Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act


Nevada’s Congressional bipartisan delegation shepherded the passage of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act in 1998 as an agreement between the federal government and local agencies to conserve key natural areas of Nevada while developing others. SNPLMA allows the BLM to sell public land within a specific boundary around the Las Vegas Valley and use the revenue to fund conservation projects. In 2006, an amendment to the bill allowed some of that money to fund other counties around Nevada. The revenue derived from land sales is split between the State of Nevada General Education Fund (5%), the Southern Nevada Water Authority (10%), and a special account available to the Secretary of the Interior for:

  • Park, Trail, and Natural Area Projects (PTNA)
  • Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)
  • Conservation Initiatives (CI)
  • Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP)
  • Environmentally Sensitive Land Acquisitions (LANDS)
  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Wildfire Prevention (FUELS)
  • Eastern Nevada Landscape Restoration Project (ENLRP)
  • Lake Tahoe Restoration Projects (LTRA)

SNPLMA also allows for land to be transferred to Clark County. SNPLMA initially encompassed 67,920 acres; 33,000 now remain for disposal. The SNPLMA boundary has been modified several times, the last being in 2014. Of the program, Governor Sandoval said in 2016, “The Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act is a great example of how public land going into private ownership is compatible with conservation and preservation efforts. SNPLMA will help spur economic development in the private sector and provide the necessary resources for conservation and habitat restoration and to reduce the risk of wildfires.”

Key Facts

  • SNPLMA has generated funding for more than 1,200 conservation projects throughout Nevada. SNPLMA ensures that money from Nevada land stays in Nevada.
  • SNPLMA funding has successfully been used to create, restore, and/or expand the City of North Las Vegas Craig Ranch Regional Park, the Clark County Wetlands Park, the Kyle Canyon Visitor Center, the Red Rock Visitor Center, Mt. Charleston trails and campgrounds, the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, and the Lake Mead Echo Bay marina, among many others.
  • SNPLMA has enjoyed bipartisan support; all current members of Southern Nevada’s Congressional delegation support it.
  • SNPLMA has delivered nearly $100 million in projects in Southern Nevada alone in the last decade.

Policy Recommendations

The Trump Administration recommended gutting SNPLMA in its 2018 budget by removing $230 million from its funding. This would have deprived our state of critical funds that make recreation possible and enjoyable for Southern Nevada families. While SNPLMA may not be well known to everyday Nevadans, the program is absolutely vital for maintaining open spaces, creating new parks and delivering quality of life to Southern Nevada residents. SNPLMA must remain fully funded; any attempt to reduce this popular and successful program should be quickly denied.

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