LAS VEGAS— State Sen. Tick Segerblom and the Las Vegas Water Defender joined the Center for Biological Diversity, the Nevada Conservation League and three other conservation groups today to file a challenge to the Trump administration’s plan to auction 313,000 acres of public lands in Nevada for fracking. The leases would include land in scenic Monitor Valley and prime habitat for the imperiled sage grouse.
“The Trump administration is putting our irreplaceable groundwater at risk for short-term oil industry profits,” said Segerblom. “Nevada is the driest state in the country and water is our most precious resource. We’ll do everything possible to stop this reckless, destructive fracking plan.”
Today’s administrative protest opposes a proposed June 12 lease sale. The Bureau of Land Management plans to put tens of thousands of acres of greater sage-grouse habitat on the auction block while allowing fracking in watersheds that provide clean water to people and wildlife refuges. The BLM agreed to lease the land in Nye and Eureka counties after only a cursory environmental review.
“Nevada’s irreplaceable public lands belong to all of us, but the Trump administration is giving them away to oil companies like there’s no tomorrow,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This fracking plan puts people, wildlife and communities at risk. It threatens to destroy spectacular places like Monitor Valley that Nevadans cherish.”
With this sale the BLM will have offered more than 1 million acres of public land in Nevada for auction under the Trump administration. These lands include habitat for sensitive and endangered wildlife, creeks and springs, and untold archeological and cultural resources. If the leases are fully developed, extracting this oil would significantly contribute to climate change.
“Nevada is a leader in clean energy innovation and adoption. Inviting these types of activities on our public lands sends the wrong message to one of our fastest growing industries,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “These lands are part of what makes Nevada a wonderful state to live in and protecting them is of the upmost importance.”
The groups protesting the auction include the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Sierra Club-Toiyabe Chapter, the Nevada Conservation League and the Las Vegas Water Defender, an affiliate of Waterkeeper Alliance spearheaded by Segerblom.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Las Vegas Water Defender is an affiliate of the Waterkeeper Alliance and promotes water conservation and sustainability in southern Nevada by challenging water managers to adjust to the realities of our geography.
Nevada Conservation League is the leading independent political voice for Nevada’s conservation community, working to maintain and enhance the natural character of Nevada and the quality of life for Nevadans.
(Originally published at the Center fro Biological Diversity here.)