BA comment period for the Basin and Range National Monument is underway between now and July 3.

At the county commission meeting June 5, County Planning and Building Director Cory Lytle said the Nevada Association of Counties requested that Lincoln County conduct their own comment period.

The monument, consisting of 704,000 acres of remote, undeveloped mountains and valleys in Lincoln and Nye counties is described in the Las Vegas Review-Journal as “one of the emptiest spaces in a state famous for its emptiness.” It was signed into law by President Obama’s executive order July 10, 2015.

In addition, Lytle said the U.S. Department of the Interior under the Trump Administration are reviewing the relevance of all of the recent designations.

In early May, the DOI announced the first ever public comment period for members of the public to officially weigh in on monument designations under the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the department released a list of 21 monuments since 1994, per the President’s Executive Order 13792, issued April 26, 2017. The list includes the Basin and Range Monument.

Comments may be submitted online until July 3 at http://www.regulations.gov, then entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the search bar and clicking “Search.”

Comments may also be sent by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C. Street NW, Washington, DC 20240

Lytle’s suggestion to commissioners was that after the comment period, “We might redraw what are the current monument boundaries and make suggestions on what it should be and why it should be, or we can just let it roll. That’s up to us.”

Commissioner Kevin Phillips agreed with the idea to redraw the boundaries. “It’s the first time we have been asked as a formal public body anything prior to that designation. Varlin Higbee commented, “At least now you are getting a chance to give your opinion.”

However, it is an open comment period, so anyone anywhere in the country can make a comment.

Higbee said at the recent meeting of the N4 Grazing board, a representative of Senator Dean Heller’s office said what Heller would like to see from both Lincoln and Nye Counties is what they do think ought to be protected as a monument, the rock art, Mike Heizer’s City sculpture in Garden Valley, etc., “things that are actually antiquities, and if we shrink it down to that point, it would be a lot easier for Heller to present it to the Secretary of the Interior (Ryan Zinke) to be able to get a handle on it.”