The U.S. House is considering a package of bills that would allow the transfer of some federal land in northern Nevada.
If they pass, about 20,000 acres of federal land would go up for sale. Elko County, the Te-moak Tribe, and the cities of Yerington, Carlin, and Fernley would be able to purchase this land for fair market value, the bills state. An additional 1,745 acres would be transferred from the Bureau of Land Management to Storey County.
“For Nevadans, this is long overdue, but with hard work and determination, we got this done,” Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), who introduced one of the bills, said in a statement.
Federal ownership of Nevada land has become a flash point following the standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and the BLM in April. Last week, Bundy joined third party candidates from the Independent American Party on campaign stops across northern Nevada, advocating for the state to take control of federal land.
More than half the land in the West is federally owned, including 81 percent of Nevada, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service study.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misattributed a statement from Rep. Steven Horsford.