15 Mar 2008, 6:55pm
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Packed house unanimous in opposition to wilderness proposal

by KEITH TROUT, Mason Valley News

An uninformed passerby at Smith Valley High School last Wednesday evening might taken in the throng of vehicles parked outside and wondered if graduation had come early this year.

But the source of the sizeable crowd gathered at the school that night was a planned presentation, held as part of the Smith Valley Advisory Council meeting, on the proposed wilderness area designation for southern Lyon County and parts of Mineral and Esmeralda counties.

And the comments expressed during the more than two-hour session atend by an estimated 500 people, were unanimously opposed to that wilderness designation, including several elected officials who attended the meeting as well.

The presentation was organized by the newly-formed ‘Coalition for Public Access’ and drew a packed house to the SVHS gym. And those attending were not limited to Smith Valley residents, as the crowd drew folks from Mason Valley, Mineral and Douglas Counties, and other areas and organizations beyond.

Representatives of Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign were in attendance, as was another representing Congressman Dean Heller, and each said the wilderness designation was not proposed by the Congressmen, but by the wilderness groups advocating the inclusion of land in the Lyon County/Mineral County lands bill. … [more]

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