer of BLM-administered lands to the City of Yerington;
WHEREAS, the City of Yerington Council unanimously passed Resolution 2011-03 on August 22, 2011 to support the acquisition of BLM-administered lands by the City of Yerington to support development of the Pumpkin Hollow Mine and other sustainable economic development;
WHEREAS, as a result of the land transfer, Yerington would be able to annex those lands into the City and receive a share of property and net proceeds of mines taxes that it would not otherwise get without the land transfer.
WHEREAS, passage of the Lyon County Bill is needed to assure that the City of Yerington would economically benefit, along with the State of Nevada, Lyon County and other local entities, through the collection of taxes
WHEREAS, Nevada Copper will pay for 100% of the cost for acquisition of the lands;
WHEREAS, a large portion of the acquired federal lands (~2,000 acres or 20%) would be available for general infrastructure and additional sustainable economic development during and after mining.
WHEREAS, up to 63% 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;
WHEREAS, Nevada Copper plans to invest in infrastructure for the mine that can be utilized to support other land uses and economic development;
WHEREAS, the transfer of lands would not affect any sensitive natural resources. Completed and ongoing studies show that there are no sensitive natural or cultural resources that would be affected. 100% of the lands are very low habitat value, low grazing value, low productivity salt desert scrub that occupies hundreds of thousands of acres in Lyon and Mineral counties;
WHEREAS, there are no sage grouse or nesting golden eagles on or near the land transfer area;
WHEREAS, construction of the mine will employ more than 500 people prior to operations separate from the permanent workforce;
WHEREAS, the capital cost to construct and develop the mine will be approximately $1 billion for labor, equipment and supplies;
WHEREAS, when the mine reaches full operations, it will employ approximately 1,000 workers at an average annual wage of $85,000 for a period of at least 18 years.
WHEREAS, based upon the most current job multiplier of 3.25, published by the Nevada Mining Association, direct and indirect employment created by the mines will be approximately 2,500 jobs;
WHEREAS, the mine project will contribute an estimated $15-25 million in property and net proceeds taxes per year that would be distributed to the City of Yerington, Lyon County, Lyon County Schools, South Lyon Hospital District, Mason Valley Fire Protection District and the State of Nevada;
WHEREAS, Lyon County is the third most economically stressed county in the U.S.;
WHEREAS, Lyon County has Nevada’s highest unemployment rate in Nevada – averaging 13-18% over the past two years;
WHEREAS, every government entity in the community – Lyon County, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Yerington, Lyon County School District, South Lyon Medical Center, Mason Valley Fire Protection District – have experienced drastic declines in tax revenues and have been cutting budgets and laying off staff for five (5) years now;
WHEREAS, due to long term chronic unemployment and dismal economic conditions, Lyon County Schools are now saying that what was once situational poverty is now becoming generational poverty – young people are now growing up with no experience other than poverty, a situation that has clear social consequences;
WHEREAS, an area in the South Pine Grove Hills-Bald Mountain-East Walker River area (South Pine Grove Hills), often referred to as “Wovoka”, was included in federal legislation as a companion to the Lyon County bill to provide a conservation component;
WHEREAS, local stakeholders participated in and led an independent, systematic evaluation of the South Pine Grove Hills, to compile information on natural resource values, land uses, and stakeholder interests and concerns provided background information to help inform and update a public review process;
WHEREAS, that evaluation has been documented in a report provided to Lyon County, the City of Yerington, the Nevada Congressional delegation and the public, titled “An Analysis of Natural Resource Values, Land Uses and Stakeholder Concerns of the Bald Mountain-Pine Grove Hills-East Walker River Area” dated October 31, 2012;
WHEREAS, both the City and County supported this process so that any decisions would be well informed and based on sound information and data;
WHEREAS, Lyon County, the City of Yerington and the Congressional delegation actively participated in that evaluation;
WHEREAS, over 35 stakeholders, including Congressional, Nevada and local officials, ranchers with grazing allotments, individuals and non-profit organizations, were consulted in that evaluation process;
WHEREAS, that analysis highlighted multiple land uses and needs in that area, including grazing, recreation, including hunting, fishing and trapping, mining claims, scenic mountain areas, old growth pinyon pine, Jeffrey pine, Native American artifacts, diverse wildlife habitat, and other uses;
WHEREAS, the majority of areas within the Bald Mountain-Pine Grove Hills-East Walker River area have exceptional natural resource values that have been maintained under past and current grazing, mineral prospecting and other public uses;
WHEREAS, the entire Bald Mountain-Pine Grove Hills-East Walker River is within the Nevada portion of the Desert Creek-Fales Population Management Unit of the Bi-State Sage Grouse Distinct Population Segment as described in the Bi-State Action Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse, Bi-State Distinct Population Segment;
WHEREAS, the Bi-State Action Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse identifies pinyon-juniper encroachment and wildfire as major threats to the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of the Greater Sage-Grouse;
WHEREAS, the Bi-State Action Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse states that existing Fire Management Plans (FMPs) incorporate fire and fuels management conservation measures be implemented to minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire and the associated loss of sage-grouse habitat in the Bi-State area;
WHEREAS, the listing of the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of the Greater Sage Grouse as a threatened or endangered species would have devastating consequences to ranching, grazing, public access and all other land uses within the Bi-State area, that includes nearly all of southern Lyon County;
WHEREAS, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is scheduled to issue a final rule regarding listing of the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of the Greater Sage-Grouse no later than April 28, 2015;
WHEREAS, the majority of lands are federal lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, pursuant to a Land and Resource Management Plan as may be amended in the future in conformance with the Lyon County Public Land Policy;
WHEREAS, much of the area in the Bald Mountain-Pine Grove Hills-East Walker River area is currently designated as roadless area in the Bridgeport Ranger District Resource Management Plan that provides limited motorized traffic on specific existing roads;
NOW, THEREFORE, based on the foregoing, and in accordance with the best interests of the citizens of Nevada, the Nevada State Land Use Planning Advisory Council (SLUPAC) does:
HEREBY RESOLVE that SLUPAC supports the passage of H.R. 696 or H.R. 433 and S. 159;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SLUPAC supports fair market value sale of BLM-administered federal lands located in Mason Valley near Yerington, as more particularly described in the Lyon County bill to Nevada Copper and the City of Yerington;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SLUPAC acknowledges that the transfer of lands to the City is consistent with Nevada state policy to transfer federal lands to local communities to support economic development;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SLUPAC acknowledges that the transfer of lands to the City will expedite development of the Pumpkin Hollow Mine, critical to the economic recovery of Lyon County, and provides additional lands and infrastructure for long term sustainable economic development;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SLUPAC supports the designation of certain lands in H.R. 696 and H.R. 433 for wilderness designation based upon a thorough evaluation process that included input and direct participation by local officials and stakeholders, and protects continued appropriate uses and management of federal lands inside of and adjacent to those designated areas; for continued grazing, recreational use and management to reduce wildfires;
Resolved this 23rd day of May, 2014, by the Nevada State Land Use Planning Advisory Council (SLUPAC).
ADOPTED, SIGNED AND APPROVED this 23rd day of May, 2014.
Nevada State Land Use Planning Advisory Council (SLUPAC)
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