Golf Ranch story incomplete
Last Saturday’s article on the proposed project above Sierra Nevada Golf Ranch unfortunately lacked completeness regarding efforts to adopt public access to public lands.
The Carson Valley Trails Association wished to have public access made on the southern boundary of the proposed project, but due to conflicts with existing easements, the owner was legally unable to make the southern portion a public access easement. The owner did and continues to offer the northern boundary of the property available for such public access.
Although this offering, by itself, does not afford a complete public access from Jacks Valley Road to Forest Service lands, it does provide the majority of the land needed and serves to open the door to further discussions with the neighbor abutting both the project property and Jacks Valley Road.
Seeing this access as a better and safer alternative, the Board of County Commissioners recommended negotiations begin with the Trails Association and the Washoe Tribe for such an access easement, thus connecting access from Jacks Valley Road through tribal land, through the project land and onto public lands owned by the U.S. Forest Service.
Should these negotiations fail, there is an existing access easement immediately north of the proposed project currently held by the private owner and the Washoe Tribe. This access is from Jacks Valley Road to a 100-acre, privately held parcel currently for sale. The Trails Association was encouraged to discuss this opportunity for public lands access with the private owner and the tribe.
It should be noted, legally, the county could not force the landowner to violate existing private easements as was contemplated by the aforementioned southern access. The landowner did volunteer to provide an access directly to Forest Service lands should the Tribal negotiations prove fruitful to Jacks Valley Road.
The county is committed and will continue looking for and facilitating such access to public lands as was stated during the commissioner’s discussion but inadvertently left out of your story. We agree it is time for more timely cooperation with the county, U.S. Forest Service and private land holders adjacent to public lands to proactively engage in development of an appropriate plan encouraging public access on both the west and east slopes of Douglas County and where such access is both safe and legal.
Donald H. Miner
Douglas County Commissioner