Resource ChallengeSouthern Nevada led the country in growth during the last decade, witnessing 5,000 new residents every month. Each year, more than 36 million people visit the region. Record growth and visitation, coupled with declining budgets, have dramatically affected the more than seven million acres of federal, state, and private lands around Las Vegas. Land managers fi ght litter, dumping, graffiti, illegal off-highway vehicle use, disturbance of fragile desert soils, cultural resources thefts, and exotic species, among other problems.
The USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the USDI National Park Service, the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, and the USDA Forest Service formed the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership in 1997. They identified 14 interagency initiatives including litter clean-up, volunteerism, law enforcement, resource protection, recreation, research, and education.
In 2000, the agencies reached out to the community, creating the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, which includes prominent leaders and private citizens. The Foundation and its parent organization, the Southern Nevada Interpretative Association, raise funds and engage the community in conservation activities and strategic initiatives.
The partnership benefits from innovative funding and authorities. The Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act allows them to dispose of unwanted land and acquire environmentally sensitive parcels. The Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan addresses all of the region’s listed species under one comprehensive strategy. Other contributions come from the Outside Las Vegas license plate, donations, and retail sales.
Recently, the Nevada System of Higher Education established the Public Lands Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to implement landscape-wide conservation initiatives including volunteerism, education, science and research, and data management programs.
Examples of Key PartnersSouthern Nevada Agency Partnership includes the USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDI National Park Service, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA Forest Service. Other key partners include: University of Nevada Public Lands Institute, Las Vegas, Southern Nevada Interpretative Association/Outside Las Vegas Foundation, municipal and county governments, and others.
Results and Accomplishments • Created 14 Federal interagency implementation teams to work on projects.
• Used innovative funding sources, including the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.
• Established a 16-officer interagency law enforcement and resource protection team.
• Expanded non-profit and University support for and participation in conservation strategies.
• Collaboratively designed a network of parks and trails to connect federal lands with communities.
• Launched an area-wide “Take Pride in America” Program.
• Maintained a volunteer clearinghouse with more than 1,200 interagency volunteers involved in conservation actions.
• Constructed new visitor and education facilities.