Lands bill returns to Congress

Mark Amodei

Mark Amodei


More than a dozen years after it was first proposed, the Douglas County lands bill is back before Congress.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., told county commissioners the bill has been reintroduced both separately and as part of a Northern Nevada package involving several other counties.

“This bill was a product of Douglas County and the people responsible in Douglas County,” he said. “We don’t draw up lands bills and say here’s what we did for you.”

He said the issue last year was in Fallon, so the multi-prong approach may help bring the bill to fruition.

“It’s a buffet, folks,” he said. “You can take them one at a time or as one big package.”

Amodei said the bill came within one stakeholder of approval at the last session.

One of the largest parts of the bill would transfer 7,700 acres of land at the base of the Pine Nut Mountains for flood control or any other public purpose, but expressly forbids it from being sold.

Those parcels have been designated by the Bureau of Land Management for sale for years. The bill would require the BLM to concur with Douglas County for their sale.

Other transfers include 67 acres of Forest Service land at Lake Tahoe to the state for conservation of wildlife. The Washoe Tribe would also receive 1,016 acres of trust land and would designate 12,330 acres in Douglas County around Burbank Canyon as wilderness while releasing 1,065 acres in the Burbank Canyons Wilderness Study Area in Lyon County from further study.

Two transfers in the bill are designed to increase accessibility to Douglas communities. One of those is the connector between Ruhenstroth and the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

The other is located north of Jacks Valley Road and would increase the right of way.

That site was the subject of a public comment period that ended in September and is key to the extension of Vista Grande from Jacks Valley to Topsy.

Douglas County has been saving the last money from Redevelopment District No. 1 to build the road.

The right of way for it is included in the transfer; the rest of the property will be sold through competitive bid, depending on the decision reached by the Forest Service.

The 29-acre parcel is surrounded by development on three sides and Highway 395 on the fourth.


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