Bently, Douglas County mull swap |

Bently, Douglas County mull swap

Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Douglas County and Don Bently are considering swapping some land – 80 acres in the Pine Nuts for 80 acres near the China Spring Youth Camp.

The Bently Family Limited Partnership owns two 40-acre parcels next to the camp, which is nine miles southwest of Gardnerville. The land is needed to expand the camp, which houses delinquent boys from around the state.

The county is offering Bently two 40-acre parcels in the Pine Nuts, plus $10,000 cash and an easement across the camp land. A county staff report says Bently’s land appraised at $68,000, while the county’s Pine Nut land is valued at $44,000.

County leaders will consider the trade Thursday during the first of two required hearings.

China Spring director Steve Thaler said the acquisition is needed to accommodate Aurora Pines, a facility for girls that is being planned.

“(The extra land) allows us to keep the separation we need between the girls and the boys,” he said. “We need those two 40-acre parcels to fit both dorms on what we have here.”

By law, the county must allow competing bids, but the bidder would have to provide the county with the land next to China Springs at the appraised value.

The land trade will be considered just a week after Douglas leaders decided to oppose a separate and much larger proposal involving Bently and the Bureau of Land Management. Through the family partnership, Bently suggested trading 17,400 acres in Nevada and California for 32,000 acres of BLM land, including 25,000 along the Pine Nut foothills.

Residents rallied against the idea, citing concerns about losing access to the Pine Nuts and the prospect of future development of the land. Douglas County leaders agreed, and suggested the county and BLM should instead do a joint management plan for the foothill corridor.

If the China Spring-Pine Nut trade proceeds, a second and final hearing would be held in December. Thaler said bids for the Aurora Pines project will probably be sought at the end of January or early February.

The county commission meets Thursday starting at 5 p.m. at the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.