News & Press

Bently-Kirman Trail Opens in the Carson Valley

May 3rd, 2010 By: Doug Hahn

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on April 30, 2010 to mark the grand opening of a four mile public trail system at the Bently-Kirman Tract in the Carson Valley. The trail provides communityaccess to the Carson River with stunning panoramic views of Carson Valley and the surrounding Sierra Nevada and Pine Nut mountain ranges.

The trail is a part of the Bently-Kirman ranch, which was founded in part by Donald E. Bently of Bently Agrowdynamics, whose vision of sustainable agriculture is being realized at this Nevada ranch. Donald says that he “never bought into the stereotype that agricultural and environmental interests have to be played off against each other — and hikers of the new trail can see this concept in action.

The new trail takes visitors past some beautiful natural areas and provides a wonderful recreational opportunity, says Duane Petite, Carson River Project Director for TheNature Conservancy. But the trail is also a perfect example of The Nature Conservancy’s collaborative approach to conservation in the Carson Valley for the benefit of peopleand nature.

The building of the trail was made possible through a partnership between Bently Agrowdynamics, The Nature Conservancy, the Carson Valley Trails Association, and Boy ScoutTroop 495. Volunteers put in more than 100 hours building the trail. Two trail loops meander peacefully around wetlands and through willow and wild rose thickets, mimicking the natural sinuosity of the nearby river, before emerging at foursand bar beaches.

Christopher Bently, of Bently Holdings in San Francisco, has fond memories of Nevada and understands the importance of this trail. “Growing up as a young boy in the CarsonValley gave me an appreciation for life in a simpler time which is becoming harder and harder to hold on to. The Nature Conservancy together with the hard work of The BoyScouts in Troop 495 and the Carson Valley Trails Association have honored my father and I in helping us provide usable open space while promoting synergy between landpreservation and agriculture. Carson Valley will be able to enjoy local, sustainable agriculture along with usable open lands for many generations to come which has been a wayof life here since the valley was first settled,” he says.

The partnership at Bently-Kirman Tract began in 2005 when the Conservancy acquired a conservation easement on the property that safeguarded more than 1,000 acres offloodplain habitat from development. This was achieved with funding from Nevada Division of State Lands, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and a generous donation fromBently Agrowdynamics. From the beginning, the vision of this project was to demonstrate that cattle ranching, habitat protection, and public access can be compatibleactivities, explains Petite. The opening of this trail puts the last piece of the puzzle in place and showcases how conservation can benefit both people and nature.

The trail is designed to allow public access while preserving wildlife habitat and ongoing agricultural operations. This is a wonderful trail opportunity for those who enjoy hikingor trail running on a flat grade. Use is limited to foot traffic only; dogs, horses and mechanized vehicles are not permitted.

For more information and downloadable copies of the trail map, visitThe Nature Conservancyand click on the Bently-Kirman Tract link or visitThe Carson Valley Trails Association.