- The Air Force has just filed (on September
21, 1998) an application to extend its past withdrawal of approximately
3 million acres of public land for the Nellis Air Force Range (including
2,900,000 acres they expropriated in 1986, 90,000 acres that surround the
controversial AREA 51/Groom Lake are and the Groom Mountains that they
expropriated in 1988 and the 4,000 acres of White Sides/Freedom Ridge area
adjacent to AREA 51 that they expropriated in 1995).
- According to the official public notice
posted on the Federal Register (October 2, 1998.......Volume 63, Number
191, notices, page 53096 - 53097):
- The withdrawal of land will expire on
November 5, 2001, unless extended. The Air Force states that it has "determined
there is a continuing military need for the land". The Air Force
also says that "the Range is used as a national test and training
facility for military equipment and personnel. The Range provides for
realistic, secure, simulation of a battle area, complete with surface and
air defense systems, command/control systems, and targets. These activities
need to be performed in a secure area to ensure public safety".
- The withdrawal extension requires legislative
action by the Congress. For a period of 90 days from October 2, 1998,
ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS who wish to submit comments, suggestions, or objections
in connection with the proposed withdrawal extension may present their
views in writing to the Nevada State Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
Comments should be sent to the Nevada State Director, BLM, 1340 Financial
Blvd., P.O. Box 12000, Reno, Nevada 89520. (for further information, contact:
Dennis J. Samuelson, 702-861-6532)
- There will be 7 PUBLIC MEETINGS. The
purpose of these meetings is for ALL interested persons to comment on the
proposed extension of the withdrawal and the associated draft legislative
environmental impact statement.
- Each meeting will begin with an OPEN
HOUSE at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of the OPEN HOUSE is for people to gather
information on the proposed land withdrawal extension and ask questions.
Representatives from the Air Force will be there to answer questions.
A formal PUBLIC HEARING will begin at 7:30 p.m. for each meeting and will
continue until 10:00 p.m. ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS will be given the opportunity
to voice their opinions and make formal remarks during the hearing. The
7 meetings will be conducted at the following locations on the date indicated:
- November 9, 1998, Indian Springs Community
Center, Indian Springs, NV.
- November 10, 1998, El Dorado High School,
Las Vegas, NV.
- November 11, 1998, Caliente Youth Center,
- November 12, 1998, Pahrump Valley High
School, Pahrump, NV.
- November 13, 1998, Beatty High School,
- November 16, 1998, Tonopah Convention
Center, Tonopah, NV.
- November 17, 1998, Airport Plaza Hotel,
- We urge ALL concerned citizens (as well
as the newsmedia) to attend any of these meetings. We are not against
the government's legitimate use of the Nellis Air Force Range (including
AREA 51) for the realization of much needed research, development and testing
as part of the continual effort to improve all aspects of our strategic
national defense programs. It will be a great opportunity to voice the
public's concerns, however, on several AREA 51-related issues that are
yet unresolved, for example:
- Who or whatever is in charge of AREA
51 needs to be held accountable for what may be numerous criminal infractions
against Constitutionally mandated rights of American citizens. With this
in mind, we would like to present the following specific proposals at the
- 1) that the government, through its
most appropriate agency (whichever one may be designated) and through publicly
recognized media, give a statement, once and for all, of assurance that
the former AREA 51 workers were or are being medically treated (and accordingly
compensated) for their illnesses contracted while toxic substances were
illegally burnt on the site.
- 2) that the government construct a clearly
marked new fence or other substantial border structure all along the restricted
boundary line, particularly on both sides of Groom Lake Road, instead of
vague, thin orange posts posted wide apart.
- 3) that the government construct a new
guard shack right at the restricted boundary line on Groom Lake Road, instead
of the present guard shack which is more than a third of a mile inside
the restricted area.
- 4) that a recognized Public Affairs
Office be established specifically for this base, not the PA office at
Nellis AFB which is apparently neither cleared nor qualified to give decent
information regarding the base since it is apparently not a Nellis asset.
- 5) that the government give this multi-faceted
base a more concrete designation and mission description, and not just
a vague designation like "an operating base by Groom Lake", which
is still being used. The lack of an official name of the base could bring
about more problems in the future when dealing with future accidents, employee-compensation
cases or any other legal efforts relating to the base and its activities
should such situations arise in the future.
- Hope to see you there!!
- Norio Hayakawa (GroomWatch@aol.com)