Lyon County Could Get New State Park

Jan 20, 2017

Governor Brian Sandoval has announced his proposal to create two new state parks, including the Walker River State Recreation Area. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman explores what this could mean for Lyon County.

Rafter 7 at the proposed Walker River State Recreation Area

For the first time in generations, this park would provide public access to more than 12,000 acres of ranch land, specifically 28 miles of the East Walker River. The area is home to deer, mountain lions, and sage grouse, and it's filled with juniper and pinyon trees.

Along with access, this park could boost tourism and sales tax revenue.

"You're on the extreme southern end of Lyon County in this area, so if people are coming out to recreate for the weekend or the week, they're going to need supplies,” explains Lyon County Manager Jeff Page. “And the closest place to get supplies is going to be in the city of Yerington at the local businesses."

Page says he’s supportive of the project but one downside is that this land would be taken off the tax roll, so the county would not be able to collect property taxes on it.

The project still needs legislative approval. In his proposed budget, Governor Sandoval has included funding for baseline staffing and the first phase of facilities for amenities like campsites and hiking trails.