Signs closing Wilson Canyon to be posted |

Signs closing Wilson Canyon to be posted

by Kurt Hildebrand

Signs are going up along the Walker River in Wilson Canyon closing 51 acres of the popular area to campers and vehicle traffic.

The Bureau of Land Management officially announced Wednesday it was closing the camping areas, although the closure has been in the works since summer.

“Camping and (off-highway vehicle) trails are still allowed outside of the impacted stream zone,” said Elayn Briggs, acting BLM-Carson City Field Office manager. “The closed area along the Walker River will remain open for day-use activities such as fishing and nature study, but the closure to camping and OHV use right down along the river is necessary to prevent further soil erosion, loss of plants and direct impact to water quality.”

According to Briggs, the area was closed Nov. 20 and will remain closed until a long-term management plan can be produced.

The area is located north of Highway 208 in the west end of the canyon.

Members of an off-highway enthusiast group, the Friends of Wilson Canyon, have been working with the bureau and have said they do not oppose the temporary closure as long as the BLM is working on a plan.

Lyon County commissioners passed a resolution Aug. 7 recommending the canyon be kept open, but limiting off-highway vehicle use between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The U.S. Forest Service is also seeking closure of a 400-acre area south of Walker River and the highway.

The BLM began to consider closing parts of the canyon after neighbors complained that the area draws off-highway vehicles which raise dust and damage the environment.

When the river is low, off-highway vehicles riders would drive in the channel, one neighbor said.

Contact Kurt Hildebrand at or 881-1215.