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Contemporary Nevada

Bryan: Environment

Richard Hudson Bryan served as governor of Nevada from 1983 to 1989.  He was born on July 6, 1937 in Washington, D.C. and raised in Las Vegas.  He became the first State Public Defender in 1966, was a State Assemblyman, State Senator and Attorney General before being elected governor in 1982.  He was elected as one of Nevada's U. S. Senators in 1988 and resigned as governor January 3, 1989 to assume that office.
"Protecting our environment" Richard Bryan, 1983

This administration is committed to the protection of our environment. In fact, our long-term economic health depends upon sound environmental practices. We cannot promote tourism if we have foul air. We cannot revive our building trades unless we have clean water and adequate sewage treatment to provide for growth. We cannot have successful agriculture if we do not protect our lands.

We have had some environmental victories. The lame duck session of Congress passed a high level nuclear waste siting law that is very responsive to state concerns. It will require a two house
resolution of Congress to override a state veto of a high level nuclear waste site. Our Congressional delegation in December played a major role in insuring the passage of that bill. Other bills that were proposed would have denied the states virtually any say in determining the sites for high level nuclear storage.

We can also report progress in the storage of low level nuclear waste. You will have legislation before you to enact a Rocky Mountain Compact. It will provide for storage sites on a rotational basis in the compact states. As we phase out Beatty, a new site will be developed in Colorado. This regional approach recognizes that waste storage is not a local problem. No longer will Nevada be the low level nuclear dump for the entire west. We can also report good news on Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a state and national treasure. It is one of the cornerstones of our great tourism industry. Preservation of Lake Tahoe and its world-renowned water quality, and protection of its magnificent scenic vistas, is vital to the economic health of our state. Moreover, such action is our proper role on behalf of those who will follow.

Nevadans should lead the way in development of a strong and meaningful plan to preserve Lake Tahoe. That plan and a continued land acquisition program through the Santini-Burton act will protect the lake and treat Nevada landowners fairly and equitably.

Photo Credit:
Nevada State Library and Archives