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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
February 27, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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February 27, 1997

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Elko County reinforces Nye By Robt. kowes ELKO - Commissioners in this northeastern Nevada County have reinforced their opposition to any plans the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may have to increase its police power authority on public lands in the Silver State. The commission voted unanimously in favor of a resolu- tion that says any such action by the governmental agency would violate the U.S. Constitution and would be consid- ered illegal in Elko County. Their recent action had a familiar ring in south central Nye County, where a similar local action triggered a lengthy lawsuit with the federal government in what became known nationally as the "Sagebrush Rebellion." The Nye County Commission, who was to become the national spokesman for that movement, Dick Carver, now sits as chairman of the five-member Nye County Commis- stand against fed powers sion. which historically shares the position taken by the northern county concerning any expanded federal police powers within their geographic jurisdiction. The Elko resolution also was made part of Elko County's policy in a move calculated to tbrce the federal govern- ment calculated to force the federal government to acqui- esce to county policy through regulations in the Federal Land Management and Policy Act. Elko-based public lands advocate, Ed Presley, formerly a key principal consultant to the Nye County Commis- sioners, who helped write the Elko resolution, said the con- stitution only gives the federal government authority over lands it purchases with the consent of the states and those lands can only be used needed federal facilities. Presley interprets that clause to limit the government's powers and authority. Do we accurately perceive an emerg- ing feeling of de ja vu? :00Ft. Irwin expansion cont. United States. The General told of the training cadre main- faded. tained of Ft. Irwin and how armored troops are rotated to the NTC on a regular basis for training and mock combat with the resident force. He went on to explain how modern weapons have in- creased in speed and range and that the large troop maneu- vers on the fort require more and more room for training with their modern equipment. General Wallace continued by saying that this is the only training facility of this type and increased land use is needed to train for th6 battles of modern wars. Tim Reid of the BLM addressed the assembly and ex- plained about the lands involved and what steps would be taken to protect the environment. He outlined the area and boundaries of the proposed expansion and spoke about what steps will be taken to remove 330,000 acres from public use. The purpose of the meeting in Baker was to, "provide interested citizens an opportunity to receive information and ask questions about the proposal, and to provide oral comments for the record," according to BLM District Man- ager Henri Bisson. Interested citizens at the meeting in Baker did indeed provide oral comment. The attendance at the meeting read like a Desert Roll of Honor. The people of the desert rose to be heard. Those people attending included, George Gilbert of Tecopa, Marta Beckett of Death Valley Junction, Harry Godshall of Rest- ing Springs. Brian Brown of China Ranch, Martha Watkins of Pahrump, Rob Fulton of Zzyx, Lavon Selbach of the Amargosa Valley, Len Smith of Barstow, Clark Bryner of Baker, Jim Marsh and daughter Stacey Kinard of Amar- gosa Valley; Dr. Lovern Carlson of Baker, Norbert Riedy of San Francisco, Bernie Forrest of Rasor, Mary Martin of Barstow; Marcia Cook and Hank Schroder from CBS News. Robert Lucas of Apple Valley, a self-described Barstow businessman whose trade depends on Fort Irwin, spoke for the expansion. He said that those citizens of Baker and the surrounding desert who opposed the expansion were merely "selfish and unpatriotic." He went on to say that the U.S. Army could take better care of the land than the Army representatives assured the crowd that they were no longer considering closing 127, but that they would build multiple underpasses so that armor could cross the road without impacting traffic. No mention was made of how such construction might impact and interrupt traffic. Dr. Carlson, Baker school superintendent expressed fears that the huge clouds of dust generated by military maneu- vers churning up the dry desert would cause severe health problems for the students of the Baker school located 7 miles south of the proposed militarized zone. Brian Brown, of China Ranch, expressed concern for the viability of the communities north of the proposed expansion and spoke of tourist reluctance to drive through military compounds. Norbert Reidy, Conservation Director of the National Wilderness Society asked for an extension of the comment period so his organization would have time to adequately review, understand and comment on all aspects of the Draft Environmental Statement. Jim Marsh, owner of the Longstreet Inn and Casino in Amargosa Valley suggested that the Government consider in- demnifying the citizens and businesses of the desert for their losses under the proposed expansion. Lavon Selbach, a second-generation rancher in the Amar- gosa Valley, spoke of her fears that transport of crops and livestock into California would be curtailed and the markets of the agri-business of the Amargosa would be lost. All who spoke at the Baker meeting were not the well-to- do and well-connected of the desert. A woman from Baker, Coco Ragsdale, spoke of how the lower-income families in Baker used Highway 127 to visit the clinic in Shoshone. Kevin Moldenhauer, a clerk in a local store told simply of how he enjoyed the surrounding desert and the freedom of open pub- lic ' lands. Gary Armstrong told of the pleasure he and his family found driving on the back country roads of the desert. Conservationists spoke for the preservation of