New open-space employee proposed | NevadaAppeal.com

New open-space employee proposed

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

A new Carson City government position being proposed would focus on the day-to-day needs that come with ownership of open-space land.

The job, described as a natural resources/trails coordinator, would be a full-time position financed with money from the open-space fund. The employee would report to the program manager, Juan Guzman.

“This person would handle the day-to-day decisions for land management,” Guzman said. Such as, “What kind of sheep should graze in a particular area?” or “What type of chemical would be best to kill a certain type of weed?”

The proposal also describes the job as a person who helps devise and manage fire-prevention efforts on open space and city utility sites.

As the program manager, he would continue to ensure the city strikes the right balance between properties its residents could benefit from and what it could maintain – and make sure there is adequate funds to pay for them.

The idea for hiring an employee to take care of these matters came up during creation of the Unified Pathways Master Plan, he said. Residents who use trails helped the city put the report together.

Recommended Stories For You

The Carson City Board of Supervisors approved the plan this year.

There is already a part-time natural resources coordinator for the program. The city’s utilities operations shares the cost for this employee because it has a substantial amount of land.

Trails responsibilities added to the new position would relieve the open- space manager and a planner in the parks and recreation division and allow them to focus on other things, said Roger Moellendorf, parks and recreation director.

All of the employees involved are part of that city division.

“The management of natural resources is statistical and highly technical,” Moellendorf said. “We have to have someone trained in that area.”

The open-space program manages the city’s natural resources. This operation also seeks and applies for grants to acquire and maintain these areas.

The amount of this land is expected to drastically increase during the next few years. Currently, the city cares for about 410 acres. Several acquisitions expected to occur within the next couple of years will increase that by another 2,400 acres.

The federal lands bill proposal could add up to 6,000 acres more to local control, though not all of it could be considered permanent open space. Many pieces eventually would be used for other purposes, such as recreation or even economic development.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” Moellendorf said of the proposal.

The job can’t actually be created without the approval of the supervisors. The salary would come from a different source than other city positions because the open-space program has its own dedicated revenues. Reductions in sales tax collections could provide the program with less money, however, Guzman added.

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

If you go

What: Open Space Advisory Committee meeting

When: 6 p.m. tonight

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

Also on the agenda

Management recommendations pertaining to the proposed federal lands bill. One of the related issues is whether the open-space program should set aside up to $3 million for fire suppression in these areas.