The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners have sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management in Washington regarding their ongoing feelings about the Basin and Range Monument.
Commission chair Kevin Phillips indicated the letter is to spell out clearly that Lincoln County will not accept, ?anymore restrictions whatsoever, than already in the proclamation language.?
Varlin Higbee voiced his concern, which has also been noted by others in the county, that restrictions which have been sought, ?is moving toward getting out of the scope of the proclamation.?
Cattlemen, sportsmen, and a few other outdoor enthusiasts have expressed numerous concerns about possible changes to water and grazing rights and off-road motor vehicle enthusiasts have said promises, clearly spelled out in the monument proclamation by President Obama, that ?nothing would change,? are already being changed.
The national monument was created by a proclamation issued on July 10, 2015 by the President under the Antiquities Act of 1906.
Phillips said, ?Both the Caliente and Ely BLM offices are with us on this.? ?But,? he said, ?BLM is getting pushed by stakeholders from the Moon, Venus and Mars.? He explained that to mean he felt there were ?so called stakeholders, money people, etc., who don?t even live in Lincoln, maybe not even in the state, that feel since this is a national monument, they have the right to dictate what should or should not be allowed to happen there.?
He went on to say the Presidential proclamation does allow for events, such as races, to happen on existing public roads therein.
Commissioner Higbee said it was his understanding the Best in the Desert race set to go through the monument later this summer is being permitted by Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior.
Connie Simkins, secretary of the N4 Grazing Board, said that organization has submitted similar comments to the BLM as well. ?One of them strongly said that the BLM should add a clause to their draft of the Standards of Determination document that included a No Grazing Alternative. ?Grazing,? she said, ?is clearly spelled out in the monument designation proclamation.?
Higbee, a member of the N4 Grazing Board, commented that ?prior monuments have removed grazing, even grazing was to be allowed. This proclamation says grazing is part of the esthetics of the monument, and we wanted to make sure the language will allow for that in perpetuity.?