Protect the Ruby Mountains

Protect the Ruby Mountains

In 2023, U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) re-introduced her legislation to expand protections and prohibit unproductive oil and gas development in Nevada’s beautiful and pristine Ruby Mountains. The Ruby’s, in Nevada, hold a rich cultural history and span 450,000 acres of public land, offering endless opportunities for skiing, hiking and angling. Home to diverse wildlife, including mule deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, Himalayan Snowcock, brook, rainbow and the threatened Lahontan Cutthroat trout—this cherished land faces the threat of oil and gas exploration and it needs our help.

“Every year, outdoor recreationists visiting the Ruby Mountains contribute to the overall 50,563 jobs and $4.9 billion to Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy provides to our state. This landscape is also home to Nevada’s largest deer herd,” said Russell Kuhlman, Executive Director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation. “Withdrawing the Ruby Mountains from oil and gas exploration will help ensure future generations are able to experience one of Nevada’s crown jewels and its wildlife.”

In the past, outdoor recreationists and the local community have advocated to preserve this land through Senator Cortez Mastro’s Ruby Mountains Protect Act due to the area’s cultural, ecological and economic importance and its potential for oil and gas development. To safeguard this treasure, we urge the Biden administration to prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Ruby Mountains and Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing “Ruby Marshes.” Additionally, we call on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to formally withdraw approximately 350,000 acres from mineral leasing. These actions will reinforce the protections outlined in Senator Cortez Mastro’s Ruby Mountains Protect Act, ensuring that these changes cannot be undone during future administrations.

“This isn’t just about conserving nature; it’s about acknowledging the strong connection between the protection of our public lands and the vitality of our local economies. Rural Nevada, more than many realize, relies on the health and accessibility of these lands. Beyond the conservation and economic implications, this decision would also lead to a more effective and strategic use of human resources at the Ruby Mountains, ensuring that those teams can focus on sustainable management and community engagement,” said Mandi Elliott, Executive Director of Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition.

Please join us in this call for action by writing a letter to Secretary Vilsack to urge the Department of the Interior to pass the Ruby Mountains Protection Act, and (if in Nevada) thank Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen for getting the bill to the floor. If the bill is passed, it will ensure the preservation of these natural wonders, safeguarding them for future generations and maintaining the environmental balance of the area.


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