Public comment is open on the Bureau of Land Management's proposed plan for Silver Saddle Ranch along the Carson River.
Outdoor Recreation Planner Chris Miller told members of an advisory council Tuesday the proposal will provide protection for the natural habitat and wildlife from deer herds to birds while trying to provide recreational opportunities for area residents.
The ranch was acquired in 1997 in a land exchange with Perma-Bilt Homes and the American Land Conservancy.
The Silver Saddle is located along the Carson River between Prison Hill and the Pine Nut Mountains north of the Carson-Douglas line. It is one of the last pieces of undeveloped Carson River frontage in Eagle Valley.
"It will be an urban park because it's in an urban area," she told the advisory council. "But it will not be a city park."
No trail is planned along the west side of the Carson River to minimize human intrusion into the wildlife area and wetlands, and plan includes only three new pieces of road or trail. One of those would connect the park to the Pine Nut range and another would provide limited access to the wetland area. The third would provide a route up Prison Hill.
Miller told the council the plan was developed in conjunction with Carson City officials and includes many elements suggested by area residents in earlier hearings. It follows the Carson City Master Plan for the river, the parks master plan, bike system and trails system plans.
BLM Carson District Manager John Singlaub said BLM got the property because the former owner and city didn't want to see it developed.
"In my mind, this has got to be better for the deer than 275 homes," he said.
The plan also includes the Ambrose Natural Area north of the Silver Saddle along the river, and it abuts the Carson River Park at Lloyd's Bridge.
Singlaub said there is also a chance the protected area may eventually be expanded south into Douglas County where he said both the county and Bently Nevada, which owns that area, have expressed an interest in keeping the river area as open space. He said there are also plans for the Pine Nut Mountains to the east.
"This could end up being a huge area for trails along the river," he said.
Miller said the ranch plan provides for interests ranging from hikers and bird watchers to fishermen, mountain bikers and off-highway-vehicles and horses.
The public is invited to take a look at the plan and make comments until June 9. After that, BLM officials will make a final decision.
If you wish to comment:
Carson City Field Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, NV 89701
What: The Carson River Advisory Committee will discuss the Bureau of Land Management's draft interdisciplinary management plan
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 East William Street