By Steve Sexton
copyright (c) 1997, Elko Daily Free Press
|Nevada legislators listened to comments Wednesday on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's effort to increase its powers and asked the agency why drunken driving was slated to become a federal offense.|
didn't know there was a federal driving under the
influence law, " said Assemblyman John Carpenter,
R-Elko, during a hearing of the Assembly's Natural
Resources, Mining and Agriculture Committee.
About 60 people, including county commissioners, sheriffs, and district attorneys, packed the hearing room, waiting for an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule changes.
Assemblyman Marcia de Braga, D-Fallon, the committee's chairman, called the hearing despite a March 7 deadline for the close of the comment period.
"There's been a great deal of concern expressed over the proposed changes," de Braga said. "We may have to send a resolution to Congress because of the March 7 date. " Maxine Shane, BLM public affairs specialist, and Donnette P. Gordon, BLM special agent-in-charge, continued the agency's assertions that the changes do not expand its police powers.
"The regulations do not expand our powers nor will they increase the size of our force," Gordon said. "BLM rangers have been in Nevada since 1977. " Shane said the four special agents and 15 rangers stationed in Nevada, who
patrol 48 million acres
that include more than 700 grazing allotments and the
largest feral horse and burro herds in the world, need to
have law enforcement authority because of a variety of
activities occurring on public lands. Those include
off-road races, artifact and horse theft, shooting of
wild horses, mineral and land fraud, fire fighting,
hazardous material transportation and the growing of
marijuana and construction of methamphetamine
and Nevada Woolgrowers Association, also presented
testimony that the proposed rules would infringe on the
liberties of residents.
Land Use Advisory
Commission, which calls for, among other items, the
arrest of any federal agent attempting to enforce the
proposed rule changes on a charge of impersonating a law
scheme to put forth an
appearance of legitimacy. "
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