Forest Service seeks input on trailhead |

Forest Service seeks input on trailhead

by Merrie Leininger

A Forest Service open house Tuesday night drew many nature lovers in support of the construction of a trailhead at the Faye-Luther Canyon.

The purpose of the meeting in Genoa was for the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to get the required public comment on the construction.

The American Land Conservancy worked with the Forest Service to buy the 2.35 acres of land off Foothill Road to provide the only public access to Forest Service lands in the Sierra from Carson City to the California state line.

A National Recreation Trails Act Grant last year provided $9,000 for construction of a trailhead. The proposed trailhead would not have bathrooms, running water or outdoor lighting. The parking lot would be gravel and 98 feet by 149 feet.

“The whole idea (of the open house) was to get as many ideas down on paper as possible and to get what people want or if they don’t want it at all,” said Steve Hale, who is with the Carson Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service.

The open house was set up to provide BLM and forest service employees to answer participants’ questions one-on-one and take written comments.

Many of the 35 attendees said they felt their opinions were taken into consideration.

“I was impressed with the Forest Service and the way it was set up. The person I talked to was very concerned with what I had to say,” said Foothill Road resident Bill Broquist.

Many horsemen there were concerned the proposed 12-vehicle parking lot would not be big enough to maneuver horse trailers through.

Johnson Lane resident Jack Reid said if there is not enough room, horse trailers could endanger people.

“Our concern is there is not a lot of space to park and maneuver around, so we don’t want to put others in danger to the point of exclusion,” Reid said.

Many people were there to ask for more public access.

Terri Sutor, a Johnson Lane resident who described herself as an “avid” hiker, said she has hiked the Faye-Luther Canyon trail many times.

“I think it is fabulous. This is definitely needed. I would like to see a nice trail all the way up over Luther Pass,” Sutor said.

Ame Hellman of the American Land Conservancy said they are working on getting more public access in Washoe County.

“We would love to get involved in other projects in Douglas County as the opportunity comes up. If it does, I’m sure we’ll be the first to step up to the plate,” Hellman said.

She said she felt the public meeting went well.

“I was encouraged that almost all of the comments which the BLM and USFS received during the meeting on Tuesday night were positive and constructive,” Hellman said. “Clearly, public safety issues surrounding the unloading of horses and parking are the biggest. During the three hours I was present, the energy and enthusiasm in the room seemed very high.”

The last open house meeting is planned for 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Carson Valley Middle School.