THE ONLY PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE VIEWING LOCATION FOR AREA 51 IN NEVADA MAY SOON COME TO AN END?
There is a possibility that the only publicly accessible location from where Area 51 can still be viewed in the distance, may soon come to an end.
Could Tikaboo Peak (25 miles away from Area 51) be affected by the takeover by the Air Force?
MILITARY TAKEOVER OF NEVADA WILDLIFE REFUGE ANGERS CONSERVATIONISTS.
Conservation groups are blasting a plan in Congress that could split Desert National Wildlife Refuge north of Las Vegas and hand half of it over to the U.S. Air Force.
The change, tucked quietly into the House version of a massive defense authorization bill now in conference committee, would make land withdrawals permanent for the Nevada Test and Training Range and put the Department of Defense in charge of almost 850,000 acres currently managed by both the Pentagon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Attempts to get a Department of Defense comment on the plan were unsuccessful Wednesday, but the proposal’s backers say it will save the military the time and expense of having to reapply for an extension every couple of decades just to keep using the land the way it has been used since World War II.
But environmental advocates worry it could curtail future wildlife research and management on that part of the refuge.
“We’re really concerned about what it means. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it,” said Desiree Sorenson-Groves, vice president of government affairs for the National Wildlife Refuge Association, an independent nonprofit that works on behalf of the refuge system.
By the time conservationists learned about the proposal last month, the House had already passed the defense bill. They’re still not sure what to make of the language or why it was written into the measure apparently without consulting wildlife regulators.
“I’ve talked to people from the Fish &Wildlife Service. It was a complete surprise to them,” Sorenson-Groves said.
At 1.6 million acres, Desert is the nation’s largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established it in 1936 to protect the desert bighorn sheep and its habitat, but a large portion of the refuge has doubled as a military training ground and bombing range since 1940.
Today the entire western half of the refuge — some 846,000 acres — is under military control and off-limits to the public. The land in question includes a portion of the Nevada Test and Training Range and all of Creech Air Force Base north of Indian Springs, where closely guarded operators fly unmanned aerial vehicles on missions around the globe.
Infamous and ultra-secret Area 51 is just a few miles from the refuge’s northern boundary.
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The only publicly accessible viewing spot for Area 51 may soon become inaccessible?
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