Editorial: Land acquisition benefits Lake Tahoe
The acquisition of 770 acres of land above Incline Village at Incline Lake is a positive step forward in the ongoing effort to ensure Lake Tahoe remains the proverbial “Jewel of the Sierra.”
U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced Tuesday morning approval of projects totaling $876 million as part of Round 6 of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. The act allows the acquisition of environmentally sensitive land from sales of federal land in Southern Nevada where development is more cohesive with the environment.
The 770-acre lake site will be acquired for $75 million, according to Norton. It serves as an important watershed area for Lake Tahoe.
Thankfully, the feds also declined to fund acquisition of the 3.5-acre Dale Denio property, located near Crystal Bay. The property – composed of three parcels – was valued at $27 million, despite opinions by many that it is not developable. The acquisition of the overvalued property would have been a waste of taxpayer money.
In regards to the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, the next battle will be preventing changes in the act that would send money from land sales to the federal government. The Bush administration had indicated last year that with soaring land values, the sales could be used to pay down the budget deficit. Luckily, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., stepped in and prevented the clause being added to the 2007 budget. The purpose of the act is defeated if the federal government gets its hands on those funds.
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