The city of Las Vegas will continue to appeal a Bureau of Land Management decision to set aside thousands of acres in the northwest valley for conservation, although if legislation to create a new national monument is approved the challenge would be moot.
The City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to file a petition for review in federal court seeking to overturn a 2011 decision by the BLM to establish a 13,600-acre conservation area, more than twice the size of the 5,000 acres that had been previously identified as a having a high concentration of sensitive resources.
The petition for review follows a June denial of the city’s appeal by the Department of Interior Office of Hearings and Appeals.
City officials say the conservation area is too broad and impedes prospects for future development. However, the area also overlaps boundaries for the proposed Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument.
If the proposed monument gets support from Congress and the president the city’s appeal could be moot because, city officials said, the monument legislation would set aside land elsewhere in the area for potential development.
The council vote authorized spending up to $50,000 to continue the appeal.
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at email@example.com or 702-383-0285. Follow him on Twitter @BenSpillman702.