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VIDEO: Lands bill gets negative reception

By Bob Conrad

The Truckee Meadows Lands Bill faced sharp criticism yesterday as dozens of people spoke against the project.

Many cited lack of clarity about what the lands bill actually entails and what will happen next. They criticized local officials presenting information about the bill and then took three hours offering various points of criticism.

Concerns included lack of water, property allegedly being turned over from federal governments to local developers and impacts on ranching, mining and wildlife.

“No one’s identified where the water’s coming from,” said Norman Harry.

More than 100 people — Washoe County did not have an exact headcount — packed a room at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to air concerns, sometimes yelling at officials. About five spoke in favor of the lands bill.

Next steps remain unclear. An initial deadline of June for the bill to head to Congress appears ambitious and unlikely.

“We will need to process all of the feedback we received to determine the best next steps,” said County spokesperson Amy Ventetuolo.

She said updates would be posted on the landsbill.org website. Watch the video for more about what people said at the meeting.



Donald M. Scott February 25, 2020 - 9:48 am

Glad to see that you allow comments to be presented in full – not as sound bites.

Sally Tate February 25, 2020 - 8:40 am

Why turn ourselves into another California? Haven’t we learned anything?
Water, water, water. Where would it come from? It would become more rationed and at a huge cost to all us residents

Just look at California. Look at all the massive development in the desert. Scary and no concern for water. Look at Vegas, mass development and future issues about wAter. We need to protect Truckee meadows and the Truckee river.
It’s all about money and more people see Nevada as a place to make money with lots of development at a major cost to losing our own identity

Debra Cockrell February 24, 2020 - 8:23 am

Thank You Bob, for covering the meeting on February 20th. I represent 25 Ranching families that live just 5-10 miles over the Nevada Border. Our cattle grazing allotments are in Nevada an area with in the Macy, Massacre Rim, Wall Canyon and north part of Buffalo Hills. Most of these Ranching families base property are with in the Surprise Valley CA, Adel OR and Gerlach NV. These multi generational Ranching families have been the true stewards of the Range for many years. We have heard comments from Wilderness advocates that they want to preserve the range the way it is. Well, than leave it in the hands of the permittees- the ones who are keeping it the way it is. The trade for RENO to get their land for development is kicking us under the bus and stomping our livelihood in the mud.
Regardless of how many promises are made to us, like: keeping roads open, allowing for water and fence maintenance as well as leaving plenty of flexibility for the permittees is a uncertainty that lingers through out this bill. There is no guarantees our points will be taken into consideration.
I have been working diligently on this Bill since 2016. Pushing our points of concern for the livestock permittees, taking into consideration recreation , hunting and mining. As well as the economic impact to the surrounding communities.

Surprise Valley is one of the main Gateways to The very Northwestern Washoe County areas. With the restrictions that come with Wilderness regardless of the promises being made it seems as though Washoe County is drastically side stepping and ignoring our issues. Our 4 Communities within Surprise Valley consisting of Eagleville, Cedarville, Lake City and Fort Bidwell are hosts to many travelers, hunters, miners, 4-wheel drive recreations and star gazers for the newly appointed Dark Sky Sanctuary on Massacre Rim.
The impact that wilderness issues imposes will limit the economy in our area, which is already fragile.

We are small in numbers, but very large in area, that we the Livestock Producers are care takers of the land and work so hard with the labor of love to keep the range viable for the cattle and wildlife.
As long as there is cattle roaming the range the risk of fire is greatly reduced and the wildlife will not get burned out. WILDERNESS creates an environment of vulnerability. Leaving the doors wide open for disaster!!!

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