Thursday, November 4, 2010

Conservation group to meet at J.W. Marriott in advance of BLM summit

By Paul Takahashi (contact)

Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010 | 1:25 p.m.

Top conservationists and public lands leaders will descend upon Las Vegas for a “Friends Rendezvous” summit Nov. 12 through 14 to discuss the future management and direction of National Conservation Lands in the West.

The meeting will take place at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Summerlin, 221 N. Rampart Blvd., next weekend, just before the start of a major Bureau of Land Management summit that will also determine the future course of public lands.

The discussions from both conferences will affect about 800 National Conservation Land areas in the West, including nearby Red Rock Canyon and Sloan Canyon national conservation areas.

“The National Conservation Lands still lack a unifying management vision as well as necessary policies and procedures to ensure their outstanding resources are adequately protected,” Conservation Lands Foundation executive director Chris Soderstrom said in a statement. “The Rendezvous will be a great time for us to come up with recommendations and ideas that we can share with BLM management and staff at their summit.”

About 40 local friends groups – volunteer organizations working to protect local national conservation lands sites – will be attending the meeting. Friends of Red Rock Canyon, Friends of Sloan Canyon and Friends of Gold Butte will represent the Las Vegas area at the Rendezvous.

The Conservation Lands Foundation is an organization that works to conserve 28 million acres of National Conservation Lands between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Some of the group’s more prominent members, including former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and award-winning author and documentary filmmaker Dayton Duncan, are expected to attend the Rendezvous.

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