Okay, I just finished blogging on Land Use Planning and Water Planning: Never the Twain Shall Meet (23 March 2007), so what happens? A colleague sent me a copy of a bill that has been introduced in the Nevada State Senate (SB 405) by Sen. Mark E. Amodei (R-Carson City) that would, among other things, prohibit the coordination of land and water management.
I'm thinking that perhaps I am the victim of a belated April Fools' Day joke (like my 1 April 2007 post) but apparently not - it's there in the archives.
The bill grants the State Engineer "...full authority with respect to the analysis, management, appropriation, and diversion of public waters..." Seems appropriate and reasonable, right? But there's more. In Section 5, the bill would prohibit actions by local governments and state agencies that conflict with decisions of the State Engineer, and Section 8 prohibits the State Engineer from using the presence or absence of zoning or planning designations as a determining factor in analyzing an application.
The bill is undergoing revision, and another hearing is scheduled for 4 April 2007.
I am reminded of May 1990, when I was driving to Las Vegas on I-15. As I crossed from AZ into NV, there was a huge billboard announcing Nevada's 125th anniversary of its statehood (1864-1989). Against the background of the state seal was a man on one knee with a long rifle on his knee. The sign read:
Nevada. 125 years of vision
I thought, "Yeah, tunnel vision". Apparently, nothing has happened to change my mind.
As my colleague said:
"Small minds are starting to think really big."
Note added on 21 May 2007: my colleague gleefully reported that this bill failed to pass, so Nevada's safe for a little while longer.