Dr. Beth Leger is the lead author on this carefully crafted list of issues that require input from real scientists:
We are a group of citizens and scientists who live and work in Nevada. Our work is to understand how Nevada’s natural systems function, and we study water, air, pollution, plants and animals. The knowledge we create allows Nevadans to use their natural resources in a sustainable way. We also educate the next generation of scientists and land managers who will continue to support Nevadans. Our work strengthens Nevada’s economy and legacy and is nationally and internationally recognized and funded.
We deem that the ten issues below put Nevadans at significant risk of losing their way of life, and the future they hope to give their children. We ask for your support in representing these issues at the Federal level in support of Nevada.
- Value of basic science –We support increased funding for basic research entities including NSF, NASA, NIH, EPA, and USDA. Every aspect of our lives is affected by basic scientific knowledge and technologies gained through research.
- Science as a core of decision making–We oppose the deletion of data, limits on Federal scientists’ communication with the public, and bills like the REINS act that marginalize facts, and expert opinions.
- Value of cultural diversity –We oppose policies that limit legal exchange of human resources and ideas. Such policies will fundamentally weaken Nevada’s future and as educators, we are obligated to train our students to live and work in a diverse world.
- Climate change – We request support for climate change research, especially for research that aims to understand how water and food supplies will be affected, and how plants and animals will respond. Research that identifies the impacts of climate change will guide strategies to mitigate the effects.
- Threats to the mission of the EPA –We request continued support of the EPA’s mission to protect natural systems. The EPA is a science-based regulatory agency that protects multiple ecological services to society (water, food, air, recreation). Maintaining strong environmental regulation is in Nevada’s best economic interest because of the demand for clean energy alternatives.
- Public Lands – We support maintenance of the vast public lands of Nevada that provide the backbone of rural economies. They serve as repositories for our natural resources and basis for recreation and future options. We, along with most Nevadans, resist efforts to transfer lands to state/private entities.
- Endangered Species Act – We support maintaining this historic legislation that preserves intact and functioning ecosystems, as well as highly-valued plants and animals for future generations.
- Alternative energy –We request that our representatives support policies that expand the role of solar, wind, and geothermal power. Investment in these alternative energy sources will bring economic growth to Nevada, and will reducing impacts of climate change. Developing alternative energy sources is key for reducing C02 emissions and human impacts on the climate.
- K-12 education funding – We request that our representatives oppose actions that would transfer public funding to private schools. We are concerned about the direction of the Department of Education, and the impact of reductions in funding of public schools on K-12 student performance.
- Federal hiring freeze- We request support in eliminating the hiring freeze for land management agencies. Nevada’s lands are managed by Federal agencies, and their employees come from our student population.