Press Releases

(Washington, DC) – United States Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) partnered with Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) to introduce the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act (S. 22, H.R. 243). The legislation prevents the threat of executive action designating or expanding national monuments without Congressional approval or local support.

“Late last month, without even having a say in the matter, Nevadans witnessed the executive branch quickly lock up hundreds of thousands of acres of local, public land with an effortless stroke of the pen. No matter which political party is occupying the White House, these types of unilateral federal land grabs by the executive branch should not be allowed. Public input and local support remain critical to the decision-making process of federal land designations. This legislation prevents actions like last month’s Gold Butte land grab from occurring without input from Congress and local officials. I’d like to thank Congressman Amodei for his partnership on this bill,” stated Senator Heller

“Whether you agree with our proposals or not, I have always supported a public and transparent process which includes input from interest groups, local communities, and elected representatives,” said Congressman Amodei. “Unlike all of our Nevada lands bills that allow stakeholders an opportunity to voice their concerns and ultimately reach a consensus agreement that achieves bipartisan support, the Obama Administration has repeatedly bypassed Congress and local input. I continue to be amazed by the fact that some people hug unilateral, non-transparent monument designations, while at the same time, protesting vehemently over the introduction and public discussion of Congressional lands bills proposals. In contrast to the last eight years of this Administration’s one-sided approach on major land management decisions in Nevada, our bill simply ensures local stakeholders have a seat at the table going forward.”


Over the past two years, President Obama unilaterally placed restrictions on over one million acres of public land in Nevada alone via the American Antiquities Act of 1906. One million acres amounts to more land than the entire state of Rhode Island. This Administration has used the law more than any other previous Administration.

Presidential powers under the Antiquities Act have been reduced twice. The first time followed the unpopular proclamation of Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The 1950 law that incorporated Jackson Hole into an enlarged Grand Teton National Park also amended the Antiquities Act, requiring Congressional consent for any future creation or enlargement of national monuments in Wyoming. In 1979, Jimmy Carter’s use of the Act to create fifty-six million acres of National Monuments in Alaska.  After that, Congress acted again to limit presidential power, requiring Congressional approval for withdrawals in Alaska over 5,000 acres. The Nevada Land Sovereignty Act would mirror the Wyoming exemption.