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.