26 Jun 2010, 6:18pm
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by admin

From Jewel to Eyesore - Another Ugly Tale of Government Takeover

U.S. inclined to keep Nevada lake dry over debts

By Jeff DeLong, USA TODAY, June 23, 2010 [here]

For a second straight summer, a once-scenic mountain lake in Nevada — acquired by the federal government for $46 million in 2008 for public recreation — will remain drained and its future in limbo until a complex case over the final price tag is resolved in federal court.

Incline Lake, on a ridge above Lake Tahoe near the California state line, was drained by its owners, the Incline Lake Corp., last year after a seismic safety study suggested its dam might fail during an earthquake, said Cheva Heck, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.

A one-time gathering spot for Nevada’s rich and famous, the 720-acre parcel was transferred to the Forest Service with a $46 million payment to the Incline Lake Corp. Cabins around the lake were torn down and a private observatory relocated to Reno in 2008.

A private parcel surrounded by the national forest, Incline Lake was inaccessible to the public for more than 70 years. Its public acquisition was long a government goal, and in 2004, its purchase was first proposed with proceeds raised through the sale of federal land near Las Vegas, Heck said. …

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., secured more than $5 million in federal funds to rebuild the dam, which would allow the lake to be refilled. But the Forest Service will not do so until the legal case is resolved, Heck said. …

Scott Beenk, who regularly hikes and bikes in the area, described the drained lake as an eyesore. … [more]

Note: the “federal land near Las Vegas” was a wilderness area de-designated sold to developers in a deal worked out by Dirty Harry Reid. Truckloads of money disappeared into thin air.



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