|Northern Nevada Takes Another
January 17, 2002
Nevada Committee for Full Statehood
P.O. Box 656
Sparks, Nevada 89432
The announcement in the Reno Gazette Journal on Sunday, January 16,
2002, that a Reno lawyer and rancher Bob Marshall was selling 80 acres
to the Bureau of Land Management for $400,000, because of a possible
listing of the Carson Wandering Skipper butterfly is bad news for Washoe
County taxpayers, according to the Nevada Committee for Full Statehood.
The land, when sold, will no longer be part of the tax-base. Northern
Nevada counties will once again be left with a decreased tax base to
fund their own, as well as State, operations according to Jackie
Holmgren, Ranching Representative of the Nevada Committee for Full
"Nevada formerly had a pitiful 13% of the State in private hands,
but that’s changed—for the worse," said Holmgren. "The
money from Las Vegas land sales that does not go directly to the Feds is
used to buy up land for the Feds in the rest of the State. The result is
that Las Vegas is getting more land on the tax rolls, but the overall
percentage of the State that is free of federal control is declining.
We’ve fallen through 12% and are coming closer to 11% non-federally
controlled land in Nevada," explained Holmgren.
"This is open warfare on rural Nevada," declared Chris Johnson
of Elko, Chairman of the Nevada Committee for Full Statehood. "A
lawyer wants to make a bundle, so the rural tax base suffers. There’s
no doubt that the BLM will have a new ally in Marshall to support their
efforts to expand occupation of the State," said Johnson.
"This is just what President Andrew Jackson was talking about when
he vetoed an early BLM-type proposal. The Constitution forbids the
federal government from acquiring land in a State unless it buys it,
gets the consent of the Legislature and uses it, ‘for the erection of
forts, magazines, dock-yards and other needful buildings’ (Art. I,
Sec. 8, cl. 17)," stated Chris Johnson.
"The Constitution hasn’t changed since President Andrew
Jackson’s veto," continued Johnson. "But the subversion of
our State government is furthered by a lawyer making some money by
selling land to the BLM, then making some more money by exporting the
water away from the land for which the water right was issued in the
The article in the Reno-Gazette Journal didn’t seem to pick up on the
real issues. Why are the Feds the only ones who can "secure the
butterfly’s habitat." It looks like one of the places it has been
doing fine is on the ranch! But, as quoted in the Reno Gazette-Journal,
Walt Devaurs, a BLM wildlife biologist said, "I think with the
property being in federal ownership and with the water secured, it would
protect the site for the skipper pretty much in perpetuity."
"Marshall wanted to divert some of the water for municipal use, and
it was alleged this would harm the skippers’ habitat, that the water
table ‘might’ fall, that the salt grass ‘might’ die
(although the color picture in the Gazette shows the skipper eating an
aster). However, as soon as Marshall conveys title to the land and water
to BLM then Marshall said, "he sees no reason his separate water
exportation plan can’t proceed."
"Does this make sense? Evidently, the butterfly needed the water,
didn’t it? Put two and two together and you get the Feds once again
using some fabricated issue to scoop up more land within Nevada. A
‘willing seller,’ junk science, and the threat of ‘endangered
species’ is all that’s needed," said Jackie Holmgren.
For further information please contact: Jackie Holmgren 775-530-5313, Dan Hansen 775-358-4876, Janine Hansen