Land Use and Development

Land Management

Lahontan Basin Area Office (LBAO) hasacquired lands, easements, and management jurisdiction on lands in northeastern California, northwestern Nevada and north-central Nevada. Total LBAO acreage is approximately 474,770 acres which includes approximately 413,830 acres of withdrawn lands and approximately 60,940 acres of acquired land. Withdrawn lands are lands that are set aside from the public domain lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). A withdrawal is normally for a specific purpose, in this case for a Reclamation Project. Acquired lands are lands that were purchased by or were donated to the United States.

Newlands, Truckee Storage, and Washoe Project Lands

The lands in California and northwestern Nevada are located within the boundaries of Newlands, Truckee Storage, and Washoe Reclamation Projects in Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Storey, and Washoe counties in Nevada, and Sierra, Nevada, and Placer counties in California. The total area of these project lands include approximately 372,720 acres of withdrawn lands and approximately 18,600 acres of acquired lands. Management jurisdiction includes easements and Reclamation Zones (lands set aside for operation and maintenance of the dams) at Lake Tahoe Dam, Prosser Creek Dam and Reservoir, Stampede Dam and Reservoir, Boca Dam and Reservoir, and Lahontan Dam and Reservoir. These dams and reservoirs, except Lahontan, are located in the eastern Sierra Nevada range and provide the main source of water for the Newlands, Washoe, and Truckee Storage Projects. Lahontan Dam and Reservoir is a storage facility on the Carson River. This facility also receives source water from the upstream reservoirs in California via diversions at Derby Dam on the Truckee River through the thirty-mile long Truckee Canal.

Humboldt Project Lands

The Humboldt Project is located in north-central Nevada near and/or adjacent to the Humboldt River in Churchill, Lander, and Pershing counties. The land base for this Project consists of three separate areas. The first area is the western most area of the three and is located in the Humboldt Sink near the terminus of the Humboldt River. This area consists of approximately 32,650 acres of withdrawn lands. The second area is the Rye Patch Dam and Reservoir area. The dam, on the Humboldt River, is located approximately 25 miles upstream of Lovelock. There is also a small Reclamation Zone around this dam. The majority of Reclamation land in this area is upstream of the dam and consists of approximately 8,460 acres of withdrawn lands and approximately 12,340 acres of acquired lands. The last area is commonly known as the Community Pasture. This area is north and east of Battle Mountain and consists of approximately 30,000 acres of acquired lands. Legislation to transfer this Project to the State of Nevada, Pershing County Water Conservation District, Lander County, and Pershing County was signed in November of 2002. The transfer may occur within the next several years.


LBAO has partnered with Nevada State Parks in an effort to bring quality recreational activities to Reclamation facilities. This partnership has resulted in the creation of Lahontan and Rye Patch State Recreation Areas. Management agreements with the Nevada Department of Wildlife have resulted in the creation of the Fernley and Humboldt Wildlife Management Areas. Other partners include the U.S. Forest Service which manages recreation at Boca, Prosser Creek, and Stampede reservoirs in California. Please see our web page for more details on recreation at facilities within LBAO’s boundaries.

Reclamation has also partnered with BLM on land use planning and right-of-way issues. Unlike BLM lands, Reclamation lands are closed to off-road vehicle use unless designated as open.

For Questions Concerning Land Use Applications, please contact:
Pete Neugebauer at (775) 884-8354, Jennifer Birri (775) 884-8349 or Chuck Valentine (775) 884-8367


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Last Updated: 4/6/17