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Subconservancy offers to take comment

Staff Reports

Leaders of a Carson River watershed group may offer to save scarce U.S. Forest Service staff time by gathering public comment on whether the waterway should be designated wild or scenic.

The Forest Service agreed earlier in the month to consider the wild or scenic classifications apart from a larger forest management plan that is now under consideration. Local leaders cheered the move because they wanted assurance their concerns and opinions on the river would be fully addressed.

Tonight, the Carson Water Subconservancy District board will discuss a letter offering to gather public comment on the possible designations. The Subconservancy District, which covers the Carson River watershed in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Churchill counties, has set up a subcommittee to deal with the wild and scenic river issue as part of the district’s Integrated Watershed Planning Process. The process is meant to address river-related issues.

In the proposed letter, the Subconservancy leaders have acknowledged the Forest Service’s busy schedule and invited the agency to nominate potentially interested groups to participate in the public comment process.

“We would also entertain the idea of having a professional, neutral facilitator run the meetings, so that no single party’s particular interest is given preferential treatment,” the letter offers.

If approved, the letter will be sent to Carson District Ranger Gary Schiff.

The subconservancy district board meets tonight in Carson City at 6:30 p.m. in room 3138 of the legislative building, located at Fifth and Carson streets.