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parking lot proposed for Faye-Luther trailhead

by Merrie Leininger

An environmental assessment on the proposed trailhead for the Faye-Luther canyon has been completed.

The American Land Conservancy proposed the trailhead and received a grant to build it because of parking concerns along Foothill Road. The forest service held public hearings and has drawn up a first draft of what the trailhead will include.

The report follows several public hearings on the issue held in February that about 60 people attended. The same number of people faxed in their comments regarding the trailhead, the report said.

According to the report, the forest service would like to see a parking lot that will be only about 150 ft by 100 ft. and will include parking for 10-12 vehicles and signs regarding rules of using the trail.

Although the report had several alternative plans and listed all the suggestions from the public, the forest service supports the least amount of impact, which means no water source, no lighting, no bathrooms and no trash cans. The trailhead is necessary, the report reads, because the users now park alongside Foothill Road, which has a speed limit of 45 mph.

The trailhead, which is off Foothill Road near the California boarder, is the only access to Bureau of Land Management land between the border and Carson City.

The two acres of land was purchased from Chuck Paya with the $57,000 raised by the American Land Conservancy and $40,000 from the Forest Service. The trailhead accesses miles of horse and walking trails on Job’s Peak.

n Proposal. In order to facilitate use by the many people who ride their horses on the trail and for classes, the forest service suggested a parking lot that will be large enough to accommodate a horse trailer or school bus and hitching posts for horses.

A 300-ft. trail through the brush-filled flatland links the proposed trailhead to the trail that quickly becomes steep and rugged. The trail is designed for use by day hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers.

The report lists wildfire as one of the greatest concerns the forest service has about the area and suggests a ban on campfires in the trailhead or on the trail. There are no fire hydrants in the area. The trailhead might be closed during the days the fire hazard is the greatest.

“Private land development at the toe of slopes is unusually susceptible to wildfire because of the phenomenon of strong down-slope winds which cause fire to burn down slope, in many cases more hazardously than up slope,” the report reads.

Ame Hellman of the American Land Conservancy said she is glad that the process is proceeding.

“I’m encouraged by the fact the EA has been published and glad the forest service is obviously working in partnership with the community. I think the use is far diminished by the high occurrence of development in the area. Certainly, the development in my mind far outweighs the use the trail will withstand.”

Hellman said last year, the ALC received a grant to build the trailhead because of the parking concerns.

The National Recreation Trails Act Grant provided $8,300 for the construction, but between $5,000-$8,000 more is needed in donated materials and labor, she said.

n Final decision. Steve Hale of the Carson Ranger District said the public is invited to look over the report and submit comments during the review period before Dec. 20. To review a report, go to the ranger district office at 1536 S. Carson St., Carson City, or call (775) 882-2766 to have one mailed to you.

Hale said comments are reviewed and a final decision will be made by Gary Schiff, the Carson District ranger.

Following that decision, there is an appeal process before construction can take place.