One component of the Martis Strategy would include unlocking this gate, blocking Garson Road. The public and high-clearance vehicles would then have access to thousands of acres of wilderness.
The area right near Garson Road, found in Verdi, is poised to be the future home to as many as fifteen thousand homes. That's why the US Forest service is hoping to protect this land now, versus when developers begin to encroach on the open space.
Gary Schiff, U.S. Forest Service, says "Once the gate is swung at Garson Road, we have to be ready so people can enjoy it."
The entire Martis Strategy encompasses the Forest Service land that's south of Boomtown, East and North of Hirschdale and West of Reno.
Parts are currently open to the public, but it's not as accessible as it could be.
Schiff "I'd say this is one of the most beautiful pieces of national forest. It's as pretty as anything in the sierra. It's as pretty as anything in Colorado and it's minutes from Reno."
Other components of the plan include building trailheads in the neighborhoods for easy access, the development of biking, hiking and motorized trails and possibly, linking Reno to the Tahoe Rim trail.
But the Martis strategy includes much more than simply recreation opportunities. In 2001, the Martis Fire burned over 14,000 acres, calling for not only more trees to be planted, but also, continued protection of the wilderness.
"There's areas of the forest we'd like to thin. So this plan has lots of different pieces." District Ranger, Gary Schiff also says the development of this space could help diversify Reno's image to out-of-state visitors. Perhaps making it a destination for tourists. "I think this dovetails with the wishes of the business and environmental community, so hopefully it all comes together."
n three weeks, on June 22nd, the Reno City Council will consider the Martis Strategy. The plan could then be finalized by the end of the summer.