Northern Nevada land bill advances in House committee

WASHINGTON — A bill advancing in the U.S. House on Wednesday would create more than 73,000 acres of wilderness in Northern Nevada counties while making available land to support a copper mine in Lyon County.

The House Resources Committee approved the measure without objection, sending it to the full House for further votes when Congress returns in September from a five-week recess.

The measure reconfigures land designations for conservation and development in Lyon, Storey, Elko and Humboldt counties. Additionally, it allows the city of Yerington to buy 10,000 acres of federal land to support development of the Pumpkin Hollow project. The Nevada Copper Corp. venture is advertised to employ 750-800 people when fully operational.

The bill also creates a 26,000-acre wilderness in the Pine Forest Range in Humboldt County and the 48,000-acre Wovoka Wilderness in Lyon County.

An earlier version of the bill was opposed by Democrats and by environmentalists as too restrictive for wilderness. Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei and Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford, negotiated a compromise with House leaders.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.