In a letter approved at its July 15 meeting, the Beatty Town Advisory Board petitioned the Nature Conservancy to allow an off-road race to cross a property it now owns. The town has enjoyed a friendly and beneficial relationship with the Nature Conservancy in the past, with Beatty receiving national recognition for its efforts to protect habitat for the Amargosa toad.
Best in the Desert has been running its “Vegas to Reno” race for more than 10 years, and for several years has been starting the race at Beatty. The race has an established, BLM-approved course that crosses the Brackenberry (formerly Coffer) Ranch north of Beatty. The ranch was recently acquired by the Nature Conservancy, which owns several properties in the area and manages them to protect habitat for native wildlife and plant species.
The letter notes that Best of the Desert was to meet with the Nature Conservancy and the BLM to try gain permission to continue using the existing course and cross the ranch.
It notes that the race “brings revenue into the community by the way of room rental, fuel, ice and patronage of our local restaurants the night before the event and they have supported local school sports programs.”
“We understand the importance of the conservation of our natural resources and your position as a nationwide steward of them,” the letter reads, “which is why we want to express our sincere appreciation of your efforts to find a solution that will balance your responsibility with the economic benefit to the community, and the history of the race and this racing organization.”
The board also agreed to fill out a “Compatibility Issues Worksheet” regarding the Nevada Test and Training Range to be included in public comment on proposed changes to the range.
Board treasurer Erika Gerling explained that the board had submitted public comment on the issue in the past and did not want it to be thought that they had since gone silent.
Commissioner Lorinda Wichman attended the meeting, explaining the rarity of her appearance in Beatty by comparing Beatty to the least troublesome child in a family.
“I’m not worried about Beatty,” Wichman said. “You’re doing an excellent job of taking care of yourselves.”
The commissioner encouraged people to make use of the county’s website. She said that it could be used to request road repairs and to report nuisances, among other things, as well as being a source of information about the county.
“If you can’t find something on there,” she said, “all the phone numbers are there.
Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.