Federal lands bill proposal advances | NevadaAppeal.com

Federal lands bill proposal advances

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Several residents attended a Parks and Recreation meeting Tuesday to voice their opinions about Carson City’s proposed federal lands bill.

More than 40 sites are being considered for inclusion in the bill, which would result in swaps for control of various parcels around the city.

A few sites, however, received extra attention during the discussion now controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The city seeks management of Silver Saddle Ranch and Prison Hill, more than 3,200 acres, and possibly several neighboring parcels.

A 31-acre site south of Fifth Street between Fairview Drive and Carson River Road being eyed for state work force housing has “no other viable uses” other than as open space or as a park and would only make traffic problems worse in the area, said resident Joe Childs.

Three parcels east of Deer Run Road, said resident Eddie Mayo, “have a wild horse herd there. The city doesn’t want to get into something like that.”

Off-highway-vehicle enthusiasts Brian Doyle and Keith Serpa were concerned about Prison Hill ending up without areas for people who enjoy their sport.

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While stopping sports isn’t the goal of taking control of Prison Hill, in the future, “there’s no guarantee any use is going to stay the same,” said parks and recreation director Roger Moellendorf.

West-side sites the city wants to turn over to the U.S. Forest Service also were discussed. Roughly 2,700 total acres might be turned over to the federal government because of the high cost to reduce fire fuels on them. The state is eyeing a portion of land as park area of its own, said open- space manager Juan Guzman.

The city doesn’t have money to buy land it might acquire as a result of this legislation, which will require federal legislative approval before any changes actually occur, he said.

To help offset costs for parcels that will take years to develop for recreational or park uses, open-space money will be used to manage the land. Up to $3 million will be set aside for firefighting costs – if the need arises, Guzman added.

Commissioners recommended much of the proposal, but put extra emphasis on wanting the site being eyed for work force housing as open space. They also wanted the city to retain more than 780 acres in the lower portion of Ash Canyon, where the state is seeking a portion for parks use.

The Carson River Advisory Committee will offer its recommendations about contents of the lands bill at 5:30 p.m. today in the Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St. After a final discussion by Planning Commissioners, the Board of Supervisors will begin examining it next month.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Carson River Advisory Committee meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Sierra Room, Community Center, 851 E. William St.