Supporters of the longtime proposed Last Chance Park project are not about to give up on their goal of establishing a trailhead for horseback riding enthusiasts.
The proposal has been in the works for more than a decade, with little progress made so far.
Pahrump Town Board member Dr. Tom Waters said though local entities such as the town board and the Public Lands Advisory Board have been keenly focused on the proposal, a federal agency which was a major player in the initial phases of the proposal, has recently shown little interest in moving it forward.
“If we can get the property and eliminate the roadblocks, it would be a good deal for all, but the Bureau of Land Management is the worst part,” Waters said. “Every time we take a step forward on the project, they set us two steps back.”
Town Board Vice Chair Bill Dolan, too, accused the BLM of stonewalling the project.
“I don’t trust the BLM, I really don’t,” Dolan said. “They keep changing the rules. Last Chance Park has been worked on for years, but nothing has really come to fruition yet.”
The original plans for the site called for the division of a 10-acre entry point with roughly 1,500 acres of land owned by the BLM on Bell Vista Road designated as a hiking, biking and equestrian area.
Present day plans for the park, according to Dolan, have been drastically scaled back.
Instead of waiting for the BLM for action, the town is now working on an alternative site to possibly purchase or lease the land.
A five-acre parcel owned by the county in the area of Stephanie Road, according to Dolan, may be suitable.
The acrage lies in the far northwest end of the valley.
Dolan noted that since the land and a single structure on the property were acquired through a drug bust by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, there should be a few stipulations if an agreement is reached.
“I would have no problem with that if they are going to remediate the land and the building,” Dolan said. “If it was a meth house, I want to know because that can be very costly to have a hazmat company come in and remediate that land. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s not cheap. If they want to give it to us, I don’t have a problem with remediating the land. If they want to lease or sell it to us, I think they should remediate the land.”
Town Manager Susan Holecheck noted that even talks with county officials about the park have not gone as smooth as she had hoped.
After working on and off with county officials on the park, she said she was taken aback by what she called a communication breakdown between both the entities.
“We have been working on this for a long time and we are no closer to a solution or resolution than we were months ago,” Holecheck said.
Waters, meanwhile, said he has heard from many local residents who strongly support the proposal.
“It can’t be what we first envisioned it to be some time ago, but I still feel that we should have something,” he said. “I would say that Last Chance is definitely not dead and hopefully we will be able to let the residents know what we plan to do in the near future,” he said.
BLM officials have not responded to repeated requests for comment on the issue.
The Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Board was expected to revisit the issue during last night’s regular meeting.
Look for results of action items from the meeting in Friday’s edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.