air force

A desert landscape in the foreground and mountains in the background.
Noah Glick

The U.S. Military could gain control over more than 1,300 square miles of public land in Nevada currently managed as a wildlife refuge under a bill passed by a congressional committee last week.

The House’s newly passed defense bill will establish a new armed services branch, the United States Space Force, which will be headquartered in Colorado Springs.

A look at installations within the Nevada Test and Training Range, as seen from U.S. Highway 95 in Nevada.
Noah Glick

The U.S. military is asking Congress for control over more public land in Nevada, and much of that could come at the expense of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska.

That has the state of Nevada, environmentalists and tribes all stepping up to condemn the proposal.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In a strong bipartisan message, the Nevada legislature says it will not welcome a proposed expansion of a U.S. Air Force training range into the state's Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

The Air Force is asking Congress to redesignate large swaths of public land for military testing and training. The majority of that request - 227,000 acres - lie within the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in southern Nevada.