Washoe County Lands Bill
According to Jamie Rodriguez, the Washoe County Management Analyst for Government Affairs(the coordinator), at the Nevada Mining and Exploration Coalition (NMEC) Annual Meeting, held September 9th at the Atlantis in Reno, the County is in the process of getting ready for another round of trying to create this lands bill.
At the meetings, held by Washoe County, on April 16th and 17th at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center, it was very apparent that there was little support by the public for this bill which has two contentious components:
- – The Economic Component: This component is overwhelmingly opposed by the public who wish to keep growth at a minimum since growth greatly affects their lifestyle, the reason that they chose to live where they do. Concerns include loss of access to public lands for hiking, horseback, OHV, etc. Other concerns are traffic, public infrastructure (water, sewer, etc.), viewshed, etc.
- – The Wilderness Component: As of the last time we heard, the acreage of Wilderness to be created by the bill had been reduced from approximately 700,000 acres to 175,063 acres, which we worked hard to achieve and which raises the ire of the preservationist community (note that I refer to them as preservationists, not environmentalists, because we are the real environmentalists) who want to include a whole lot more “W” acreage in this bill.
As of today, we have no timetable for the release of new Wilderness maps by the county but continue to participate in coalitions with other stakeholder groups such as the mining industry, mineral exploration groups, the Nevada Farm Bureau, the Nevada Cattleman’s Association, sportsman’s organizations, many OHV user groups, as well as other interests.