Bill would authorize sale of 231 acres in Nevada

RENO -- A bill introduced in Congress by Sens. John Ensign and Harry Reid would authorize the U.S. Forest Service to sell pockets of land it owns in Douglas County and Carson City.

The Nevada National Forest Land Disposal Act of 2003, introduced Wednesday, involves 231 acres near U.S. 395, official said.

If approved, 65 percent of the land sale proceeds would be used to build an air traffic control tower and training facility at the Minden Interagency Dispatch Center, which coordinates response to wildfires along the eastern Sierra and Lake Tahoe.

The center's expansion also would include living quarters and office space for the Black Mountain Hot Shot firefighting crew.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds would go to developing and maintaining parks and trails within Douglas County and Carson City. The state education fund and the Carson Water Subconservancy District would each receive 5 percent.

The parcels are "isolated, stand-alone tracts" that have high development value, said Gary Schiff, acting deputy supervisor for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

"They don't really have any national forest character," he said.

Three acres are located in Carson City south of Highway 50 West near the junction with South Carson Street, Schiff said. The remaining five parcels, ranging in size from 5 acres to 80 acres, are in Douglas County.

Reid, D-Nev., and Ensign, R-Nev., said in a statement that the bill was "commonsense legislation" to help consolidate and simplify management of public lands administered by the Forest Service while benefiting the state and two local entities.

The properties would be sold at public auction.

Carson City and Douglas County support the measure, Schiff said.


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