If there were a way we could magically redesign Carson City to make maximum use of its natural assets, the Carson River would likely be meandering through the heart of the city. It would present another attraction for the downtown, one that could be developed with trails and water recreation. In other words, a plan patterned after what Reno has done with the Truckee River.
But just because the river isn't a close walk from the downtown doesn't mean it shouldn't still be developed for those uses. And for the progress they've made to that end, we applaud local and state officials.
They're developing a 14-mile stretch of the river from Carson City to Dayton to be used as a rafting route, a plan that included upgrades at two city parks, access points and signs. It would run through the picturesque Carson River Canyon (and so, too, will the V&T Railway, if that project is completed), a place that many local residents have never visited because access is poor.
There's another benefit from the plan to develop the aquatic trail - the Carson River Canyon's beauty is marred by a lot of trash and abandoned cars, despite the efforts of local citizens during annual cleanups. Projects that convert stretches of the river to more accessible recreation use will also surely result in more attention being paid to keeping those natural areas clean.
The aquatic trail has the potential to bring more tourist dollars into the area, and when combined with other attractions, including the V&T, it might help put the city on the map as a weekend destination for families around the region. But even if that proves overly optimistic, development of the aquatic trail is worthwhile so that local residents will be better able to enjoy one of the most beautiful assets the area has to offer.
• The editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board.