Organizations endorsing the acquisition
of the Ballardini Ranch
and the defeat of SB 326

Updated 4-21-2005
9:22 a.m. PDT

Friends of Ballardini
Friends of Nevada Wilderness
Nevada Conservation League
Nevada Sportsman Coalition
Nevada Wilderness Project
Nevada Wildlife Federation
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Protect Our Washoe
Public Resource Associates
Scenic Nevada
Sierra Club, Toiyabe Chapter
Truckee Meadows Trails Association
Truckee River Yacht Club
Voices for Truckee Meadows
Washoe County Backcountry Coalition

Any other organizations supporting preservation of the Ballardini Ranch and open spaces (and opposing SB 326), please contact us for listing here and in bulletins.

Vote down SB 326
Save the Ballardini Ranch


Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, is the sole sponsor of the bill, passage of which will benefit only one corporation, a textbook definition of special interest lawmaking. On April 6, 2005, Reno's KRNV TV-4 reported that the Ballardini Ranch developers wrote part of SB 326. The single-interest bill not only jeopardizes multiple use preservation, but also poses a significant danger to public safety. The developer-Care proposal would bar state and local governments from acquiring land for flood control and historic preservation as defined in Nevada Revised Statutes 376A.010 (Page one, line 12 of SB 326).

Sen. Care has stated that it is his intention to legislatively defeat a matter now before the courts. On July 27, 2004, the Washoe County Commission voted to begin the process to acquire the property by eminent domain. Senate Bill 326 would short-circuit the process while making it illegal for all Nevada governments to acquire open space through eminent domain.

Public acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch will preserve a broad swath of multi-purpose open space from the southwest McCarran loop almost to the Mt. Rose Highway. It is the last large available parkland available in the fast-growing Truckee Meadows. Given its border with the Toiyabe National Forest, the Ballardini Ranch can be devoted to a rich range of uses in addition to critical wildlife habitat. It can accommodate hiking, picnicking, skiing, camping, education, public and private events. Reno's Bartley Ranch and Rancho San Rafael parks provide smaller examples of the potential.

The ranch was acquired by a Minnesota-based developer for $8.5 million in 1998. The property was appraised by Washoe County at $20 million in 2004. Funding for the acquisition was available from two sources: $4 million from a bond issue passed by Washoe County voters in 2000 and $16.5 million from the federal government. The developer sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton that it was no longer a willing seller. This resulted in the loss of the federal funds.

There is no area of Nevada immune to flood danger. Barring governments from condemning land for flood control is bad public policy and a danger to lives and property. Another proposal,
Assembly Bill 143, provides a solution to the abuse of eminent domain which has been of such concern in Clark County. AB 143 enjoys a bi-partisan majority of both houses as sponsors. Sen. Care himself, the only sponsor of SB 326, has signed on as a major sponsor of AB 143 which was voted out the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 13 with a "do pass as amended" recommendation.

Senate Bill 326 should not go forward. AB 143 should.




BARBWIRE: Care vs. Bears

BARBWIRE: Crunch Time for the Ballardini Ranch

BARBWIRE: Committee Carpet-Bombs Ballardini

County announces eminent domain proceeding

Washoe County's legal rationale for acquisition

Ballardini Ranch History and Fact Sheet home page

Barbwire by Barbano Column Archive


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