LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two Republican congressmen are urging the Obama administration to expedite approval of an off-road race through Nevada’s newest national monument.

The 643-mile “Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno Race” is opposed by environmentalists and still hasn’t received the necessary permit two weeks before it’s supposed to begin.

The two-day competition is scheduled to start Aug. 19 in Alamo, northeast of Las Vegas, and finish the next day near Dayton, east of Carson City.

Conservationists object because it includes 37 miles of existing dirt road in the Basin and Range National Monument President Obama designated last summer.

Reps. Mark Amodei and Cresent Hardy told Interior Secretary Sally Jewell this week there is no scientific reason to deny the special recreation permit. They say the race could mean up to $40 million for rural communities along the route.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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