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Sen. Harry Reid has always been a tireless advocate protecting Nevada’s treasures. Since he first entered Congress, he has fought to ensure that Nevada’s future generations will be able to enjoy our state’s pristine outdoors both for recreation and sport.

However, while he has always recognized the preservation of our state’s beauty has important environmental and health benefits, he also understands that Nevada’s natural wonders are crucial for the state’s tourism-based economy. Especially during these difficult times, he knows we must ensure that this crucial pillar of the state’s economy remains intact.

That’s why one of Sen. Reid’s first accomplishments in the U.S. Senate was the creation of the Great Basin National Park, something that advocates had been trying to achieve for most of the 20th Century. The park is now celebrating its 23rd year of existence after Sen. Reid worked across the aisle to set aside more than 77,000 acres to create Nevada’s only National Park.

Sen. Reid has also led the charge to clean up Lake Tahoe because he recognizes how important this Nevada treasure is to the health of our state’s environment and tourism. Working on this endeavor for more than a decade, Sen. Reid organized the first Lake Tahoe Summit in 1997, and $1.4 billion has been secured to keep Lake Tahoe blue since then. Of this funding, Reno-Gazette Journal stated, “without it, the progress that has been made in recent years could easily be lost. That would be a tragedy for the entire nation.” [Gazette-Journal, Editorial, 8/28/09]

Furthermore, Sen. Reid has worked tirelessly to forge bipartisan compromise, working to pass public lands legislation that strikes the right balance between protecting our beautiful wilderness and ensuring that some public lands can contribute directly to Nevada’s economy. Last year, Sen. Reid led the Senate to pass the Omnibus Public Lands Bill that preserved nearly two million acres of wilderness, while designating a number of commonsense locations for development. This will increase revenue for Nevada schools and other essential services like law enforcement and firefighters. Sen. Reid has a long track record bringing both sides together to pass important public lands legislation, such as the Clark County Lands Bill that protected more than 440,000 acres of natural scenery while allowing 233,000 acres be available for development. Building on his track record of success, he helped secure passage of public lands protections in Lincoln, White Pine and Carson City.

Reid has fought to preserve the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. He successfully worked across the aisle to pass legislation that added much needed protections to the Red-Rock area, doubling the size of protected lands from 83,000 acres to 195,000 in the 1990s. Now, the Red Rock Canyon is a legacy that Nevadans can pass on to their children and an important draw for out-of-state tourists that are pumping money into our economy.

He protected the magnificent petroglyphs in Sloan Canyon. Sen. Reid worked in a bipartisan manner to save these unique wonders from destruction, designating the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, a 48,438-acre public lands area that will buffer this precious wilderness from vehicular traffic and development in the south. Because of Sen. Reid’s leadership, the 1,700 rock-art images that have been etched in stone have been protected and can be shared with Nevada’s future generations. As the Review-Journal declared, “None of this would be possible without Sen. Harry Reid, who has made it a priority to ensure this local treasure doesn’t fall victim to vandalism and encroaching urban sprawl. As one Reid aide said last year, ‘Doing nothing was not a solution for protecting this place.’ Thanks to Sen. Reid, doing nothing is no longer on the table.” [Review-Journal, Editorial, 11/10/03]

Sen. Reid has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to save the Walker Lake and Walker River Basin. He has used his clout to secure more than $360 million for preservation and conservation projects in and around the basin. These projects include funding for a natural resources center, conservation and restoration projects, invasive species study and eradication, fishery improvements, water negotiations, flood control, irrigation and many others.

Click here to view Reid's work on Yucca Mountain

Click here to view Reid's work on Energy

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