U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
August 17, 2007
Frank Quimby (202) 208-6416
Doran Sanchez, BLM (775) 861-6629
JoLynn Worley, BLM (775) 861-6515

Kempthorne Approves $132 Million for Restoration of Lake Tahoe, Land Conservation in Southern Nevada

INCLINE VILLAGE, Lake Tahoe -- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today approved more than $132 million for restoration, conservation and recreation projects in Nevada, including $45 million for Lake Tahoe and $87 million for Clark and Lincoln Counties. The funds will be used to reduce the threat of wildland fires, restore forest and watershed wildlife habitat, improve air quality and develop parks, trails and natural areas.

“I am honored to sign these approval documents for federal improvement projects here at Lake Tahoe and throughout southern Nevada,” Kempthorne said during a ceremony at Incline Village, marking the 10-year anniversary of the Lake Tahoe Forum. “The funds for Lake Tahoe will help improve the health of the surrounding forests, continue scientific research to improve water and air quality, and support ongoing hazardous fuels reduction projects,” the Secretary noted. “The Department of the Interior remains committed to the spirit of partnership to protect this extraordinarily special area.”

Kempthorne joined Senators Harry Reid, John Ensign and Dianne Feinstein, former Nevada U.S. Senator Richard H. Bryan, President Bill Clinton, federal administrators, and state and local elected officials at the special anniversary celebration. This year’s Lake Tahoe Forum was organized by Senator Harry Reid’s Office.

The funds Kempthorne authorized for projects at Lake Tahoe include $10 million to improve forest health by reducing the accumulation of woodland fuels; $30 million for watershed and wildlife habitat improvements; $500,000 for air quality and transportation initiatives; $250,000 for recreation and scenic programs, and $3.7 million for science and research that guide and evaluate these restoration efforts.

The money for Clark and Lincoln counties will help to develop parks, trails and natural areas, conservation initiatives and capital improvement projects. The funds also will be used to purchase environmentally sensitive lands in these two southern Nevada counties.

The investments, authorized through the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, are generated from the sale of public lands identified for disposal in the Las Vegas Valley. The funds facilitate a broad array of restoration and improvement projects at Lake Tahoe, in Clark, Lincoln, and White Pine Counties, and to a limited extent in Washoe and Douglas Counties and Carson City.

Federal agencies in the Lake Tahoe Basin that receive funding for capital projects include Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Federal Highways Administration; and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Information regarding all projects approved by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act can be found at http://www.nv.blm.gov/snplma/index.htm.

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