WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act to expand economic development and affordable housing opportunities in Washoe County, support local Tribal communities, increase conservation, protect public lands and outdoor recreation, and keep proceeds from land sales in Nevada for priorities like education and restoration around the Truckee River. For years, Senator Rosen has been working with a wide range of stakeholders across Washoe County to develop this comprehensive legislation. Earlier this year, Senator Rosen unveiled a working draft of the bill and collected feedback from hundreds of Nevadans during a public comment period, which she then incorporated into this legislation.
The Nevada Independent: Exclusive: Rosen introduces Washoe county lands bill years in the making
By Gabby Birenbaum
- Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced a much-anticipated lands bill for Washoe County, opening up new parcels for development in the housing-starved area in a conservation and development compromise mirroring prior Nevada lands bills.
- Using the model popularized by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (SNPLMA), the Washoe bill would convey 15,860 acres of public land for disposal. Some of that land will be sold at auction to developers; an additional 3,400 acres are designated for specific purposes, including roadway expansions, regional parks and K-12 school sites.
- All proceeds from land sales would remain in Nevada — 85 percent to a special Treasury account designated for environmentally focused projects in Washoe County, 10 percent to Truckee River conservation projects and 5 percent to the state’s education fund.
- In a new twist on the traditional lands bill concept, the Washoe lands bill requires the managing government agency to evaluate each parcel for affordable housing suitability before bringing it to market, and stipulates that all land sold to affordable housing developers must be done below fair market value.
- In exchange, nearly 950,000 acres of public land in Northern Nevada would receive conservation designations, creating new national conservation and wilderness areas to permanently protect them from development and preserve the nature within.
- The bill also places about 20,000 acres in trust for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
Nevada Current: Rosen introduces Washoe County public lands bill
By Jeniffer Solis
- The Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act introduced by Rosen would make nearly 16,000 acres of public lands in Washoe County eligible for sale at fair market value to spur economic development.
- Another 3,467 acres of public land will be awarded to local governments in Washoe County for public use, including parks, water treatment facilities, a public shooting range, public schools, and roadway expansions. The University of Nevada, Reno would also be awarded one acre of public land for public use, including a campus expansion, according to the bill.
- Under the bill, 30 acres of public land will be reserved for affordable housing. Federal land managers will also need to consider if any of the 16,000 acres of public land for sale is suitable for affordable housing before approving the sale.
- The bill would also set aside about 774,000 acres of public land as Wilderness and National Conservation Areas to prevent further development. Nearly 174,000 acres of public land will also be designated as “withdrawal areas” under the bill, meaning they will be open for recreation, but settlement, sale, or development of the land is prohibited.
- Some conservation groups, like the Friends of Nevada Wilderness, praised the bill’s conservation measures, calling it “a milestone in the history of public lands conservation in Nevada.”
- Daryl Gardipe, the recently elected chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, applauded Rosen and her staff for collaborating with the tribe on the final draft of the bill.
This Is Reno: Rosen introduces Washoe County public lands bill
- Rosen said she has been working on her Truckee Meadows public lands legislation for years with a wide range of affected groups. Earlier this year, Rosen unveiled a working draft of the bill and collected feedback from hundreds of Nevadans during a public comment period, which she incorporated into the current bill draft.
- “My bill strikes a balance between responsible development, permanent protection of hundreds of thousands of acres of Nevada’s public lands, and local community growth. I’ll keep working in the Senate to make sure this legislation becomes law, helping to shape a better future for our state,” Rosen said in a statement.
Anchor: “A bill to open up 15,000 acres of public lands in Washoe County for possible sale was introduced in Congress today. Senator Jacky Rosen introduced the highly anticipated Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act. If passed, it would clear up parcels primarily east of Sparks to be auctioned off for housing and even commercial use. It also sets aside almost a million acres for conservation and wildlife areas and sets aside land for Tribal communities.”
Senator Rosen: “I’ve been working closely with a diverse range of local stakeholders from conservation and outdoor recreation groups to local governments and Tribal communities, well, to draft a proposal that strikes the best balance.”
Anchor: “Senator Jacky Rosen introduced the Washoe County Lands Bill in Congress today. It would set aside federal land in the county for conservation, affordable housing, and more. Plus, the mayor of Sparks says it would help solve a crisis that the city is now facing.
Reporter: “Mayor Lawson says the lands bill would support Sparks’ growth for 20 to 30 years. And having room to grow outward instead of upward would ease his concerns about residents and government trying to keep up with rising costs.”
Mayor Lawson: “We got problems. If we don’t come up with some housing, the prices are just going to get more expensive.”
Reporter: “83 percent of the land in Washoe County is owned by the federal government, meaning it’s off limits for development. That’s what the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act introduced Tuesday by Senator Jacky Rosen seeks to solve.”
Senator Rosen: “After receiving substantial input from Nevadans, we have reached a balanced and responsible piece of legislation.”
Reporter: “In addition to the 15,000 acres for possible sale, the bill permanently protects over 900,000 acres, holds in trust over 21,000 acres for Tribal communities, and sets aside 3,400 acres for parks, water facilities, and schools. Proceeds from the land sales would be divvied up like this: 5 percent for education in Nevada, 10 percent for Truckee River projects, 85 percent into a special treasury account for things like parks, trails, nature areas, wildfire prevention and more.”
KOLO Reno: Rosen introduces Washoe County lands bill
Anchor: “Public lands bills don’t show up very often in Congress. It’s been decades since the last one concerning northern Nevada. But that’s about to change as the Senate takes up the Washoe County Lands Bill introduced by Senator Jacky Rosen. It opens hundreds of thousands of acres of public land for development while protecting other land for environmental and cultural reasons. The issues it raises may be new to Washington, but they’re familiar back here. In fact, the bill is the product of years of negotiation between local governments and interest groups.”
Reportera: “En el condado Washoe, se presentó este martes una medida por parte de la Senadora Jacky Rosen para limpiar lo que es más de 15.000 acres de tierra federal para una posible venta. Este proyecto de ley, llamado Ley de Gestión de Tierras Públicas de Truckee Meadows, tiene como finalidad crear más desarrollo, principalmente en el área de Sparks… Este proyecto forma parte de una solución a la crisis de viviendas asequibles.”
Host: “And one Nevada Senate Democrat says she’s working to try to solve housing issues right here in Washoe County.”
Senator Rosen: “Because these lands, well, they belong to all of us. And after receiving substantial input from Nevadans, we have reached a balanced and responsible piece of legislation.”
Host: “Senator Jacky Rosen says her plan includes designating areas for affordable housing along with Tribal trusts. It would also protect over 900,000 acres of public lands.”
Host: “U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada announced today she’s introducing legislation to expand economic development and affordable housing opportunities in Washoe County. The Democrat says the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act would also support Tribal communities, increase conservation, and protect public lands and outdoor recreation.”
Host: “U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen has introduced legislation aimed at increasing both economic development and affordable housing in Washoe County. The Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act directs that about 15,800 acres of public lands be made eligible for sale, all assessed for suitability for new affordable housing. An additional 30 acres are set aside to be only sold for affordable housing. Her office says the act will also support local Tribal communities, increase conservation, and protect public lands and outdoor recreation. And proceeds from land sales in Nevada will go toward priorities like education and restoration around the Truckee River.”