Bistate Tahoe park in the works |

Bistate Tahoe park in the works

Susan Wood, Tribune staff writer

Planning for the first bistate park between California and Nevada situated at Stateline east of the casinos has made the master-planning map and the legislative schedule.

California signed the agreement last month on the proposed 725-acre Van Sickle State Park.

Nevada Parks officials plan to bring the $3 million proposal to both the state Board of Examiners and Legislative Finance Committee next month.

“We want the Legislature, since we’re breaking new ground here, to be on board with this,” parks Chief of Planning Steve Weaver, said.

Work will kick off in April on the master plan, with public workshops scheduled shortly thereafter.

Parks officials plan construction will begin by 2006, with completion estimated two years later.

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Of the many ideas under consideration, parks planners want to run a trail from Stateline near Park Avenue onto the property, with picnic areas in the works. They also plan to turn the 140-year-old barn that once housed livestock for rancher Jack Van Sickle into a visitor center and historical site.

Inspections from structural engineers will need to be made on the building located under the Heavenly gondola to determine whether it’s feasible.

Van Sickle donated 542 acres to Nevada 13 years ago, with a request for a park. Then, the California Tahoe Conservancy brought another 155 acres to the effort last summer when it closed on a $3.8 million deal with the Carson Valley rancher.

Nevada parks already owns 28 acres that further expanded the park.

The planned park turned into a hotbed of activity when a 670-acre fire broke out on the property over the Fourth of July holiday last year. The fire was started by a discarded cigarette located under the gondola between towers 11 and 12 on California Tahoe Conservancy property.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at