Nevada lawmakers have reintroduced a bill that seeks to cut red tape so rescue or recovery teams can search federal lands without delays.
Senator Dean Heller and Representative Joe Heck, both Nevada Republicans, revived their Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act that died in Congress last December.
The bill was originally drafted in 2013 following the discovery of the bodies of Las Vegas cab driver Keith Goldberg and Air Force Staff Sergeant Antonio Tucker. Heck said the bill was about giving volunteer search groups access to public lands “without jumping through federal regulatory hoops.”
“This bill removes an unnecessary burden for … search groups and will help bring closure to families searching for missing loved ones like the Goldbergs,” Heck said.
Goldberg was killed and his body dumped at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in January 2012. Recovery teams were denied entrance until they secured a $1 million liability insurance policy.
After nine months of fund raising, the search team received a special use permits. Goldberg’s body was discovered within hours.
After also waiting nearly a year for the necessary permits, Tucker’s remains took fewer than two days to find in the Lake Mead Recreation Area.
“No family should have to wait on the federal government when it comes to searching for a missing loved one on public lands,” Heller said.
The bill requires that a decision on issuing a permit for accessing public lands be provided within 48 hours of application and that groups are not responsible for obtaining an insurance policy given they wave federal government liability.
Dave Cummings, founder, Red Rock Search and Rescue.
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