Those campaigns increasingly favor what is best described as a "Let’s make a deal" wilderness strategy. The price of that strategy is now clear in Nevada.
The Nevada congressional delegation recently pushed through Congress legislation for Lincoln County that considerably raises the price for modest wilderness designation. The final bill designates 770,000 of 2.5 million eligible acres as official wilderness, but opens 246,000 acres in wilderness study areas to development, sells off 100,000 acres of public land, and reserves a half-mile-wide pipeline corridor to accommodate the push by Las Vegas to appropriate vast amounts of Nevada’s groundwater (HCN, 9/13/04: A water-and-wilderness bill kicks up dust in Nevada). The water grab is expected to dry up desert springs in the Desert National Wildlife Range, Death Valley and other areas critical to wildlife.
In Nevada, water, not wilderness, is the key scarce resource and the number-one environmental issue. It is time for wilderness advocates to wake up and take a clear stand in opposition to the "Let’s make a deal" wilderness strategy.
- Latest: California fracking companies inject protected aquifers with wastewater
- American Indian students in Utah face harsh discipline
- The taxpayer money that fuels federal land transfer demands
- Obama's preemptive strike to reform Endangered Species Act
- Wyoming trespass law is the latest in grazing battle
- Bette Korber on The Los Angeles wetland wars
- Garrett Allen on The view from 31,000 feet: A philosopher looks at fracking
- Robb Cadwell on The view from 31,000 feet: A philosopher looks at fracking
- Amy & Chris Gulick on The view from 31,000 feet: A philosopher looks at fracking
- Richard H Ernst on The taxpayer money that fuels federal land transfer demands