Public Lands

Despite past grandstanding on “federal overreach,” Laxalt dodged a voter’s question about public lands and has let the Trump administration set the agenda on land issues.

Laxalt aggressively litigated against the Obama administration for supposed “federal overreach” on land and water issues but has bowed to the Trump administration on the land issue, saying that Trump did not support “turning all of our lands over” so the issue was “simply off the table.”

Still, with independent Ryan Bundy running on a platform that all land belongs to the states, Laxalt claimed he had pushed for more land transfers from the federal government to the state.

Laxalt refused to defend Nevada’s public lands from Trump’s cuts in opposition to an overwhelming majority of Nevadans.

Laxalt flip-flopped when he was campaigning for attorney general on his embrace of the Bundys and the Bunkerville militia.

In April 2014, Laxalt released a statement calling the people involved in the Bunkerville standoff “ranchers, friends and fellow church-going residents of our state.” In a candidate debate in October 2014, Laxalt said, “I have never even mentioned once that I support Cliven Bundy.  I’ve certainly never said that he’s my friend.”

#AskLaxalt how far he’ll go to keep from losing votes to Ryan Bundy.

Now that Cliven’s son Ryan is in the race for governor as a nonpartisan, Laxalt has moved farther to the right on land issues. In late March, Laxalt made “bizarre comments” at a campaign stop in rural Fernley, including calling the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “an enemy in our state.”

“How will you pay for all that land management, governor-in-hoping? Maybe you are simply trying to induce independent candidate Ryan Bundy, who is going to cut into your rural base, out of the race?” — Jon Ralston, The Nevada Independent, 3/25/18.