Friends of Silver Saddle Ranch will host an open house Saturday to promote stewardship of the historic site near the Carson River.
A festive holiday theme will mingle with the organization's bid to raise awareness of efforts by members and others to protect, preserve and enhance Silver Saddle's 703 acres and other open space land nearby.
"It's just a special little niche in Eagle Valley," said Beth Scott, FOSSR vice president, speaking about the ranch.
The open house event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, with families encouraged to bring along children to see the ranch and partake of refreshments. A visit by Santa Claus, arriving by pony carriage, is set for 11 a.m.
Beth Scott and her husband, Bruce, are involved in the overall project in more than one sense. He is involved by virtue of membership on the Carson City Open Space Committee.
Their interest in part is sparked by proximity, as their own home is nearby.
"We can see Silver Saddle," she said, "so we have neighborly care and concern."
Her husband said the city's Open Space panel members are putting together a management plan to cover Silver Saddle and other acreage the community will oversee under a swap of properties involving the city and federal agencies. It's part of the Vital Community Act initiative.
Silver Saddle is part of thousands of acres being transferred to the community from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, he explained. "There's a lot of support for it," he said.
His spouse said the conveyance is part of a perpetual conservation easement to ensure sound stewardship of the properties involved.
Nancy Santos, president of the ranch's friends organization, said years ago the area was targeted for a development of 400 or so homes, but that was halted when the BLM got control of it in the 1990s.
"It became (federal) government land - public land," she said.
Santos, involved with FOSSR since it was formed about a dozen years ago, has been the group's president for years.
She is a biologist and first went to Silver Saddle for bird watching as a member of the Lahontan Audubon Society of Reno years ago.
The FOSSR goals:
Preserve and enhance the area scenic, natural and undeveloped character; protect and enhance the river ecosystem; provide for trail uses and other recreation; enhance ranch access; preserve area cultural heritage; improve on-site education, and improve management.
Silver Saddle Ranch is located on Carson River Road near the Carson River Park on the rural eastern edge of the city. Open house organizers say people attending can enter the ranch via the river road and make their way to the red house with exterior holiday decor.