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Local News

NV stakeholders celebrate new BLM public lands rule

(Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

This week, the Bureau of Land Management announced an update to its Public Lands Rule to help recognize conservation as an essential component of public land management, putting it on equal footing with other land uses.

Jen Gurecki, co-founder and CEO of the Reno-based outdoor and sporting goods company Coalition Snow, said the new rule meets the needs and desires of all Nevadans. She noted public lands are used for a wide array of purposes and interests but until now, not all of them were adequately reflected.

Gurecki is hopeful it will now change.

“What I like about this rule is that it actually added so much context to the idea of conservation; that it’s not about something that keeps people out but it’s something that brings people in,” Gurecki pointed out. “That is really important, not only for the health of the economy but for the health of people.”

Outdoor recreation contributed more than $6.1 billion to Nevada’s economy in 2022, helping to support more than 53,000 jobs in the Silver State, according to federal data. Gurecki added she worried if the BLM rule was not implemented, public lands and outdoor recreation opportunities would have been compromised.

Tim Buchanan, head of the support team for the mayor and city council in Henderson and former vice president of philanthropy for the mining firm Barrick Gold, predicted as a result of the BLM rule, the agency will formalize and better define what are known as “Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.” Buchanan sees it as a tool to protect intact landscapes for the future.

“It can help put some management rules around undisturbed areas that have important natural, cultural, historic or scenic resources,” Buchanan emphasized. “The nominations for these areas can come from the BLM and their staff, but also from external parties.”

He noted most of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument used to be an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. And if it had not been classified as such, he wondered if the same result would have been achieved. He stressed having healthier landscapes will also help with the consequences of climate change.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.