Yerington Public Lands Bill To Get DC Hearing Next Week

CARSON CITY – Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., is praising the decision by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands to hold a legislative hearing for H.R. 4039, the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act, on Tuesday.

The hearing is an important first step before the bill can be marked up by the committee and brought to the House floor for consideration.

“For more than four years, the city of Yerington and Lyon County have worked on this sustainable development plan to enable all community stakeholders to benefit from an increase in adjacent private lands,” Amodei said in a prepared statement. “The conveyance of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land would enable the city and county to grow while providing needed tax revenue and the potential for hundreds of long-term, high-paying jobs.”

The bill would convey approximately 10,000 acres of BLM land to the local governments for industrial, recreational and cultural development. The transfer would allow the governments to leverage the substantial infrastructure investments being made by Nevada Copper at its nearby Pumpkin Hollow project.

It is being sponsored by Amodei, along with Nevada Reps. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The Pumpkin Hollow project is a new copper mine being developed by Nevada Copper. A ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the mine was held in February.

“Nevada’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation and Lyon County’s is the highest in Nevada,” Amodei said. “According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, in February roughly 6,500 Nevadans gave up looking for a job and left the labor force all together. If we’re serious about the economy, then this community-driven plan, with no cost to taxpayers, is exactly the sort of thing the federal government needs to fast-track.”

Amodei, elected to the 2nd Congressional District seat in a special election in September, is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Nevada Copper invested nearly $50 million in exploration to justify the $1 billion investment necessary to fully develop the mine. The mine will produce 250 to 300 million pounds of copper per year. The initial shaft sinking is already producing economic benefits with the creation of 30 to 40 jobs. An additional 250 to 500 construction jobs could start in 2013 if the land transfer is successful. At full operation in 2015-2016, Pumpkin Hollow is projected to employ 750 to 800 people directly.