Panel holds off on full lands bill recommendation to planning commission | NevadaAppeal.com

Panel holds off on full lands bill recommendation to planning commission

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

A citizens panel wanted more information about a large piece of land on the wildfire-prone west side of Carson City before recommending a management option to elected officials.

While much of the proposed federal lands bill caused members of Carson City’s Planning Commission little concern during their meeting Wednesday, they withheld a recommendation about a 2,500-acre piece between the crest of Ash Canyon and the water tanks in the canyon that extends to the Sierra ridgeline.

“I want more review of it from staff,” said Commissioner Craig Mullet.

City officials have different theories about how to best manage this and other fire-prone sites on the west side.

Fire Chief Stacey Giomi said that allowing the U.S. Forest Service to manage the land would save the city money if there was a fire. Local control of fire prevention is crucial in minimizing fire damage, said Juan Guzman, open space manager.

Members of the Open Space Advisory Committee wanted to keep the site and four others under local control when they discussed it last month.

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Approximately one-third of the water the city consumes may be attributed to that site. Some water flows through on its way to Ash and Kings canyons. The area also provides percolation within the city’s water table, according to Guzman.

The state has expressed interest in the site, too, he said.

Four pieces on the east side located east of Deer Run Road, north of Sedge Road, and south of the river adjacent to it, also were highlighted during the meeting. One has been suggested for use as a multiuse shooting range and another as part of a site where WorkForce housing would be built. The other two are envisioned as open space and recreational locations.

All are controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The city seeks to retain this arrangement, but the commissioners would prefer the sites be controlled by the city.

Commissioner Mark Kimbrough said he would like to see access to the Carson River be ensured, which is why he wants the city to obtain it. He worried that residents’ concerns over the proposed shooting range would cause officials to “dump” the idea of obtaining control of the site for other recreational opportunities.

The bill is an opportunity for the city to ask the federal government for a variety of land management swaps among various government agencies who control land within city limits. More than 40 sites are under consideration for inclusion in the city’s draft of the bill.

The supervisors are scheduled to vote on the lands bill Dec. 7. A long list of groups are scheduled to weigh in on the contents of the lands bill before it goes to the supervisors for the first time on Nov. 17.

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