Forest Service makes county presentation

The U.S. Forest Service has news for Douglas County residents on everything from roadless areas to restrooms.

Carson District Ranger Gary Schiff covered almost a dozen projects and topics concerning Douglas County during an informal briefing recently.

One of the higher-profile projects is a proposed trailhead to Faye and Luther canyons, to be located on Foothill Road.

Schiff said the agency expects to make a decision on the project by March 1, but is still working on a final site plan and addressing the concerns of property owners who live near the proposed trailhead.

Schiff said many of the people who commented on the proposal want a larger parking area. The current plan calls for a lot that will hold 10 to 12 cars and accommodate horse trailers.

He expects the project to be completed by Oct. 1.

At the north end of the county, near the Carson City line, a land exchange involving 28 acres of Forest Service land could be done in six months, Schiff said.

The land is near the redevelopment area that is home to Costco and Home Depot, and county officials would like to expand the area available for commercial development by acquiring the land.

Schiff said the land has been appraised, but scrutiny of the Forest Service's land exchange policies may slow the process.

Other Forest Service activities discussed included:

-- Improvements near the site of the former power dam south of Gardnerville. The Forest Service has improved the parking area, installed a portable bathroom and may add a boat ramp and picnic tables if an agreement to police the area can be reached with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

-- A fuel break near the Alpine View area. Comments will be soon sought.

-- Revegetation and other work at the Dresslerville materials pit near the Gardnerville Ranchos. Schiff said the agency wants to work with motorcyclists on a specific riding area so parts of the pit can be revegetated.

He said the pit might also be a candidate for a land exchange.

-- A proposal to designate roadless areas within national forests. Schiff said residents have voiced "significant concerns" about the idea and said he welcomes more comments.

-- Restrooms on Spooner Summit. Schiff said planners are considering a permanent facility similar to the one that was built on Highway 28 south of Incline Village.

-- Leviathan Mine. Schiff said he would invite county representatives to tour Leviathan Mine when spring runoff begins so they can judge whether treatment of mine pollution is working. The former mine has been leaching contaminants into watersheds that drain into the Carson River's east fork, and the site is expected to be put on the federal Superfund list later this year.

-- Autumn Hills. Schiff said the Forest Service has continued working with residents to replant property charred by the Autumn Hills fire.


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