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LETTER: Keep the military away from more of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge

It was just last year when we got the good news that Congress had rejected — for the time being, anyway — the military’s plans to take over the eastern part of Nevada’s Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Remember, the Air Force decades ago took over the whole western part and closed it to the public. But when military officials revealed their plans to take even more to the east, including some of the best bighorn sheep habitat in the country, Congress last year said “enough.”

Knowing the military wasn’t likely to take no for an answer, and they’d be back wanting to put up more “No Trespassing” signs so they could drop more bombs, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto introduced a bill to designate the refuge as a wilderness area. No more air strips, no more target practice. Just wide-open spaces for the wildlife and the public to roam, as it was intended when the refuge was created 85 years ago.

There’s much debate about the senator’s public lands bill. There should be no debate about designating the refuge as wilderness. Congress must get it done.

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