Ranch owners say BLM should talk to them before announcing plans to buy it

The owners of an historic Carson City ranch say the BLM should ask them before announcing plans to try to buy the property.

Kae Jarrard and Bob Andersen, whose families have owned the ranch between Prison Hill and the Carson River for more than 50 years, say they were surprised by a news story claiming that Bureau of Land Management intends to buy the property.

They were equally surprised to read that a resolution is on the Board of Supervisors agenda for Thursday supporting the proposal.

"I can understand them wanting it," said Andersen. "But it's kind of mind boggling when you read that you're going to sell it. We went to a meeting with the city and BLM Friday and nobody brought it up. "

"We're not trying to sell any of it," said Jarrard, who lives in the ranch house. "My kids don't want to sell this ranch. Nobody's talked to us about buying it."

Carson District bureau Manager John Singlaub said the 450-acre ranch is one of his three priority purchases if he can get some of the money from this coming summer's land auction in Las Vegas. The bureau is auctioning land needed for development in the Las Vegas Valley. The revenue, expected to exceed $35 million, will be used for a variety of purposes including the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands elsewhere in the state.

Andersen said the American Land Conservancy talked to them several years ago about purchasing the property.

"Nothing ever happened after that," he said. "I didn't know all this was going on. We've never said no to any proposal like that but it surprised me because I haven't been talked to about it."

He and Jarrard said they met with city and bureau officials Friday to discuss leasing some of their water rights to help irrigate Silver Saddle Ranch across River Road.

"Nobody brought it up then," she said. "You'd think some one would have mentioned it."

Jarrard said the ranch wouldn't be a good candidate for development in any event.

"They can't," she said. "It's all in the flood plain, from the river up past my house. It's good for running cows or horses, alfalfa, pasture. But not for development. We've had water in the house a couple of times."

She said over the years, they've sold off most of the most developable land on high ground around the ranch.

"This down here is nothing but an old ranch," she said.

Singlaub said the idea has been discussed in the past but that this is the first time he's had a chance at finding the necessary cash.

"We keep trying to put a deal together," he said. "It's tough negotiating when you don't have the money to offer. Now there might be an opportunity."

He said he hopes to talk to the owners in the near future about the proposal.


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