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