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Nevada Wildlife Federation Applauds Senator Hickenlooper’s Bill to Eliminate Noncompetitive Leasing

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Press Release

Today, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado introduced a bill to eliminate the loophole in the federal oil and gas program known as noncompetitive leasing -- a century-old policy that lets oil and gas companies and speculators lease federal public lands for just $1.50 per acre without bidding on them at auction. These backroom deals have become particularly problematic in Nevada with 70 percent of all acres leased noncompetitively nationwide between 2009-18 occurring in the state, representing a staggering 2 million acres.

Senator Hickenlooper joins Nevada Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen in introducing bills to reform the antiquated federal oil and gas program -- bills that can, and should, be included in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill.

In response, Russell Kuhlman, Executive Director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, released the following statement:

“Noncompetitive leasing has become a full-blown crisis in Nevada. Over the last 10 years over 2 million acres of public lands – an area nearly the size of Yellowstone – have been leased noncompetitively and more than 670,000 acres are currently available for noncompetitive leasing. Those 2 million acres of public land represent 70 percent of the total noncompetitive federal leases issued nationwide between 2009-2018 and it represents an enormous obstacle to wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation. Senator Hickenlooper’s common-sense bill to end this wasteful practice is simply good government that presents a great opportunity to safeguard public access to Nevada’s public lands. We wholeheartedly support this bill and call on Senator Hickenlooper’s colleagues to ensure its passage in the budget bill.”


The Nevada Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)3 and is the oldest statewide conservation organization dedicated to sustaining Nevada’s natural resources for wildlife through conservation, preservation, and education.