National Parks Group Praises Senator Reid’s Introduction of Las Vegas Valley Public Lands and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 27, 2012
Contact:   Lynn Davis, National Parks Conservation Association, 702.318.6524, Cell: 702.281.7380
Kati Schmidt, National Parks Conservation Association, 415.847.1768, kschmidt@npca.org


National Parks Group Praises Senator Reid’s Introduction of Las Vegas Valley Public Lands and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act

Statement by National Parks Conservation Association Nevada Program Manager Lynn Davis

“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) commends Senator Harry Reid for recognizing that the significant fossil resources in the Las Vegas Valley are a national treasure deserving of national park status, and for introducing S.3346, the Las Vegas Valley Public Lands and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act, to create Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. We are pleased that Senator Dean Heller has cosponsored the bill and that Congresswoman Shelley Berkley intends to introduce a companion in the House.”

“At stake is nearly 23,000 acres in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley, an area dense with Ice Age fossils – Columbian mammoth, massive bison, American lions, at least two ancient horse species, and, presumably, more species to be uncovered through scientific exploration – that uniquely range in age from 7,000 years to 250,000 years ago.”

“For years, NPCA has worked with a broad array of elected officials, military commanders, business leaders, environmental organizations, and passionate residents to generate unparalleled public support for the National Park Service to protect this area with the goal of, ultimately, making this a world renowned visitor destination and an area that invites scientific exploration.”

“Though we are pleased that the legislation proposes national park status, we are disappointed that it also contemplates traversing the landscape with a massive transmission line corridor.  Independent energy transmission experts have reported that a transmission corridor through this part of the valley is not needed, while members of the community continue to be concerned about a corridor’s impact on the integrity of the park’s fragile resources.  We will continue to seek a compromise on the transmission line that better suits Tule Springs over the long-term as this important legislation moves forward.”

“Tule Springs National Monument has the potential to be a model urban national park integrated into Southern Nevada’s tourism and business communities, and an enhancement to the State’s educational systems. Nationwide, studies have found national parks to be economic drivers to surrounding communities. We look forward to continuing to work with the Nevada congressional delegation, the many partners who have sought this proposal, and new enthusiasts to create the best possible national park for our community.”

“We commend the thousands of individuals who have signed petitions and postcards expressing support for a new national park.  We further acknowledge the passion and commitment of the Tule Springs Coalition, for their unwavering work in seeing legislation introduced.”

 

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