Major Andrew Bourland
Director of Public Affairs
Nellis Air Force Base
4370 N. Washington Blvd., Suite 221
Las Vegas, NV 89191
Dear Major Bourland:
Thank you for returning my call yesterday. Sorry I could not be in Caliente last night. I will be at the Las Vegas scoping hearing tomorrow.
Here is my request: I am asking to obtain a legal specification of the currently withdrawn lands composing the Nellis Range. According to PL 99-606, Section 1(2), the major part of these lands are shown on a map "Nellis Air Force Range Withdrawal -- Proposed", dated January 1985. Under Section 2(c), this map must be available for inspection in the office of the commander, Nellis Air Force Base. There is a similar provision for PL 98-485.
Obviously, I cannot inspect these documents in the commander's office unless I am given permission to enter Nellis to do so. Earlier this month, I filed FOIA requests with Nellis for these documents, which have been denied. I am now asking, as a citizen, to be given access to these documents in accordance with these laws. These maps, I assume, are detailed enough to determine the township/range sections incorporated in the current Nellis Range. If possible, I would like to inspect these maps before the Las Vegas scoping hearing so I can formulate an intelligent comment. I hereby request this inspection in the commanders office and request access to Nellis AFB to get there. I also made this request verbally to your assistant on Monday, June 17.
The motivation for my inquiry is simple: The public cannot reasonably comment on the environmental impact of the Nellis Range renewal unless it is given a definition of what lands will be subject to renewal. The absence of such a definition is my only criticism of the Range Renewal process at present, and I feel that I have been getting the run-around. When I specifically asked Air Force officers, at the neighborhood dialogue in Caliente and the Pioche commissioners meeting in Pioche, if Groom Lake was included in the Range Renewal, I was given only the answer that "all 99-606 lands" were included in the renewal. (Groom Lake is a dry lake bed in Lincoln County and does not necessarily refer to any installation.) If I can't get a definition of those 99-606 lands, in spite of public laws that say official maps of them must be open to public inspection, then it does seem like a Catch-22.
My criticism might be neutralized if I can view these maps, defined in 99-606 and 98-485, by the time of the hearing. If my inspection in the commanders office cannot by arranged before the hearing, I request that you bring copies of these maps with you to the hearing. I am sure that these maps would be of interest to other citizens there as well.
Area 51 Research Center
cc: Interested parties, Internet
HTML by Area 51 Research Center, 6/19/96.