Land group seeks 140 acres near Genoa for possible preservation

The Nevada Land Conservancy is working to preserve 140 acres of privately owned land in Schoolhouse Canyon west of Genoa in four separate plots bordered by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

It's a step toward preserving an environmentally sensitive area and the view, according to Barbara Slade, board member of the Carson Valley Trails Association.

"We should embrace every opportunity to gain access to public land in the Carson Range since the opportunities have been so few," she said. "These projects are very beneficial to the public and have no negative impacts."

This project will create a link to the Tahoe Rim Trail, aligning with the intent of the Douglas County trails plan, Slade said.

"This property is located in the middle of the Carson Range where we have no developed trailheads and there's a great demand for one," she said.

Becky Stock, project coordinator for the Nevada Land Conservancy, said the acquisition is expected to take years. The property will be put in the hands of the U.S. Forest Service to protect habitat and watersheds.

"We were approached by the Forest Service in 2003," Stock said. "They knew about these private inholdings and wanted to improve management due to the fire danger and access for the foothill trail, so they asked the Conservancy for assistance in acquiring the land."

Watersheds border each side of the canyon and there are a lot of mule deer and other species, Stock said.

"I can personally vouch for the mule deer," she said.

Commissioners recently approved $2,000 to appraise one of the four parcels.

That funding will be matched by the family donating the property, brother and sister Amelia and Geoffrey DeRuntz, who require this appraisal for tax purposes.

Funding for this project will be considered in the upcoming Round 7 of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act. The transaction could take years, but the money will be refunded to Douglas County once the property has been successfully purchased through the SNPLMA process.

Organized in 1998, the Nevada Land Conservancy protects special places through acquisition, easement, open space planning, outreach and environmental restoration.

The Conservancy is working to protect lands across the state, including the Swan Lake Nature Study Area in Lemmon Valley and 2,000 acres in north Washoe Valley.

"We've completed the work on 1,500 acres of that land," Stock said.

• Contact reporter Susie Vasquez cat or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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