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Bill Seeks To Protect Nevada Waterways

A bill aimed at protecting Nevada’s waterways from invasive species is being considered in the Nevada Legislature but is encountering opposition because of fees proposed to establish a permanent boat inspection program.

During a hearing Thursday, Democratic Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams of Las Vegas said SB167 would establish an inspection program to prohibit launching of boats contaminated with invasive species into state waters. A similar program is already in place at Lake Tahoe to prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels.

It would also make deliberate introduction of invasive species a felony with fines up to $250,000.

While the bill calls for the Nevada Wildlife Commission to set a “reasonable” fee to fund the program, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports Gov. Brian Sandoval’s administration and some lawmakers oppose that provision.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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