We were relieved to read in the paper that not all tribal members are supporting the proposed motocross track on the Washoe Tribes Lower Clear Creek Parcel. We applaud Andrea James Big Goose for having the courage to speak out publicly.
Her letter gave us hope that the Washoe people really do believe in their statement that “the Washoe Tribe have long considered themselves stewards of our land and continue to maintain that position, never to compromise or sacrifice our environmental and archeologically sensitive lands” as stated in the Tribes response in the Record Courier on March 5.
In our opinion the development of a motocross track in the proposed location would be a complete contradiction to this statement. We also have to wonder if the recent departure of the Washoe Tribe’s Environmental Director didn’t have something to do with the Tribe’s consideration of this type of development.
For those that may not know, Clear Creek flows through the parcel, through Fuji Park and the popular Bailey Fishing Pond in Carson City on its way to the Carson River. Our fear is that the run off and dust from the track will destroy the water and air quality affecting the fisheries. The dust and noise will also impact the users of Fuji Park as well as nearby residents. Another environmental impact this development will have is to the resident mule deer population that live in the area along with the other animals, birds of prey including a young bald eagle. The parcel is just east of an area specifically managed by the U.S. Forest Service as winter range habitat for the deer where use of motorized vehicles is prohibited. Perhaps this parcel would be better suited as a park like the Washoe Meadow State Park to educate the public about local history from a tribal perspective.
Another major concern we have is the projects impact on County infrastructure, specifically the roads, water, emergency services and fire suppression. Who will pay for the increased demand for services? Mr. Brown, the Washoe Tribe or the Douglas County taxpayer? In the research we have done, Douglas County has enabled Mr. Brown in his previous failed business endeavor through low cost operational fees elsewhere in the county. It hardly seems fair for the county taxpayers to pick up the tab for him again. It appears he may already be avoiding having to pay for environmental impact studies, permits required for construction by state EPA and other fees by going to the Tribe and building his track on Sovereign Nation Land.
We also want to state publicly that we are not opposed to the sport of motocross. We are opposed to this specific development in this specific place for reasons stated. A motocross track does not belong next to a residential area.
We would like to encourage others that feel as we do to contact the Washoe Tribal Council with their concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike and Mary Kuckenmeister