Reid, Heller re-introduce Yerington bill; Horsford tells Yerington gathering about plan to fast-track it through Congress
Jan 28, 2013 | Written by Ray Hagar – Inside Nevada Politics/Reno Gazette Journal
The Yerington land transfer bill, considered vital in the rebirth of copper mining in economically depressed Lyon County, was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate Monday by Nevada’s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dean Heller.
No land bills passed the U.S. Senate in 2012. Yet if the bill passes the Senate, Yerington’s new U.S. District 4 Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, has a plan to get it through the House.
Horsford, who toured the rural parts of his district last weekend, said he and Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, hope to fast-track it out of Congress and onto the desk of President Obama.
Because the bill has already passed the House, Horsford said he and Amodei “will try to get it considered as old business.”
If they are successful, the proposal can pass with just a vote and does not have to undergo another hearing in the House.
“Both of us are on the Natural Resources Committee, so we are going to work with the chairman of that committee to have it considered as old business,” Horsford said.
The bill would transfer about 19 square miles of land from the BLM to Yerington. The land surrounds Nevada Copper’s Pumpkin Hollow mine site.
The Pumpkin Hollow project is estimated to create 800 mining jobs and 500 construction jobs, according to Reid’s office.
Yerington plans to use the land of the transfer for ancillary businesses that would serve the mine. Plans also include a business park and recreation areas.
Horsford took his staff from his Las Vegas and Washington D.C. offices on his weekend visit. It was the first time his entire staff has visited the rural areas of the district, Horsford said. They also traveled to Hawthorne and Tonopah.
Horsford talked about the fast-tracking idea with stakeholders in Yerington last Friday night, said Yerington Mayor George Dini.
“Horsford came out here Friday to specifically sit down with a contingent of Lyon County and city officials and local people and we had a very productive two-hour meeting,” said Yerington Mayor George Dini. “Those at the meeting were happy to hear about the strategy of Horsford and Amodei.
“They were happy to hear that it (Yerington land transfer) was going to be re-introduced and that there was a fast-track to the finish line,” Dini said.
Reid has insisted that the bill include the Wovoka Wilderness, which is located south of Yerington and covers approximately 48,000 acres The Wovoka area has invaluable prehistoric cultural and natural resources that are worthy of protection so future generations can continue enjoying them, Reid’s office said.