LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — When it comes to Nevada’s water, energy, and, public lands, senator Harry Reid left his mark.
“I think his legacy will be the land. It will be that more than five million acres of national monuments, wilderness national parks, the rivers and streams and lakes of Nevada,” said UCLA environmental historian, Jon Christensen.
Christensen created a 90-minute documentary that focuses on how Reid used his political power to make positive change.
He finds Reid’s fights to preserve environmental treasures inspiring.
“He worked with President Obama to protect three national monuments, including Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monument. He spurred transition to renewable energy and the end of coal burning in Nevada and Las Vegas,” Christensen said.
As a congressman, he authored and passed a bill in the 80s that established Nevada’s first national park, Great Basin National Park.
And throughout his career, Reid would go on fighting for unpopular causes.
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“Like climate change, where there was a time and in congress, where that was something that a lot of politicians didn't touch. And he was able to go out there and start making it a part of the mainstream discourse and dialogue,” Kyle Roerink, Great Basin Water Network Executive Director.
Roerink says Senator Reid's environmental legacy will benefit the nation and Nevadan’s for generations.
“I think everywhere you go with Senator Reid, like his, his name, in certain corners of this state is, is a figurative four letter word, but at the same time, you have admirers of his, who, you know, would fight tooth and nail to protect his legacy,” said Roerink.
Governor Steve Sisolak also issued an executive order today ordering flags in Nevada be lowered in tribute to Reid.
Flags at state buildings will remain lowered until sunset on the day of his funeral.