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A Nevada state assemblyman has vowed to take a thousand volunteers,
armed with pick-axes and shovels, to a remote roadway closed by federal
officials, and to reopen it this weekend, according to a report.

John C. Carpenter, an
assemblyman from Nevada’s 33rd district and a member of the Nevada
Legislature’s Republican Caucus, confirmed the report to WorldNetDaily
in a telephone interview yesterday. Carpenter said he believes the road
– which is on federally protected forestland — rightfully belongs to
Elko County and its residents and should remain open.

A few years ago, federal Fish and Wildlife officials closed the road,
ostensibly to protect a species of endangered fish.

That species, however, “is not endangered, and its numbers are
actually on the rise,” Carpenter told WorldNetDaily. “Our own (Nevada)
Fish and Wildlife service, which is a wonderful agency, has determined
there is no imminent danger of extinction” to the fish, “though the
federal government doesn’t see it that way.”

Carpenter confirmed that “somewhere between 500 and 1,000 people”
have expressed a commitment to join him to reopen the road — a small,
dirt thoroughfare that leads to a remote camping site near the Jarbidge
River.

“This is just another county road,” Carpenter said, “and it has been
for many, many years — way before the U.S. Forest Service was
established. It belongs to the county, not the federal government.”

Carpenter said the roadway is “vital” for outdoorsmen, campers and
nature enthusiasts “to use for recreation, hunting and fishing.” And,
he said, “we’re afraid that if this road stays closed for any length of
time, the Forest Service is then going to use it as an excuse to extend
the wilderness.”

“We feel we have plenty of wilderness in Nevada already,” he said.

The Justice Department would not comment on Carpenter’s planned
action, and the Elko County Sheriff’s Department has pledged only to
“keep the peace,” but did not say it planned to interfere. Carpenter
said he doesn’t believe the U.S. Forest Service or the Justice
Department “plan to send in a bunch of armed agents to stop us.”

And once the road is opened, he predicted, “it will probably stay
open. The people will have spoken.”

Carpenter said a similar incident in Nye County, Nev., a few years
ago “resulted in some people there reopening a road with a bulldozer –
and it has remained open since.”

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