Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004
The Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act, P.L. 108-424 (LCCRDA), was passed by Congress and signed into law in November 2004. According to the LCCRDA the purpose is: “To establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for the high quality development in Lincoln County, Nevada…”
In addition to the disposal of lands under LCLA, the LCCRDA provides for the disposal of up to 90,000 acres of public land within Lincoln County into which 85% of the revenue generated by land sales in Lincoln County is deposited into a special account in the United States Treasury. The remaining 15% is paid to the State of Nevada (5%) and Lincoln County (10%).
The LCCRDA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to expend without further appropriation the revenue in the LCCRDA Account for:
· Inventory, evaluation, protection, and management of unique archeological resources in Lincoln County.
· Reimbursement of costs incurred by the Ely Field Office and Nevada State Office BLM in preparing land sales within Lincoln County as approved in the Ely Field Office Resource Management Plan.
· Development and implementation of a Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) in Lincoln County.
· Processing and implementing the Silver State Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trail management plan.
· Costs for processing and enforcement of the designated wilderness areas.
Congress designates Wilderness Areas, which are defined by the Wilderness Act of 1964 as a place "…Where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." Designation is meant to ensure that the land is preserved and protected in its natural condition. Wilderness Areas can contain ecological, geological or other features that have a historic, scenic or scientific value.
Wilderness Areas offer visitors outstanding opportunities for solitude, as well as primitive and unconfined types of recreation. Caving, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, primitive camping, rock climbing and rocking hounding are all allowed inside Wilderness Areas. Mechanized forms of transportation, such as automobiles, ATVs, motorcycles and mountain bikes, are not allowed inside Wilderness Areas.
Transfers of Administrative Jurisdiction
The Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act (LCCRDA) directed administrative jurisdiction over 8,503 acres of land identified on the LCCRDA map be transferred from the BLM to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for inclusion in the Desert National Wildlife Range and the administrative jurisdiction over 8,382 acres of land identified on the LCCCRDA map be transferred from the FWS to the BLM.
This title amends the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998 (SNPLMA) to improve the effectiveness of the Act, while proposing new conservation-oriented expenditure categories from the Special Account.
Specifically, for SNPLMA Special Account expenditure categories, the bill provides new authority for (1) three comprehensive, ten-year hazardous fuels and fire prevention plans for the Spring Mountains, the Lake Tahoe Basin, and the eastern Sierra in Douglas and Washoe Counties, and Carson City; (2) the Bureau of Land Management to clear and protect public lands in the Las Vegas Valley that are reserved for affordable housing, alleviating problems with dumping; (3) authority for Washoe County to access parks and trails funds from the Special Account to purchase remaining Ballardini Ranch lands for use as a passive park and natural area; (4) implementation of the Clark County Multispecies Habitat Conservation Program; and (5) authority for White Pine County to nominate conservation and parks projects to be funded by SNPLMA.
For SNPLMA improvements, the bill also speeds the progress of local governments’ parks and trails projects by replacing a cumbersome reimbursement system, which constrains the financial ability of local governments to finance projects, with a requirement that local governments be paid up front.
Amendments to the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998
The Act directed BLM to convey to Lincoln County, subject to valid existing rights, for no consideration, all right title, and interest of the United States in and to the parcels of land up to 15,000 acres for open space as identified by the County in consultation with BLM.
In addition, the Act directed BLM to convey to the State of Nevada, subject to valid existing rights, for no consideration, all rights, title, and interest of the United States in and to the parcels of land identified as ‘NV St. Park Expansion Proposal.’ Any costs relating to conveyance of these lands, including costs of surveys and other administrative costs, shall be paid by the County and State respectively. BLM is also directed to convey to the State of Nevada, subject to valid existing rights, for no consideration, all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to the parcels of land described if there is a written agreement between the State and Lincoln County, Nevada, supporting such a conveyance. Any costs relating to the said conveyance shall be paid by the State.