BLM Can Sell Land to Douglas County

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The Bureau of Land Management can proceed with this week's scheduled land sale in northern Douglas County, despite objections from neighboring Carson City, a federal judge ruled.

But U.S. District Judge James Robertson of Washington, D.C. said Carson City raised serious legal objections to the auction of 146 acres of BLM land and he might later invalidate Wednesday's auction if he decides the capital city's claims are valid.

Robertson indicated he would make a final decision before November on the lawsuit that has strained relations between the neighboring counties.

BLM State Director Bob Abbey said the sale would proceed as planned and bidding would start at $7.5 million..

"We are pleased that the court has denied the request for a temporary restraining order,"he said."We believe that the public interest is best served by holding a competitive sale to dispose of the property into private ownership."

Carson City last year challenged the land sale, claiming commercial development at the site near the county line would have negative impacts on the capital city.

The challenge prompted Douglas County officials to criticize Carson City for interfering.