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BLM to purchase river lands

Amanda Hammon

About 173 acres along the Carson River likely will be purchased by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and protected as open space.

Last summer, Carson City Carson River and open space advisory committee members nominated 11 river parcels for purchase under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. Nine of the parcels, with an estimated value of about $1.4 million, just south of the Silver Saddle Ranch in East Carson were accepted for purchase.

“That acreage will be available to be purchased for open space and recreation purposes without Carson City having to spend monies toward that acquisition,” said Juan Guzman, city open space manager. “These are lands that have significant scenic and environmental values to the Carson River environment.”

Dan Jacquet, a BLM assistant manager and member of the city’s open space advisory committee, said it will take between nine and 12 months to complete the transactions with property owners, who have indicated their willingness to sell, he said.

The private land along the river separates public land to the east and west of the river corridor.

Purchase of the property will link public land with “overlapping objectives.”

“This is another example of this partnership that Carson City and BLM have developed in preserving open space,” Jacquet said. “It enhance the city’s access to the river, and it will meet some of our national objectives in protecting waterways and wildlife.”

Under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, the BLM sells property in Southern Nevada at public auction, and 85 percent of the money is available to buy environmentally sensitive Nevada land.

Carson City’s recent $1 million, 61-acre open space purchase is being nominated for purchase in round three of the land purchase act.

The land, adjacent to the Silver Saddle Ranch, was nigh to development when BLM officials asked the city to purchase the property. Because the land was slated for development, it came at a higher cost than if it had been purchased earlier. The purchase drew criticism from city leaders, who purchased the land partially relying on a commitment of reimbursement by the BLM.

Jacquet and Guzman said the property’s purchase would make sense for the BLM.

“I have great faith these lands will raise to the level of merit they deserve,” Guzman said.

One other 51-acre parcel along the river is also being nominated for purchase.