Concerns over recreational restrictions leading to violence raised

A possibility of violence and concerns about costly enforcement regarding oversight of recreational uses near the Carson River were raised at the Board of Supervisors Thursday.

Supervisor John McKenna raised both those prospects during discussion of a Carson City draft management plan to deal with conservation easement land, property designated as open space and parks or trails, some of it coming to the city in the future from the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Among the land is property authorized for passive, non-motorized and motorized recreation in differing locales.

McKenna told staff his concern is city government will inherit a BLM conservation easement restriction on motorized uses the federal agency hasn’t enforced, setting the stage for possible violence as well as costly oversight and an eventual need to take the issue to Congress to untangle. Open Space Manager Ann Bollinger said BLM officials have erected a fence to delineate the differing use areas on the Prison Hill land.

“From my understanding, they have erected a fence,” she said before McKenna gave full voice to his concerns. “I haven’t seen it myself.”

Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf said he has conveyed worries similar to those expressed by McKenna to the BLM.

Management of the 5,300 acres involved overall, including staffing and budget projections for city stewardship, were included in the multi-chapter plan in final draft stages.

Maurice White, a retired government employee who enjoys off-road vehicle recreation, worried about restricting motorized uses on 114 acres. He said “elimination of historical motorized use” might prompt young enthusiasts to do things that might endanger themselves. “We’re going to drive those young kids, who don’t know what they’re doing, deep into the Pine Nuts,” he said.

In unrelated other action, the board finalized approval to issue V&T Railway refunding bonds that will save city government $831,000 over coming years.

The board also in the public comment period took testimony from representatives of NNV Services, an in-state applicant for medical marijuana dispensaries in Carson City, asking the board to consider spurning out-of-state applicants so in-state providers have a chance. Carson City under state law can have two dispensaries.


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