Keeping Watch Over 12 Million Acres of Public Land
It is a rare occasion to see Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), Brad Sones, in the office at the BLM Elko District.
“Some LEO’s only use one map to navigate their district, while I have twelve maps for my district alone,” said Sones. Officer Sones regulates 12.3 million acres of land within the Elko District, 7 million being open to the public, making it difficult to foresee acts destroying natural resources, off-highway vehicle violations and drug related crimes.
Sones’ relies heavily on the public to call in questions or concerns they have while out on public lands. Sones has made a conscious effort to inform the public he comes into contact with as well as partner with local law enforcement.
Elko County has experienced an economic boost of commercial and housing construction, increasing the transient population due to the gold mining industry. During my ride-along, we came across a large pile of stripped copper wire near a busy dirt road on public land. Right away Sones called a city police officer to see if there had been reports of stolen copper in town.
This is just one way the local law enforcement agencies are working together to better oversee such a large jurisdiction of land at both the county and federal level.