Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2017

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Letter to the editor:

Heller fails 
state on lands

As a 35-year resident of Nevada, I’m so disappointed in Sen. Dean Heller.

Once again, he is siding with his party instead of representing the majority of Nevadans.

This time, its about “shrinking” our public lands. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke finally announced his secret recommendations to cut our national monuments so public lands can be sold off to private interests.

That means currently protected lands like Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon — Gold Butte — and our Basin and Range national monuments can be opened up for drilling, mining and other destructive uses. Logging and other special interests would be allowed in the 10 targeted areas.

Gold Butte is also home to ancient Indian artifacts. Do we really care so little for our past and the future legacy we leave?

We are still dealing with clean-up sites from decades of mining in our state. We know the damage that is done. Once those scars are inflicted, we’ll forever lose the awe-inspiring views and balance these sites bring into our lives, not to mention the eco-tourism and significant funds they bring to our economy.

Never before has the United States eliminated, at such a large scale, permanent protections for national parks, wilderness areas or national monuments. We need to urge our senators and House members to act in our best interest for the long term, not just for today’s perceived fiscal advantages, and to protect our national monuments in full.

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