Nevada 4 Wheel Drive Association Update - August 2019


Staff member
Current Issues:

· We Get A Win!!!

Access to Hackett and Wackett Canyon Trails – The access road that follows upstream along the Carson River to Hackett and Wackett Canyons, as well as other trails, was illegally closed at the Cul-de-sac at the end of River Vista Road in Dayton. A man and wife had purchased a lot on this cul-de-sac and proceeded to put up a barricade between theirs and an unsold neighboring lot, therefore closing access to the BLM lands behind this property.

We asked BLM if they had an easement on this property and were told that BLM does not have such an easement, but that Lyon County has a public access easement across this property. We then emailed a letter to Mr. David Scott, Lyon County Planning Department Enforcement Officer, stating that we believe that this barricade was unlawfully installed across the county easement denying the public access to an estimated 1500 acres of BLM land.

Mr. Scott emailed back stating that he had received numerous complaints and would personally examine this closure and consult with the District Attorney as to its legality. In a subsequent email he stated that the District Attorney had declared this barricade across the County easement to be illegal and that a letter would be sent to the property owner to that effect and that, if necessary, would be referred to County Law Enforcement.

The landowner responded that he felt that he was within his legal rights and had retained an attorney to fight this action.

N4WDA then retained the services of Paul Quade, Esq., of the Great Basin Policy Partners, a firm that works with non-profits and others on similar issues. Mr. Quade traded letters with the attorney for the landowners and with the Lyon County District Attorney, Steve Rye. Mr. Quade and Mr. Rye sent letters to the landowners citing the numerous violations of Nevada Revised Statutes and Lyon County Ordinances that dealt with obstruction of a public road and causing a public nuisance.

A subsequent letter from the attorney for the landowners stated that the gate and signage had been removed and the easement was open to the public.

We thank Mr. Quade and Mr. Rye for moving forward with the issue and getting the problem resolved.

However, we kind of wish, in a way, that this had gone to a trial with the overwhelming evidence that the landowners were in violation, to set a precedent for future cases as this seems to be a growing problem with private landowners blocking access to public lands.

· We Won’t Call it a Win, Yet – But…

Washoe County Lands Bill – There has been nothing/zip/zero/nada happening to this bill (that we have been made aware of) despite the favorable political climate with our state Senators and the House of Representatives under Democratic control.

As I have stated before, it is very apparent that there is little support by the public for this bill which has two contentious components:
- The Economic Component: This component is overwhelmingly opposed by the public who wish to keep growth at a minimum since growth greatly affects their lifestyle, the reason that they chose to live where they do. Concerns include loss of access to public lands for hiking, horseback, OHV, etc. Other concerns are traffic, public infrastructure (water, sewer, etc.), viewshed, etc.
- The Wilderness Component: As of the last time we heard, the acreage of Wilderness to be created by the bill had been reduced from approximately 700,000 acres to 175,063 acres, which we worked hard to achieve and which raises the ire of the preservationist community (note that I refer to them as preservationists, not environmentalists, because we are the real environmentalists) who want to include a whole lot more “W” acreage in this bill.

We will continue to monitor Washoe County’s activities on this proposed bill, but, for now it is a sleeping dog.