Hearing on Bryan’s Black Rock proposal set April 26 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hearing on Bryan’s Black Rock proposal set April 26

WASHINGTON – On April 26, the U.S. Senate will hear Richard Bryan’s plan to create a National Conservation Area at Black Rock Desert.

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, scheduled the hearing at the Nevada Democrat’s request to discuss whether Black Rock and the High Rock Canyon areas 100 miles north of Reno should be protected from mining and other development.

“I believe all the merits of this initiative will sell themselves and convince my Senate colleagues that we should permanently protect this fragile piece of our western heritage,” said Bryan.

The plan would protect nearly 690,000 acres of BLM land, preserving remnants of the historic Emigrant trails created by pioneers crossing Nevada to California more than 100 years ago.

But it would still allow for multiple uses including recreation, off-road vehicles and livestock grazing. Mining and similar activities would be prohibited, which has raised protests from those who say the area has mineral potential and geothermal resources that may someday be economically viable. Bryan thanked Murkowski for agreeing to an early hearing on the bill he introduced just last month.

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