CCSO, BLM settle differences on Sand Mountain closure |

CCSO, BLM settle differences on Sand Mountain closure

Steve Ranson
Two sings are posted at the entrance to Sand Mountain. On the left is a sign from the Churchill County Sheriff's Office, while the BLM taped up a sign saying the popular recreation area is closed.

The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management have come to an understanding to keep the Sand Mountain Recreation Area open.

Sheriff Ben Trotter said recreationists will use the area, which is 30 miles east of Fallon near U.S Highway 50, at their own risk.

Because of last week’s government shutdown, which furloughed most BLM personnel, the BLM closed its recreation areas across the West, including Sand Mountain, and posted “No Trespassing” signs.

“I attempted to contact the BLM and was unsuccessful,” Trotter said. “Furthermore, the BLM had made no contact with the CCSO informing us of their planned activity.”

Consequently, Trotter said he drove to Sand Mountain on Friday and posted a public notice regarding the closure and advise users to clean up after themselves and pay the appropriate fees.

In the meantime, Trotter said the BLM covered his sign.

A BLM representative and Trotter met on Monday to discuss the signs and recreation area. Although the government’s no trespassing signs remain up, Trotter said he was told the site is under a soft closure, meaning restrooms are not maintained but no enforcement of the closure will be enacted.

Since their meeting, Trotter said the BLM has allowed both signs to remain posted at the entrance.

Authorities trying to identify body

Preliminary anthropological and dental reports reveal that the remains found in August are those of a caucasian woman between 30 and 50 years of age, said Trotter.

On Aug. 18, he said unidentified human remains were located on a remote hillside north of the Jessup Exit in Churchill County.

Trotter said the recovered teeth and mandible reveal that there had been fairly extensive corrective dental work performed on a number of the molars. Partially healed facial injuries to include recent surgery and rib fractures indicate she suffered severe trauma to the right side of the body weeks prior to her death. The investigation into the identity of the missing person is on-going and DNA is in progress.

Anyone who may have any information that would assist in identifying who this subject should contact the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office at 775-423-3116 or call Secret Witness.