Washoe Valley Land Conserved
Forty-five acres near Wilson Commons Park preserves wetlands, bird and wildlife habitat. Thousands of Nevada residents and visitors drive between Reno and Carson City daily. Thanks to the Rusk Family, part of that picturesque Washoe Valley drive will remain undeveloped in perpetuity through Nevada Land Trust’s acquisition of a conservation easement.
The 45-acre conservation easement on the Rusk property borders both the Washoe County Wilson Commons Park and Highway 395. A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement that limits future development while protecting a property’s ecological or open-space values. Thanks to funding from the voter-approved Nevada Division of State Lands Conservation and Resource Protection Grant Program, also known as “Question One,” and the Farm & Ranchland Protection Program, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Rusk land will be maintained as productive ranchland and open space. Each program provided 50 percent of the fair market easement value to keep the land in agricultural use. In addition to agriculture, a variety of wildlife depends on the open spaces and lush habitat provided by the Rusk Ranch. Washoe Valley is an important habitat for more than 215 bird species that depend on Washoe Valley’s wet meadow and grassland habitat that extends onto the Rusk Ranch.