First Nevada-California bi-state park advances

A proposal for the first bi-state park between California and Nevada, situated at Stateline east of the casinos, has made Nevada's master-planning map and legislative schedule.

California signed the agreement last month on the proposed 725-acre Van Sickle State Park.

Nevada parks officials plan to bring the $3 million proposal to the state Board of Examiners and Legislative Finance Committee next month.

"We want the Legislature, since we're breaking new ground here, to be on board with this," said Nevada parks Chief of Planning Steve Weaver.

Work will begin in April on the master plan, with public workshops scheduled shortly thereafter.

Parks officials expect construction will begin by 2006, with completion estimated by 2008.

Of the many ideas under consideration, parks planners want to run a trail from Stateline near Park Avenue onto the property, with picnic areas in the works. They also plan to turn the 140-year-old barn that housed livestock for rancher Jack Van Sickle into a visitors center and historical site.

Inspections by structural engineers will need to be made on the building under the Heavenly gondola to determine whether it's use is feasible.

Van Sickle donated 542 acres to Nevada 13 years ago, with a request for a park. The California Tahoe Conservancy brought another 155 acres for the effort last summer when it closed on a $3.8 million deal with the Carson Valley rancher.

Nevada parks already owns 28 acres that further expanded the park.

The park site was a hotbed of activity when a 670-acre fire broke out on it over the last Fourth of July holiday. The fire was started by a discarded cigarette under the gondola between towers 11 and 12 on California Tahoe Conservancy property.


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