City looks to feds to help preserve open space

Carson City officials are hoping the sale of land in Southern Nevada may help preserve about 1,600 acres in the capital as open space.

Carson City, Washoe and Douglas County have recommend lands for purchase by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. The act allows money from the sale of Southern Nevada properties to be used purchasing environmentally sensitive land around the state.

Carson City supervisors approved the list last week.

Juan Guzman, Carson open space manager, included in Carson City's request 640 acres in Kings Canyon Open Space Advisory Committee members have been thinking of buying.

The property, including a meadow visible from the valley floor, is privately owned and is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. Guzman said the committee may purchase some of the property and then wait for a reimbursement from Southern Nevada act. In theory, the Forest Service would take over ownership of the land.

"If we don't buy it, it will be developed," Guzman said.

The open space committee has around $1.8 million available for purchases, he said.

In 2000, the city paid $1 million for a 61-acre parcel adjacent to the BLM's Silver Saddle Ranch after a developer began preparing the site for houses. The land is surrounded by BLM property. The federal agency approached city officials in 2000 about buying the property because the city can move faster in land purchases. The city will be reimbursed for the purchase through the Southern Nevada act.

Guzman also is proposing the preservation of 162 acres in Ash Canyon, but he said the U.S. Forest Service isn't interested in ownership of that property.

The third recommendation encompasses 919 acres along the Carson River owned by Don Bentley and John Serpa. The property is needed for reconstruction of the V&T Railroad. Mayor Ray Masayko asked that nothing in the federal process hinder the possibility of the railroad's potential reconstruction on the property

The three counties, which partnered on the recommendation to decrease paperwork and county competition in the process, are recommending more than 5,000 acres for purchase.


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