Carson River Canyon Open Space will soon be closed from dusk to dawn.
Earlier this month about $5,500 in damages was caused when five city signs in the area were destroyed, including a 1,600-pound monument sign pulled out of the ground about a mile inside the canyon and dragged out and dumped in a parking area across Deer Run Road.
That follows $1,300 in damages due to destruction of other small signs there in the last nine months, said Ann Bollinger, Open Space administrator.
The decision to close off the area at night by automating an existing gate at the Deer Run Road entrance came before the recent vandalism, after years of problems in the area.
“In addition to the vandalism, other illegal activities have included camping, campfires, target shooting and, the biggest problem, illegal dumping, from landscape materials and household trash to tires, mattresses, appliances and even a pool table,” said Bollinger.
In 2009, the Nevada National Guard helped the city remove 20 cars from the canyon and a wildfire was set off there in 2014 during the 4th of July holiday by someone setting off fireworks.
The solar-powered gate will automatically close at night and reopen in the morning with access for emergency and city personnel via a keypad.
Equipment needed to automate the gate is still being installed so it’s unknown right now when it will become operational.
Anyone with information on the recent vandalism can call Secret Witness, which provides cash rewards for information leading to arrest and prosecution of anyone vandalizing public property, at 775-322-4900.