Legislation Is Attempt To Hamstring Environmental Conservation In Nevada
2/12/1999 -- -- Trout Unlimited today blasted proposed legislation that would make it more difficult for the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to stop water polluters in the act. Nevada Assembly Bill 41 would prohibit the DCNR from stopping polluters in the act, if the Department is responding to a tip from other agencies, until DCNR has done its own internal review.
"The effect of this bill would be you told a police officer on the street that there's a mugging in progress, and he has to say to you, 'I'm sorry, I'll have to go back to the station house to write up an investigation,' before he can stop the mugger," said David Bobzien, president of Trout Unlimited's Reno-based Sagebrush Chapter. Bobzien also voiced Trout Unlimited's concern that the bill, which comes before the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining on Monday, Feb. 15th at 1:30pm, was motivated by angry Elko County commissioners.
On July 21st, 1998, Elko County shocked anglers and conservationists by bulldozing a 300 yard section of the Jarbidge River, the world's southernmost habitat of the now endangered native bull trout. The County was seeking to rebuild a closed dead-end road on Forest Service land that had repeatedly washed out during flooding. Two days later, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (a division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, "DCNR"), acting upon information provided them by other agencies, issued a cease and desist order halting the County's illegal road work.
"It is unfortunate that Elko County's ongoing dispute with the federal government now seeks to put all of Nevada's trout streams and drinking water sources at risk," said Bobzien. "But the handcuffs this legislation would put on the state of Nevada, preventing the protection of our water, cannot be ignored."
Trout Unlimited is urging its members in Nevada to contact their state legislators and urge them to vote against AB41.
Founded in 1959 in Grayling, Michigan, Trout Unlimited is America's leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization. TU's 100,000 members in 455 chapters nationwide - including five active chapters across Nevada - are dedicated to the conservation, protection, and restoration of North America's trout and salmon and their watersheds.