Letter. Preserve master plan
The planning commission deserves to be applauded for maintaining the integrity of the master plan. There are always what seem to be good arguments as presented by each individual applicant for a master plan amendment. However, the master plan was implemented after a long and expensive process which involved citizens from throughout Douglas County. The more restrictive zoning was applied to mountain and forest areas which were felt to be of great importance for preservation and the 19-acre zoning was applied. The forest land next to Kingsbury Grade is one example. Another is the area known as Schneider Ranch.
The Heavenly Ski Resort and the Lake casinos stated that they needed living quarters for their employees. They do, but it does not have to be down along Kingsbury Grade. The millions and millions of profit they generate provides them with the means to provide employee housing in an area closer to their business and the ski resort. This also would eliminate the need for special transportation and extensive additional crowding of traffic on Kingsbury Grade.
For the Schneider Ranch, the applicant wanted to amend the master plan to allow transfer of rights of 300 units with clustering of many of them to this area designated as rural, 19-acre minimum. The ranch of approximately three square miles in area is largely surrounded by U.S. Forest land, Indian land and a few small private property owners.
It consists of pine forest, a flood area meadow, ravines, forested knolls, creeks and great geological formations as rock outcroppings and rugged mountain backdrops. This is a mule deer feeding area and migration pathway. It is a corridor for the deer to access the Jacks Valley Wildlife Refuge. If acquired, the U.S. Forest Service also considers Clear Creek a great recovery area for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Future generations of Nevadans deserve the preservation of this most pristine area!
Steve Kluge, supervisor of The Humboldt/ Toiyabe National Forest, was seen by members of the planning commission at the Feb. 13 meeting. He was requested to speak during the public input portion. He stated that acquiring the Schneider Ranch was an active project at the top of the Forest Service’s priority list, and it is contacting the national office in Utah in efforts to expedite the process.
Everyone needs to contact the county commissioners to request that they disallow the applications for master plan amendments and request that the commission make all efforts possible to persuade the U.S. Forest Service to obtain the Schneider Ranch. Also, everyone should contact our state and federal representatives asking them to apply their efforts in aiding to move the acquisition along.