the environ- ment. Recreationalists spoke for the fine family recreation to be found on the open desert. The people of the desert stood Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, February 27, 1997 3 Final Enviromnental hnpact Statement and a 30-day Re- view Public Period. and BLM will identify Lead Agency Preferred Alternative. The portly princess has yet to yodel. Next will be a Record of Decision, both by BLM and the U.S. Army. It will be a consolidated ROD if the recommendations are the same. Otherwise, both RODs would be forwarded to the Military Programs Coor- dinator/Legislative Team BLM Director Forwards De- partment. From there it trav- els through the Departments of Defense and Interior. And then... Department of Jus- tice, E.P.A., Army, and back to Interior. Then, the Assistant Sec- retary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Manage- ment sends the proposed legislation to congress. (All public land withdrawals in excess of 5,000 acres must have congressional ap- proval). At which time a bill will be introduced for mili- tary withdrawal of the desert lands. The Baker Community meeting was attended and the crowd was tightly fo- cused on the proceedings. The intricacies of the bu- reaucratic maze that must be traveled to accomplish the huge land withdrawal are both awesome and confus- ing. The citizens of the desert who attended the meeting were well aware that a loss of public land of this size could very well change the lives they have worked so long to build for themselves and their fami- lies. One quiet soft-spoken man from Death Valley rose and addressed the as- sembled officials and mili- tary officers. "I want my grandson," he said, "to be able to walk the land I love." r Pahrump Valley Gazette successor to: Death Valley Gateway Gazette Est. 1981 Founders/Editors & Publishers Robert & Helaine Linsey Lowes Goldfield Group Publishers, Inc. Rsidenl Agent/Controller Marie Lapriore Managing Editor C. J. Prime P.r.o.du.J Michael Lamar Jiffy Janneck Ann Smart Kevin Simpson Advertising Director Carlton McCaslin Account Executives Ann Nusbuum Louise Homer Dave Downing Molly Williams, R.N. R. E Lowes Slim Sirnes Mike Dougherty e_ko_tv_gaw Ethel Messer Bruce Stevenson Administration/Circulation Angle Lapriore, Admin. Asst. Norm Leavitt, Distribution Beverly Sacca, Secretary We're part of your community Member Of: Nevada Press Association Baker Chamber of Commerce Beatty Chamber of Commerce Death Valley Chamber of Commerce Pahrump Chamber of Commerce Tonopah Chamber of Commerce The Pahrump tdley GazeUe, formerb" known as the Death Volley Gate*xO" Gazette, (USPS 709-230), established July 22, 1981, adjudicated as a legal newspaper of general circulation July 10, 1985, is published weekly on Thursday by Goldflekl Group Publish- ers, Inc. Editorial, production, aml ad- vertising offices at the Valley View Plaza, 1330 Hwy. 160, Ste. 3, Pahr- ump, NV 89048. Telephone 702/727- 5583 or FAX 702027/7192, Second- class postage paid at Pahvmrtp. NV and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: send "address changes to The Pahrump Valley Gazeue, P.O. Box 97795, Los Vega.s, NV 89193. For billing or sub- scription inquiries please telephone 800/682-2640. Copyrights: No part of this publication may be copied or re- produced by any means without the express written pemission of lhe Pub- lishers. Included are photos, stcn-ies, staff produced advertisements, col- umns, cartoons and all other mater,- als. All rights reserved by The Pa'r. ump Voile)' Gazette. h "citizens. His comments were echOed by another Barstow businessman, (Barstow is the closest town that serves Ft. Irwin) who stressed the unpatriotic attitudes of those who would oppose the expansion and explained that the only reason for opposition to the expansion is greed. In the audience of more than 80- people, all other speak- ers were against the proposed expansion. Fears were ex- pressed that highway 127 would be eventually closed, shut- ting off the main road to Death Valley National park. Pahr- ump also would lose it's main route for visiting Califor- nians and the delivering of modular homes. The towns of Shoshone and Tecopa would slowly die as tourist traffic I III III ..allstate IWe Buy Cars For Cashl 727-1050 PAHRUMP VALLEY Call Joy Morrissey 727-4144 and spoke for the desert. The meeting in Baker was ex- pressly to review the Draft En- vironmental Impact State- ment. In typical government fashion, the buck does not stop here. Next in the process of the Ft. Irwin proposal is; Lead and cooperating agencies will analyze the public comments. They will be an issuing of a .... ii ...... i  WA1CHI we= N00ii/ wump, uvoaa "W" o,7,'xr.47 LEE GREEN ,,, MICHAEL K. SMITH ,, 24 X 24 GARAGE $5700 Pump Houses Patios Storage Sheds R.V. Shelters Concrete Work IF IT CAN BE BUILT "WE JUST DO IT" KENNY WILLIAMS CONSTRUCTION I_ic # 035076 (702) 727-8883 * $ 0 down - FHA or Conventional Financing Immediate Approval O.A.C. Weekend Weather >,ZYVnti,,,ud )/t,a,,/,,, for Nevada Nortbel and Central Nevada .Thursday...A chance of rain or snow. brisk Snds. Lows in the teens and 20s. Highs in the mid 30s and 40s..Friday and Saturday... a chance of rain or sno ndy at limes. Lows in the teens and 20s east with mostly 2Os west. Highs in the mid 3Os to mid 4Os. Southern Nevada .Thursday..,. a chanceof showers. Lows upper 30s to near 50, Highs in the mid 508 in mid 6Os, .Friday'. A chance of morning show- ers, Lows mostly in the 4Os, Highs in the mid 508 to mid 6Os. .Saturday... Dry, Lows mostly in the 4Os. lligh in Ihe mid 5Os to mid 60s, Death Valley .Thursday.,. PmXly cloudy. Bree to lo- caltywindy Low from the upper 208 Owens Valley to the 408 southern deserts. High from the mid 50s Owens Valley to the mid 708 southern deserts.. Friday... Partly Cloudy. Locally breezy. Lows from the upper 208 Owens Valley to the 408 southern deserts. Highs from the mid 5Os Owens Valley to the upper 6Os to mid 7Os southern deserts. .Saturday... Increasing douds north. mostly clear. Lows from the upper 208 Owens Valley 1o the 40s southern desert. Highs from the mid 5Os Owens Valley to the mid 70s southern deserts. II IIIIIIII I