In a statement released Wendesday, Congressman Cresent Hardy announced bipartisan legislation impacting eastern Nevada lands has taken the next step into becoming law by unanimously passing a committee vote.

The statement added the bill, dubbed the Eastern Nevada Land Implementation Improvement Act, is supported by the board of Lincoln County Commissioners, as well as the White Pine County commissioners, City of Mesquite and other leaders in the region.

Hardy said the bill will remove federal roadblocks for rural communities.

“An unfortunate reality for many rural communities in Nevada is that vital planning decisions that would normally be made at the local and county levels must be regularly put on hold until federal land management agencies have had their say,” Hardy said. “This inefficient and overly bureaucratic process can leave future economic growth and environmental protection hanging in the balance, threatening the well-being of the rural West. This lands bill is a commonsense, bipartisan solution to a litany of problems that have plagued rural Eastern Nevada for years.

The statement said the bill is designed to:

• Position the BLM to more fully implement the Ely District Resource Management Plan;

• Fix errors in Wilderness Areas in White Pine and Nye Counties;

• Allow the City of Mesquite to finish and implement a conservation plan to preserve critical wildlife habitat and fish species;

• Enable implementation of a land reconfiguration in the Coyote Springs Valley that will protect critical habitat and allow for needed economic development.

• A companion measure has been introduced in Senate by Senator Dean Heller.

“This act is something both Democrats and Republicans can support for the way it will help the federal government be a more effective partner in managing public lands with Eastern Nevada communities,” Hardy said. “[The act] will benefit the economic and environmental health of Nevada by diversifying local economies, mitigating risks associated with catastrophic wildfire, and improving critical habitats for wildlife.”