Trails plan tried at private property forum
Prompted by a community outcry, Douglas County has agreed to remove all proposed trails on private property.
The decision was announced during a workshop Thursday at CVIV Hall in Minden. It was attended by property owners with proposed trails on their private land included on a “dream map” of the Comprehensive Trails Plan.
More than 300 people, the majority ranchers and farmers, attended the workshop. The event turned into a forum for protection of private property rights and a call against socialist government tactics.
“We don’t want to fight, even though people are saying, ‘This is fighting stuff,”‘ said Mimi Moss, Douglas County planning and economic development manager.
Vic Buron passed out a three-page plan against the proposed trails plan. He interrupted the forum many times to yell “Socialism!”
He said the plan is a “bad idea.”
“We are not going to stand for bureaucracy with a socialism intent,” he said.
The Comprehensive Trails Plan is a requirement of the Douglas County 1996 Master Plan. Last fall, the county hosted two workshops to start a “dream map” of off-road recreational trails, getting input from outdoor enthusiasts.
From Topaz Lake to Lake Tahoe, including the Pine Nut Mountains, the Carson River valley and the Sierra Nevada in between, the plan identifies trailheads and linkages to provide the safest routes for outdoor off-road opportunities.
The initial map had trails going through private property. When asked how many Thursday attendees were against public trails on private property, nearly everyone in the room stood up.
“So far, 100 percent of property owners are saying, ‘No way, no way'” do they want recreational trails on their land, said Moss.
Moss cautioned the Comprehensive Trails Plan must be approved by the county, and that input into acceptable trails is also needed.
“This is your plan,” she said. “If you do want a bike trail on Centerville Lane, let us know. It is important for you to stay on top of what’s happening.”
Attendees were also opposed to trails along the Walker and Carson rivers. The final plan will take between five and 20 years to complete. Douglas County Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen said, while he would vote against any proposed future subdivision along the Carson River, if it was ever approved, he would want a trail system.
“We need to get back to reality,” he said. “There may be room for some trails along existing roadways, and (the county) can say we’d like to buy 8 feet” of private property to accommodate a new trail.
— The Douglas County Planning Commission will host a public hearing and workshop on the trails plan at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the county administration building, 1616 8th St. in Minden.
— The Carson Valley Trails Association will discuss the plan at its meeting at 6 p.m. today at David Walley’s Hot Springs & Spa.