While he says he supports a federal land transfer for Yerington, Senator Harry Reid also wants it to include creating a new wilderness area in the region. The bill has already passed the Republican controlled House and allows the small town to buy 19 square miles of Bureau of Land Management property to be developed by Nevada Copper.
The mining operation will employ between 400 and 800 workers, each making an average yearly salary of $80,000. The surrounding land is to be used by businesses serving the mine, with plans that include a BMX track, outdoor amphitheater, a solar farm and a light-manufacturing district.
As for the proposed wilderness area, its land located between Smith Valley, Nevada and Bridgeport, California. It covers about 80,000 acres or nearly eight times the size of Yerington’s proposed land purchase.
So in exchange for cash, jobs and economic growth, a federal government that already controls 86-percent of Nevada’s land, would get even more acreage. Meanwhile Nevada continues suffering through the nation’s worst unemployment rate at 12-percent.
Yet, if Senate Republicans say no to Reid’s proposed wilderness area, the Senate Majority Leader will prevent the land transfer bill from reaching the floor. Then he’ll waste no time in accusing the GOP of being at fault for the lack of jobs creation.
But we know the truth.