Commissioners want answers on trailhead |

Commissioners want answers on trailhead

by Christy Chalmers

U.S. Forest Service officials will be asked to explain a plan for seasonal closures of an access point to Faye and Luther canyons, as well as concerns about the timing of the project.

Douglas County leaders decided Thursday to send a letter listing those worries to Carson Ranger District representatives, who are looking for comments on a plan to build a parking lot at the Faye-Luther trailhead on the southwest side of the Carson Valley. The lot, to be located off Foothill Road, would hold 10 to 12 vehicles and signs identifying the trailhead. A parking lot, which would be designed to accommodate horse trailers and other recreational vehicles, would decrease hazardous roadside parking.

The commission supports the plan and will send a letter saying so. But Commissioner Steve Weissinger said he also wants answers about a rumor that the trailhead might be closed part of the year.

“I would hate to see a fence up there at this time of year,” he said, referring to the unusually warm recent weather.

Weissinger is also concerned about the timing of the project and the impact delays could have on the $58,000 that was privately raised to help pay for it. Weissinger said grants that can be used with the private money have to be spent by October 2000, and he’s concerned that if the project isn’t started by spring the available funding will collapse.

A draft report by the Forest Service says the agency “will monitor and could consider a winter closure of the area” to manage important deer habitat. The report notes other forest areas that include deer range are closed to motorized vehicle use during the winter, but the areas are not usually closed for activities such as cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

In addition, access might be restricted during periods of extreme fire danger, the report says.

Gates and barriers would probably be used to control access to the area. The report says a gate and barriers will be built at the entrance to the trail head, with a second gate to be built between the trail head and the access trail to control vehicle access to the access trail.

The report lists hiking, horseback riding and possibly mountain biking as the primary trail uses, with motorized access limited to emergency vehicles.

The Forest Service is taking comments on the proposal through Dec. 20. Written comments can be sent to Gary Schiff, Carson District Ranger, Faye-Luther Trailhead EA, Carson Ranger District, 1536 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701.

The district’s phone number is 882-2766. Comments can also be e-mailed to gschiff/