Reno indian colony allows public use of its new land without permit

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Council will allow some public uses of 13,343 acres Congress gave to it without permits, the colony said in a story first reported on KOLO 8 News Now April 14, 2017.

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony was given the new land by the Nevada Native Nations Land Act.

Allowable uses on the land on the western side of Spanish Springs Valley and into Hungry Valley include hiking, bicycling, geocaching and horseback riding. Off-road vehicles like motorcycles and quads can use designated paths to reach existing trails on federal land, although this is allowed only through the end of the year.

All uses will be reconsidered again at the end of the year, the colony said.

Congress in 2016 passed the Nevada Native Nations Land Act that gave almost 21 square miles of Bureau of Land Management land west of the Pyramid Highway and mostly north of Eagle Canyon Road to the colony. It was part of 111 squares miles of BLM and Forest Service land given to six tribes throughout Nevada. Rep. Mark Amodei and Sen. Harry Reid sponsored it in their respective bodies.

The colony is setting up rules for the land it now administers.

“We want to establish good relationships with the whole community,” colony Chairman Arlan D. Melendez said in a statement. “Though we expected a longer time frame to transition the management of the land with the Bureau of Land Management, our goal is to inform and work closely with our neighbors as we manage our land in Hungry Valley.”

The colony warns there are uses that are not allowed on the land, such as dumping, target shooting, random discharge of firearms, hunting, camping without a permit, camp fires and other fires, fireworks, disturbing cultural sites and using alcohol.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of the general public as we take necessary steps to allow the land to recover and heal due to overuse from multiple activities,” Melendez said. “We have identified a number of priorities and our staff will be working on these so we can better manage our land.