First lands bill workshop sparks concerns, comments | NevadaAppeal.com

First lands bill workshop sparks concerns, comments

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

With eyes fixed on maps and pens in hand to write down pertinent thoughts, more than two dozen residents attended a workshop on Wednesday evening focusing on the federal lands bill being created for Carson City.

Changes in land management or ownership around the city are being proposed for more than three dozen areas, many of which are now under federal control.

Many residents have been asking, “why are you doing this?” said City Manager Linda Ritter. “Congress is to look at these lands. They asked us to do it.”

A proposal to add the 2,450-acre Prison Hill Recreation Area to the lands bill hasn’t been put on the maps, however. The popular location is next to a site already being considered: 868 acres comprised mostly of Silver Saddle Ranch and Carson River Park.

“If they’re going to take Silver Saddle they should take Prison Hill – for continuity of management and so it doesn’t end up a land-locked parcel,” said Dan Greytak, of the Carson River Advisory Committee, a panel that eventually will chime in on the bill.

Silver Saddle is a working ranch on diverse habitat, said Karen Kish, president of the Lahontan Audubon Society. Her group is interested in how the city might manage Silver Saddle because the city is eyeing it for a regional park.

The land should be managed so more people could enjoy it, but members also want to ensure any plans aren’t disruptive toward the habitat.

While the land bill list originally highlighted areas that pose land-management concerns, interest increased when residents near a 300-acre site east of Sedge and Deer Run roads found out about a proposal for a multiuse shooting range, said Parks and Recreation director Roger Moellendorf.

The prospect of taking over Silver Saddle area from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management also has garnered interest, he said.

Next week, residents will be able to address members of the Open Space Advisory Committee during their meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. Monday; and the Parks and Recreation Commission during their meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The second workshop is Wednesday, and the third Oct. 23 in Reno. While the presentations will be similar, updated information will be provided as the proposal moves through citizens’ panels.

If you go

Residents can give citizens panels their opinions about the federal lands bill next week. Both groups will meet in the Sierra Room at Community Center, 851 E. William St.

• Open Space Advisory Committee meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday

• Parks and Recreation Commission meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

The next information workshop will be from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in lobby of the Community Center.