Clark County commissioners are scheduled to consider a resolution Tuesday asking Congress to designate three locations as off-highway vehicle recreation areas as part of the Clark County land bill, and a local environmental group is not amused.
“They have sprung this on the public with no warning, no consultation, and no previous discussion or public meetings. This is a terrible way to make policy,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
At least one of the proposed designations includes “many thousands of acres of the highest priority desert tortoise habitat,” Donnelly said.
The three areas, described in the county’s proposed resolution as the Laughlin, Nelson Hills and Sandy Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas, are all on Bureau of Land Management Land, and cover a combined 110,000 acres.
The resolution “recognizes the value of protecting and enhancing OHV recreational opportunities,” and declares that “land available for OHV use has been reduced by wilderness designations, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land disposal, and large-scale solar development.”
The Center for Biological Diversity has earlier blasted the federal lands bill that the county has asked Congress to pass as a “wish list for privatizers” made up of “sell-offs to developers, giveaways to utility companies, and a huge exemption to the Endangered Species Act.”
“The County needs to go back to the drawing board and start with a fresh resolution for a lands bill,” Donnelly said Wednesday. “We have three new commissioners and a new political reality, we should have a new resolution, not a piecemeal doling out of gifts to aggrieved constituencies.”
County Department of Air Quality Director Marci Hensen has recommended commissioners approve the resolution, according to the commission’s Feb. 19 meeting agenda. The commission will also hear a report from the Clark County Off-Highway Vehicle Committee.