BLMlists 10,000 acres for sale
August 20, 2005
GARDNERVILLE – An estimated 10,000 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management are being considered for sale or disposal in Douglas, Carson City and Lyon counties, according to Tom Crawford, bureau economist and team leader for the Pine Nut Mountains Land Use Plan amendment.
A map of the areas under consideration should be released early this fall and areas in Douglas County’s Pine Nut Range are under consideration.
“The maps (of the designated areas) aren’t in a public document yet, but they will be,” Crawford said. “Any lands earmarked for disposal will be clearly identified so people will know exactly where the land is located.”
It’s not an easy question and finding the right solution is difficult, Crawford said.
“Whether Douglas residents own land nearby or enjoy a view of the Pine Nuts out their kitchen window, there’s a lot of sentiment where those mountains are concerned,” Crawford said. “And there’s a lot of resentment concerning growth.”
Some parcels being considered previously have been offered for disposal – which could mean donation to the respective counties for recreation or open space – but new areas are also being considered, including the Highway 395 corridor south of Gardnerville where development is already happening, he said.
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The map will be subject to a public process that allows people to comment and ultimately the areas identified on the map may not be turned over to the private sector.
Bureau officials have a mandate to look at land disposal, the criteria based on what makes sense from a community growth perspective. Smaller planning groups usually express a number of concerns, particularly in Douglas County, Crawford said.
“We have to look at it pragmatically,” he said. “Is more developable land available, or are developers pushing on the flanks of undeveloped land?
To simplify management and reduce administrative costs, Bureau officials would prefer to manage solid blocks of land rather than parcels interspersed with private lands, Crawford said.
During this process a number of options are considered, the main criteria being what is logical with respect to growth. Options include continuation of the current management, or any proposed plan alternatives, like sale to a developer.
The latter results in a lot of contention, putting Bureau officials in a quandary, Crawford said.
“That’s part of the reason we work closely with (county) supervisors or commissioners, consulting with them to see where they would like to see growth,” he said.
“What we’re hearing more of is, let’s look closely at the disposal issue and make rational decisions concerning open space, parks, fire stations and schools,” Crawford said. “That’s the second perspective, disposal to the county for recreation or other public purposes, including open space.”
In the latter case, the property would be managed by the county as opposed to the BLM or adjacent developers, Crawford said.
“Our intent not to be devious. We want to work effectively with various counties to make certain we aren’t working against their master plan,” Crawford said.
Significant land sales in Southern Nevada, more specifically in Laughlin, Mesquite and Clark County, have been completed and the pressure to release public lands, primarily for development, have shifted to Northern Nevada from Reno south to Douglas County, Crawford said.