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Public Land Grab Gathering Steam

167 years ago, in 1850, my 2nd gr-grandparents and their toddler children came across Nevada in a wagon train. They passed by present day Winnemucca and turned southwest crossing the dreaded 40 mile desert, found the Carson River and followed it to Eagle Valley, where Carson City is today. They passed by Genoa which was just starting up as Nevada’s first settlement with a trading post and turned west to head up the West Fork of the Carson River to California. Along the way, near Winnemucca, my 2nd gr-grandfather was killed in a skirmish with the natives. He lies out there today.

Whether you have a story like mine or if you are like me and just enjoy the knowledge that we can jump in our SUV, bike, ATV, horse or boots and explore and recreate on endless mountains, valleys and playas, you appreciate Nevada’s Public Lands as one of the benefits to being an American.

This is why I take an owner’s interest in our Public Lands. I have noticed that our military is taking an additional 600,000 acres permanently near Fallon in addition to the huge Nellis complex near Las Vegas.  Our Representative in Congress, Mr. Amodei, is proposing to give our native tribes additional thousands of acres, which they can develop as they see fit. If I were them, I would industrialize it.

In addition to this, the new Congress passed a rule this week (Jan 3, 2017) that essentially designates federal land worthless and thus removing the financial cost of giving it away to corporations, cronies and elites for their own use. This is the first step in giving away our national heritage for the benefit of a few.

Of course, they will say that Americans in the West are demanding greater local control of their public lands. They want the land given to the states. Well, what happens is, the states find they can’t afford to maintain the lands and the feds did and also see the lands as a ATM machine. So they start selling off state lands to private interests as they have been doing in Idaho and Montana. So it just takes awhile for the private land grabbers to get what they want.

Whether you are Republican or Liberal, preservationist or recreationist, all Nevadans and Americans have an equal stake in preserving our Public Lands for the Public. In this era of diminishing rights and resources, we should hold this birthright as precious for the inspiration of future Americans.

Please join me in watching this situation and calling and writing Representative Amodei, Senators Cortez-Masto, and Heller, Gov Sandoval and your state Reps and let them know your feelings on the risk of losing our freedom of, well, freedom.



Development: Asleep On Watch Again

Isn’t someone keeping track of the threat of development here in Washoe Valley? You would think that after all the fuss made during the housing bubble of expansion of tract-home style developments with city water and sewer services, we would be better at keeping an eye out for these things.

Apparently, way back in May the West Washoe Valley landowner decided to hedge his bet on the public buy of his pasture land and submitted a housing development plan to the county which they approved. this is 303 acres across from Bowers Mansion. this is reportedly the last major parcel of the historic Winters Ranch property to be acquired by the public. Several other large parcels have been acquired by the BLM over the past several years. Our historic agricultural, rural open space is one of the aspects of Washoe Valley that makes it such an asset and special place for all Nevadans.

The original local tv station KRNV-4 article is here but last night,  KRNV 4 had avideo update in their local news section that said the owner is holding off on any more development plans till January, 2014 (5 months) to give the feds time to come up with the money. Typically, they do this by selling land close to Las Vegas for development as the land in Vegas has a more urban or suburban character. KOLO-TV had this from the BLM: A spokesperson for the BLM said thanks to land sales in southern Nevada, there is enough funding to purchase the land in Washoe Valley.

Details and a map are available on the Washoe County Website here.

We should all write and call our Congressional delegation often until January to encourage them to fight for this major part of our valley’s character and beautiful open space.

I am researching the subject and hopefully will have a sample letter posted soon.

The BLM sez:

We are seeking comments on Winters Ranch Management Plan & Environmental Assessment through April 20.

Take a look here.

Check it out, consider the options and give your opinion!

Fire Restrictions Lifted

From the Nevada Dept. of Conservation website:

The Bureau of Land Management, the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Nevada Division of Forestry announced today the lifting of western Nevada fire restrictions that have been in place since July 1, 2008.

Restrictions will expire at 12:01a.m., October 6, 2008. Southern Nevada fire restrictions were lifted effective today.

Decreasing daily sunlight, increased fuel moisture levels and cooler temperatures are allowing the agencies to lift fire restrictions. Vegetation remains flammable, though, even though cooler weather is approaching.

Campers wishing to build campfires on Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest must have a campfire permit.

Recreationists still need to be fire safe with all outdoor activities, including insuring that their campfires are completely put out. Target practice, riding motorcycles/ATVs without a spark arrester and careless smoking can all cause unwanted wildfires. The use of propane stoves versus campfires and charcoal grill fires is preferred in these dry conditions.

Open burning on private land still requires a permit from local fire departments.

For more information, please contact the BLM-Carson City Field Office at 775-885-6000, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest at 775-882-2766 or the Nevada Division of Forestry at 775-684-2500.