Nation's First Bi-State Park Begin Built

By: Jenny Rabin
By: Jenny Rabin

The first bi-state park in the nation will be open soon on both sides of Stateline at the south shore of Lake Tahoe.

What's so unusual about this is that one entity or agency will manage this park even though it sits in two different states.

That park is called the Van Sickle California - Nevada Bi-state park and as you can tell from its name, it's located in both states.

Normally that would be a problem but both sides of the state line have decided to work together to jointly develop and later run, this brand new park.

In 1988, Jack Van Sickle from Carson City, donated 500 plus acres to the state of Nevada. He later sold 155 acres to California, bringing the grand total of the forested area to just over 700 acres.

The acres he donated spans both states. The only real access into the park is on the California side, which created the need for both states to work together to make Jack Van Sickle's dream a reality.

Says Steve Weaver of the Nevada Division of State Parks: "It's right on the doorstep of the city of Stateline and South Lake Tahoe and casinos easy walking distance. It's a very nice forested environment which you don't see very often in Nevada."

The topography in the area is limiting with plenty of stream environment zones combined with steep terrain so only 10% of the park can be developed.

Development plans are still in the preliminary stages but there are plenty of possiblities.

Hulton-Larson\Architect, Design Workshop]
"So far we've identified such uses as picnic area, day-use areas, possible day-use group picnic areas," says architect Hlton-Larson. "We have camping as a possibility in a range of group camping area to RVv camping, to tent and vehicle camping and walk-in camping."

Ultimately the decisions on what goes into the park belongs to the three agencies who will oversee it . . . the California Tahoe Conservancy, California state parks and Nevada State Parks.

Who will run the park once it's built, is still up in the air.

"We don't know for example if we're going to have California and Nevada state park rangers both operating or just one entity doing primary operations and the other just continuing funding those are some of the things we have to look at," says Weaver.

If you are interested in offering your opinion on what should go into the new park, you can attend a public workshop this Tuesday (August 19) from 6 - 8 p.m at the offices of the TRPA, located at 128 Market Street in Stateline.

For people who can't attend the public workshop, California State Parks, Nevada State Parks and the TRPA are all conducting surveys.

The earliest the park will open is 2006.


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