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Conservationists praise NV wilderness proposal

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Conservationists are hailing compromise legislation to revive copper mining and create a 48,000 federal wilderness area in an economically ailing rural northern Nevada county.

U.S. Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller last week introduced a bill to transfer to the city of Yerington 19 square miles of federal land near Pumpkin Hollow, a copper mine being developed by Nevada Copper.

At Reid's insistence, Lyon County commissioners recently signed off on a provision creating the wilderness area around Bald Mountain in the Pine Grove Hills, located between Yerington and Bridgeport, Calif.

Shaaron Netherton of the Friends of Nevada Wilderness says the legislation strikes a “good balance” by giving a boost to the county's economy while protecting an area rich in wildlife habitat, archaeological resources and natural beauty.

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