Nevada Land Trust partnered with Carson City, the State of Nevada Question-1 Program, the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway, and landowner John Serpa to acquire and permanently protect 419 acres, or 3.5 miles of river frontage along the Carson River corridor.
The protection of these 3.5 miles of river corridor enhances water quality, attenuates floodwater, and stream bank erosion and protects wetlands that support cottonwoods, willows, and other riparian vegetation critical for birds, fishes, as well as excellent winter range for mule deer.
This acquisition also preserves a bit of Nevada’s history and railroad heritage. The legendary Virginia and Truckee Railroad, originally constructed in 1869 between Carson City and Virginia City, traveled along this stretch of the Carson River Canyon, and many mine owners established their ore processing mills to take advantage of the available hydropower and proximity to the Comstock mines. These parcels encompass Nevada’s historic Merrimac mill and are adjacent to the Brunswick and Copper Canyon mills. The transaction included a 22-acre easement reserved for the future reconstruction of the V&T Railway and its operations.
Deer Run includes magnificent natural beauty and recreational and educational opportunities, and enhances public access to the 13.7 mile-long Carson River Aquatic Trail which extends from Carson River Park near Silver Saddle Ranch in Carson City to the Santa Maria Ranch area in Lyon County. Future land-based trails are envisioned in the Carson City Unified Trails Master Plan - linking with the Empire Ranch Trail, Riverview Park, Silver Saddle Ranch, and Ambrose Natural Area along the east side of Eagle Valley.
Funding for the acquisition was provided through the Nevada Division of State Lands Conservation and Resource Protection Grant Program, and Carson City’s Question 18 Quality of Life Initiative. The final value of the land, $3.1 million, was determined by an appraiser appointed by the Carson City Board of Supervisors.