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Issues are everybody’s concern

Staff reports

Douglas County’s most precious resources – open space and water – are front and center this week.

Officials wind up a schedule of public hearings Monday with the last in a series of workshops to determine community interest in the preservation of open space. On Wednesday, a representative of the Carson Water Subconservancy District will visit the Minden Town Board and the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District board to outline 11 basic principles for stewardship of the Carson River.

For the past two months, representatives of the ranching community, county officials and members of the planning commission have been on the road to explain how Douglas County could go about preserving open space. The hearings also measured public interest in the concept and how far taxpayers would be willing to go to support it.

The water district, whose directors represent all the Nevada counties on the Carson River, is drumming up support for the 11 regulations which general manager Ed James says are as basic as “Mom and apple pie.” Support of the regulations is an important first step, he said, in maintaining and improving the river watershed.

Interest in both issues has been spurred by economic development that has taken place in Northern Douglas County. Target opened a new store in October and Home Depot opens on Thursday. The new stores provide a dramatic snapshot of the potential for rapid change.

If you would like to participate in any of this week’s hearings, the open space meeting is Monday at 6 p.m. in the Old Courthouse in Minden; the Ranchos board meets at 6 p.m. at the firehouse on Mitch Drive and the Minden Town board scheduled the water presentation at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night at the CVIC Hall on Esmeralda.