Speak Out Against the “Lands Bill”

The “Lands Bill” (Washoe County Economic Development and Conservation Act) will be available for public input locally.  It has two portions: an economic development portion (for developers) and a conservation portion (for environmentalists).

The development portion would move 73,000 acres in Washoe County to Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County to the cities and county at some agreed price.  The cities and counties could then sell that land to the developers.  See the maps following the link below.

The conservation portion would reclassify 750,000 acres in the northern part of the county as wilderness making it inaccessible to motorbikes and restrictive for ranchers.  There are presently 175,000 acres of wilderness in northern Nevada.

There are many detractors to both parts of the bill.  Reno and Washoe have allowed irresponsible development (Lemmon Valley, and Stonegate, most recently) with property presently within the county.  The addition of the new development would support the long term target of a population of 800,000 and rampant urban sprawl.  Ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts (other than hikers) are mostly opposed to the conservation portion.

Implementing the bill will require “an act of Congress”.  My understanding is that Washoe County Commissioners Lucey, Berkbigler, Jung, and Hartung are in favor while Herman is opposed.  Senator Heller and Representative Amodei are supportive, but anxious about this unpopular issue during an election year.  The proponents are eager to get the bill passed before the November elections.  If you’re opposed, express yourself to Heller and Amodei directly, fill out the survey, and come to the public meetings.

Express your opinion at the following venues:

Tuesday, April 24, 5:30-7:30 PM regarding the economic development portion, Reno/Sparks Convention Center

Thursday, April 26, 5:30-7:30 regarding the conservation/wilderness portion, Reno/Sparks Convention Center

For more information or to view the updated proposed maps and bill draft language, please visit: http://sp43.com/c/7597/376413/102269

Can’t make the meetings? Share your opinion through our online survey by clicking here.

For questions, please contact: Jamie Rodriguez, JARodriguez@washoecounty.us or (775) 328-2010.


He said it … I think he meant it. …


… did you feel the earth move?

It was at the end of tonight’s Planning Commission Meeting …

  • Commissioner Chesney “What are we doing about the situation in Lemmon Valley?”
  • Engineer Trevor Lloyd “The Board of County Commissioners is working on it.”
  • … some murmurs …
  • Commissioner Chesney “Shouldn’t we have some kind of moratorium on building there until that situation is sorted out?”  Commissioners Horan and Lawson concur.
  • Commissioner Chvilicek “Nathan, can we propose a moratorium?”
  • Attorney Nathan Edwards “I think so, but I don’t have the statute in front of me.  It would require Board of County Commissioners approval, so it may not be worth doing from the Planning Commission.  I will report back to the commissioners. “

I strongly inferred that Lawson will press to advance a moratorium on construction in Lemmon Valley even if the Planning Commission can only propose it to the county commissioners.

DISCLAIMER: The above is not accurately verbatim.  It is how I remember it: it happened pretty fast.