There is evidently some lingering confusion regarding the Clark County, Nev., public-lands bill which was signed into law at the end of the last Congress. Given the huge, explosive population growth in Las Vegas and Henderson, and the development which is a consequence of this growth, the non-wilderness provisions of the bill - including land acquisitions by both local governments and private interests - would have gone forward without congressional opposition, whether or not wilderness was included. However, given the immediacy of the bill, it was viewed as a likely vehicle to be used to get some threatened wilderness designated in Clark County, and to protect some of the wonderful scenic, cultural and natural resources of this area before rampant growth led to devastation of these wild lands.
Consequently, after months of careful negotiation and consultation with all stakeholder groups, both Sen. Reid and Sen. Ensign agreed on designation of 452,000 acres of wilderness and the establishment of the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area.
Shaaron Netherton, executive director
Friends of Nevada Wilderness
Roger Scholl, Wilderness Committee chair
Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club