The Nevada Chapter of BHA recently commented on the Washoe County Lands Bill Proposal. This proposal is a significant improvement over previous proposals with far less land transfers and some great utilization of Special Management Areas (SMA), National Conservation Areas (NCA) and Wilderness Areas. Clarification on some points will be worked out as it proceeds and with clarification, we are optimistic that we will be able to support much of the bill.
One of our major concerns is the Mustang Exit Parcel Transfers as they are slated to be transferred to private development and it is one of the few areas left to access the Truckee river for hunting and fishing along the I80 corridor. If left in the bill proposal, we will have a major call to action on the horizon.
Another major concern is the PahRah Parcel Transfers as these are slated to be transferred to the City of Sparks with the potential to build a road to USA Parkway. This would be a real David v. Goliath scenario with big money in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) and thousands of people who sit in traffic on their commute on this route. That said, it is everything we stand against as it runs through pristine untouched public land. The amount of land to be transferred to the city is also indicative of future development along the road as it is more land than needed for a road transfer. NV BHA is advocating for alternatives like mass transit over the loss of public lands.
We are excited about the Washoe county shooting range addition as we know the current shooting range is a 2 hour round trip for most Reno residents. While this is a welcome addition in this bill, we would like to see specifics on how it is to be managed as it is a large area at 4 square miles and could have potential to be abused depending on how it is regulated. Additionally, the Scripps Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a great piece of this proposal and we're optimistic that NDOW can get the horse population under control in this WMA.
Lastly, we fully support the proposals for Bitner Table Wilderness, Granite-banjo Wilderness, Burro Wilderness, and Wrangler Canyon Wilderness designations as these designations afford permanent protections to areas where all stakeholders have been heard.