Meetings to inform residents about lands bill | NevadaAppeal.com

Meetings to inform residents about lands bill

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Officials have added some public workshops to the schedule of meetings this month where creation of a federal lands bill for Carson City will be the focus.

The first of three public workshops is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road.

“It is important to receive as much testimony from the public as possible to make sure we’re doing things the public is in agreement with,” said Juan Guzman, the city’s open-space manager.

More than three dozen sites are being considered for inclusion in this legislative proposal – the first of its kind for the city – asking that control of various parcels be exchanged or transferred.

“The question came up of ‘who should own the land?'” said City Manager Linda Ritter. “Our congressional delegation told us we should look at this.”

The second workshop is Oct. 18 in the lobby of the Community Center, 851 E. William St., and the third Oct. 23 in the University of Nevada, Reno, Cooperative Extension office, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15. Both will be from 6-8 p.m.

The bill started off primarily as a land-management tool. While a variety of sites around the city were listed for several reasons, emphasis was on fire, watershed and drainage issues, and on putting parcels together for simplified care, Guzman said.

Some notable exceptions are C Hill, about 150 acres south of Kings Canyon Road, to maintain the flag; nearly 170 acres along the Carson River and Deer Run Road, known as Ambrose Carson River Natural Area; and a 305-acre site east of Sedge and Deer Run roads for a regional shooting and archery location.

The shooting area is no longer part of the lands bill because the project requires more study than inclusion in the lands bill would allow, Ritter said.

“If you’re going to look at a regional shooting facility, you should look at the region,” including locations in neighboring counties, she said.

City officials’ potential addition to the bill of 868 acres of BLM-controlled land, mostly Silver Saddle Ranch and Carson River Park, for a city-run regional park, changed the focus of the bill.

“The first step is to make sure we don’t lose the opportunity to request ownership,” Guzman said.

Whether the city can ably manage it – and what types of amenities are planned – are other important considerations, he said.

A proposal to add the 2,450-acre Prison Hill Recreation Area to the lands bill came up during a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting last week, and has been gaining favor. The popular recreation area is next to the Silver Saddle Ranch.

Ultimately, the city would like to develop a green-belt area along the river from Morgan Mill Road to Silver Saddle.

While the three workshops will be informational, residents can speak at several citizens panel meetings scheduled for this month and early November. Supervisors will devote time during their Nov. 16 meeting for residents to talk about the lands bill, and the board will vote on it Dec. 7.

Ultimate decisions on these land-control issues will be made by Congress.

The federal government manages more than 85 percent of Nevada’s 110,000 square miles.

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

Federal lands bill public workshops

All workshops will be from 6-8 p.m.:

• Wednesday in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road

• Oct. 18 in the lobby of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.

• Oct. 23 in the University of Nevada, Reno, Cooperative Extension office, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15.

Note: Public testimony will be taken during the variety of citizens panels and Board of Supervisors meetings.