Public lands debate

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Review Journal has editorialized that Nevada’s federally managed land holdings should be reduced to fuel development.

The editorial read in part, “The inherent tension between those who live, work and recreate on or near government property and those who oversee the federal real estate portfolio—many of whom sit 2,500 miles away in comfortable Beltway offices—fuels the so-called ‘sagebrush rebellion.’ Nevada lawmakers have, from time to time, passed resolutions urging the feds to transfer portions of those holdings to the state or private interests. Not only would that provide for more local management, it would boost the state’s economic development efforts, particularly in rural areas. … At issue, here, is less than seven-one-hundredths of 1 percent of the federal land within Nevada’s boundaries. Clark County’s proposal makes eminent sense from an economic development standpoint.”

In 2016, a Colorado College survey found that 52 percent of Nevadans oppose transferring control of public lands to state or local government or private parties, with 39 percent supporting the idea.