CARSON CITY — A Senate committee approved a bill Thursday to prohibit helicopters from taking hunters, big game and equipment to remote areas unless the landing area was established by a government agency and is accessible by a public road.
Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, told members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee that the intent of the bill is to close a loophole that arose when hunters approached a heli-skiing operator in the Ruby Mountains about taking them hunting in the remote region in eastern Nevada.
Existing law prohibits using a helicopter to haul game and hunters unless the cargo is loaded and unloaded at a landing field, airport or heliport established by a government agency.
Goicoechea said Elko County established heliports in the Ruby Mountains for backcountry winter skiers. Because the facilities were established by the county, the question arose about whether they could be used to fly sportsmen in and out during the fall hunting season.
Goicoechea said adding the requirement that a heliport or landing field must be accessible by a public road will prevent hunting flights into remote regions.
No one spoke in opposition to the bill, which goes to the Senate floor.
Contact Sandra Chereb at email@example.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.