Dec 5, 2011

Zoning initiative jeopardizes future of Wolf Pack Meats and northern Nevada's local food infrastructure

If you love local food and local jobs make your voice heard. 

On December 14th @ 6pm the Reno City Council will vote on a Planning Commission recommendation to zone 104 acres of the Main Station Farm for light industrial use making the land accessible for development. Should the Council vote yes, this will open the door to the parceling off and destruction of this valuable piece of urban agricultural land and northern Nevada's agricultural infrastructure.

Though UNR and the Reno City Council are correct when they say the zoning decision to be addressed at the December 14th meeting will not close Wolf Pack Meats, what it really means is it won't close it right now. This will be the first parcel to be paved over and other development initiatives will follow. As development encroaches, opposition to the close proximity of a slaughter facility will surely result in the closure. This has happened to agricultural land everywhere.  In the US we pave over 1 acre of prime farmland every minute.

Wolf Pack Meats is the only USDA meat facility in northern Nevada and access to it keeps production costs lower so local ranchers can make their product available to us at a reasonable price.  Processing the meat here reduces middleman and transportation fees. It ensures the animals are treated humanely from farm to table.  This production circle keeps our food-based jobs in Nevada.  Read more or sign the petion now to oppose this proposal.

Annex, rezone, and sell is the way local government has "planned" for many years and the results have been less than stellar. We want the University of Nevada, Board of Regents and the Reno City Council to take an innovative approach and use this property to build a different future -- one based on a burgeoning local food economy. But first we need to convince them to make a different decision at this meeting, perhaps designate the land as agricultural. The more of us who speak up the better.

Make your voice heard....

Sign the petition.
This petition will be delivered to the Reno City Council, members of the University of Nevada Board of Regents, the University of Nevada, Reno Chancellor, the Nevada legislative
representatives, and members of congress.
Attend the meeting on December 14th at 6:00pm. The meeting may not be held in the Council Chambers. We're hoping so many people show up to support a different future that we'll need a bigger space.

Contact members of the Reno City Council directly, personally, and now...because the members need to know we want the land preserved for our burgeoning local food economy future before the meeting is held.

Let them know we are opposed to zoning the Main Station Farm land for these reasons:

1. We do not support new commercial/business zoned properties in the city of Reno. Many existing properties sit vacant and our city is fraught with urban blight. We should strive to fill what we have before we consider making new properties available for commercial, business, and/or industrial use.

2. Building in critical flood zones cost taxpayers. As citizens of Nevada, subject to local and state non-income based taxes, and as payers of federal income taxes, we do not support any develop within what has been designated a Critical Flood Zone. When properties flood citizens pay directly and more often indirectly. These 104 acres are in a Critical Flood Zone. It is amply outlined in the presentation from the Truckee River Flood Management Project.

3. Adjacent land-use presents conflicts. Although the City Planning Commission and the University of Nevada, Reno, along with various representatives, have attempted to deny that this rezoning will have any impact on Wolf Pack Meats, we respectfully disagree. There is a well documented literature of agriculture/urban conflict, so much so that all 50 states, Nevada included, have some form of Right to Farm laws. Nonetheless, the pastoral image of agriculture that many individuals have conflicts with the reality of agriculture as a working business with noise and odors.


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Issues like this need to be thought thoroughly sometimes because they can have catastrophic effects to many.