Protect Our Washoe
Act now to save the Ballardini Ranch
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS $15 MILLION
IN FEDERAL FUNDS
TO ACQUIRE BALLARDINI RANCH
Las Vegas (May 21, 2002) -- A federal oversight body this week recommended that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton approve $15 million toward the public acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch in southwest Reno.
"The possibility of public ownership took a great leap forward with the decision of the Executive Committee of the Southern Nevada Lands Management Act to include the Ballardini Ranch in the Round 3 level of funding for the full $15 million we have been seeking," stated Steve Walther of Protect Our Washoe. The citizens organization has worked for many years to place the Ballardini Ranch in public hands for many years.
Norton has ultimate approval authority. Under the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, funds are made available from the sale by auction of federal properties in Clark County for acquisition of sensitive areas in Clark County as well as other regions on the state. The committee found that the Ballardini Ranch qualified as sensitive land deserving funding.
"This is an extraordinary piece of good news" Walther stated.
"It is a critical step forward in the process to ultimate funding. It allows for the opportunity for truly meaningful negotiations to take place with the owner," he added.
The owner, Evans Creek LLC, is a Minnesota entity that acquired the Ballardini Ranch on May 11, 1998, for $8.5 million.
If Secretary Norton signs off, the $15 million in federal funds will be matched with $4 million approved by Washoe County voters in the fall of 2000 as part of a bond issue, making $19 million available for acquisition of the ranch.
The Executive Committee consists of Robert V. Abbey, State Director, Bureau of Land Management; William K. Dickinson, Superintendent, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, National Park Service; Jack G. Troyer, Regional Forester, U.S. Forest Service; and Daniel Walsworth, Refuge Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
The Secretary of the Interior has thus far approved all recommendations previously made by the Executive Committee under Round 1 and Round 2.
Read More About It
Ballardini Ranch added to preservation list
by Jeff DeLong
P. O. Box 20397
Reno, NV 89515
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