Public Lands Throughout the West

Public Lands Throughout the West

While serving on the Nevada Association of Counties Tom was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Interstate Region comprising 15 western states, including Alaska and Hawaii. While serving in that capacity Tom drafted and sponsored several resolutions regarding local government, and participated and collaborated on states rights issues involving public land and natural resources regarding:

  • The Wild Horse and Burros Act of 1971
  • The Equal Access to Justice Act
  • The Sage Grouse Management and Recovery Plan
  • Stopping the ongoing reduction of AUMs
  • Restoring grazing levels to conform with the original intent of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934
  • Using livestock an an effective tool to control cheatgrass and other wildfire fuels
  • Fighting to protect mining from unnecessary regulation through the Surface Disturbance Clause 3809
  • Opposing unneeded and extreme changes to the Mining Law of 1872
Public Lands in Nevada

Public Lands in Nevada

Tom served on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Public Lands Steering and the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) Public Lands and Natural Resources Committee. He is committed to protecting Nevada’s mining and ranching interests from ongoing threats of over-regulation by federal agencies and has insisted that local government have a seat at the table as a cooperating and collaborating agency when decisions are made on the “public lands.” He strongly supports an expedited permitting process to prevent unnecessary bureaucracy and put Nevadans to work in high paying, long term employment. He advocates for the expedited transfer of lands dedicated for disposal back to private ownership securing a healthy resource for the Nevada tax base and a positive economic potential. He is a staunch protector of northern Nevada water when it comes to interbasin transfers and insists that northern Nevada water stays in northern Nevada. He fought for continued public lands access through the mapping of RS2477 roads and the multiple use concept. He fought hard for full funding of federal receipts payable to Nevada counties for the loss of property taxes on federal lands within the jurisdiction of Nevada’s 17 counties. PILT payments are an obligation not subject to negotiation. We all must pay our bills. The federal government is no exception.

Public Lands Recreation

Public Lands Recreation

Tom was proud to have been appointed to serve two consecutive terms on the Interim Legislative Committee on Public Lands chaired by Senator Dean Rhoads. He participated in drafting several bill draft requests for referral to the Committee on Natural Resources including BDR 43-501, Nevada’s off-road vehicle act. Nevada was the last state to comply with this federal unfunded mandate. This was accomplished through total transparency and buy-in by virtually all concerned entities. Senator Rhoads insisted on it.

Reasoned Approach to Wilderness

Reasoned Approach to Wilderness

The Pine Forest Advisory Group was formed to eliminate three wilderness study areas in northern Humboldt County and to establish one protected wilderness for the benefit of the resource and the enjoyment of the public. Those areas not qualified for that designation were returned to multiple use or transferred to private ownership. Tom was a principle member of that group representing Humboldt County Board of Commissioners. That effort is now federal law and the cooperative method that made it happen has become a model for similar legislative processes throughout the country.

Bringing State Monies to Local Entities

Bringing State Monies to Local Entities

Tom was appointed to serve several years on the State Land Use Planning Advisory Council (SLUPAC). He chaired that committee in 1997 and 1998. He returned to the council in 2002 and was an avid supporter of Question One enacted by voter referendum to grant local entities state monies for conservation and recreation purposes.