Nevada gifted 160 acres to expand Mason Valley wildlife area |

Nevada gifted 160 acres to expand Mason Valley wildlife area

The Nevada Board of Examiners voted Tuesday to accept a gift of 160 acres next to the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area from the Ritter Ranch.

The market value of the land outside of Yerington is estimated at $192,000 and it is right next to the wildlife area already owned by the state.

Wildlife officials say the property is currently used for hay production but that the state Wildlife Department and Walker Basin Conservancy will now begin restoring the property to establish native vegetation. Under the agreement with the conservancy, a portion of the water purchased by the conservancy will remain on the property to assist with re-vegetation.

Plans for the area include providing upland habitat for mule deer, quail and turkey as well as providing a buffer to the wetlands to the north.

A spokesman said the property will be incorporated into the existing 17,582 acre wildlife management area.

The board consisting of Gov. Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske also voted to approve a $3.6 million addition to the south Reno DMV project. That raises the total cost of the new DMV complex to $39.76 million.

It will replace the Galletti Way DMV offices that were built in the 1960s when the total population of the Reno-Sparks area was about less than a sixth of the current population.

The new offices will also relieve some of the load on the Carson City DMV, which has seen a growing number of Reno residents driving south to avoid the congestion at Galletti Way.

Also approved Tuesday was the $50.2 million contract to build the College of Southern Nevada Health Sciences Building in Henderson.

But Sisolak pulled back one contract — a $450,000 contract with Reno lawyer Charles Zeh to provide legal services to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Board. He pointed out that $230 an hour is more than the state usually pays for outside legal services and questioned the language in the contract saying it includes travel time. But he seemed especially annoyed that Zeh didn’t show up for the board meeting

“Someone with a $450,000 contract and he doesn’t take the time to come?”

Sisolak took a motion to approve the contracts on the agenda, with the exception of the occupational board’s legal contract, “which is being held indefinitely.”