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Southern Nevada District Office
Release Date: 10/30/09
Contacts: Hillerie C. Patton , 702-515-5046 ,

BLM Issues Withdrawal to Protect 24 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern in Southern Nevada

Las Vegas – To protect important cultural sites and wildlife habitat, the Bureau of Land Management today withdrew 24 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) totaling nearly 945,000 acres in southern Nevada for 20 years from U.S. mining laws, subject to valid existing rights.
The ACECs were designated in 1998 in the BLM’s Las Vegas resource management plan and final environmental impact statement after a public participation process. These ACECs protect cultural resource sites, mitigate the loss of desert tortoise habitat that resulted from growth in the Las Vegas Valley, and protect habitat critical for the recovery of species such as the desert tortoise, southwestern willow flycatcher, woundfin and Virgin River chub, and others that occur in the Ash Meadows area.
The Public Land Order officially withdrawing the lands was signed on Oct. 30, 2009, and will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 1, 2009. The lands within the ACECs have been temporarily segregated since passage of the Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resource Act of 2002 and through a two-year temporary segregation published by the BLM in 2007.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Southern Nevada District Office   4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive      Las Vegas, NV 89130  

Last updated: 10-30-2009