Metro Chamber CEO Heads to Washington to Testify for Public Lands Act

Bill to create national monument good for job creation, tourism & economic development

Las Vegas — Kristin McMillan, president & CEO of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to testify in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation on Thursday, October 3, in favor of designating a new national monument in Southern Nevada.

McMillan, along with North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross, will make the case in favor of the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act of 2013 (H.R. 2015). The bill was introduced by Congressman Steven Horsford and is co-sponsored by Congressman Mark Amodei, Congresswoman Dina Titus and Congressman Joe Heck.

Advocating in favor of this national monument designation was one of the Metro Chamber's top agenda items during its trip to Washington, D.C. two weeks ago and has been a federal policy priority of the Chamber for the past two years. During that trip Chamber leaders and Mayor Lee met with Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), chairman of the Subcommittee, to share the benefits of the bill to both job creation and land preservation. If passed, the bill will preserve significant Ice Age fossils and natural history, as well as boost tourism and create much needed jobs.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 3, at 10:00 a.m. EST. in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building.
The monument area would protect thousands of Ice Age fossils that are located at the northern edge of the Las Vegas Valley and is a place of significant natural history value that is rich with educational and research opportunities.

In addition, this legislation would bring additional ecotourism activity. It also designates parcels of land within the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas for commercial development, leading to new opportunities for economic development. Both of these benefits of the bill will create needed jobs.

Other provisions of the bill include:

  • Legislation would authorize and create the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, which would be approximately 22,650 acres. It would be the nation's newest and Nevada's only national monument.
  • The City of Las Vegas would receive 660 acres and the City of North Las Vegas would receive 645 acres for commercial development.
  • Nellis Air Force Base would receive 410 acres for training near its small-arms range.
  • Nevada System of Higher Education would receive 2,410 acres for the expansion of UNLV, College of Southern Nevada and Great Basin College.
  • 10,000 acres would be designated as recreation for off-road vehicles, which includes an off-road park of approximately 1,200 acres.
  • Clark County would receive 2,320 acres near Primm for flood control protection in preparation of the proposed Ivanpah Airport.

The designation has broad-based support in Nevada. During the 2013 State Legislative Session, the Nevada Senate and Assembly passed Assembly Join Resolution (AJR) 1 in support for the designation of the Upper Las Vegas Wash as a national monument.