The Comstock Residents Association conducted a workshop session at Preserve Nevada’s annual symposium on historic preservation issues in Nevada in Las Vegas, NV on December 1, 2012. CRA lead a discussion on preservation and protection of the approximately 17,000 acres of pristine cultural landscape of the Virginia City National Historic Landmark (VCNHL).
The symposium is presented in conjunction with the City of Las Vegas, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, University of Nevada Las Vegas and the Urban Sustainability Initiative at the Nevada State Museum. According to Preserve Nevada Deputy Director, Summer Burke, the symposium was a biennial event designed as “a day of collegial discussion, collaboration and exchanging ideas on historic preservation and economic sustainability.”
CRA board member, Joe McCarthy, believes the symposium, “offered CRA another valid forum to advance awareness of this rapidly growing resistance movement that’s spreading like wildfire. We are dedicated to protect and sustain the cultural landscape and fragile environment within the Comstock Historic District. We’re a grassroots, activist, insurgent movement led by citizens from the Comstock hamlets of Gold Hill, Virginia City, Silver City and Dayton Nevada, historic, cultural communities waging a campaign of petition, litigation, and the humble tool of zoning powers. It’s a movement, of property owners, local officials, teachers, lawyers, doctors, farmers, business owners, artists, engineers, archaeologists and many more that are drawing the line on irresponsible, open-pit mining in the Landmark, on the existing Superfund site and in our backyard zoned mostly residential for more than a half century.”
Robin Cobbey, CRA board president, emphasized that “the stakes could not be higher. The fate of the landscape is in the balance as land is being cleared, hillsides destroyed and biodiversity eliminated, creating a immense danger to human health and safety, flora and fauna. So far, our local governments, our commissions and our state officials are mired in silence and failure. Our best hope lies with this grassroots movement and our growing alliances with historic preservation advocates, such as Preserve Nevada.”
Gayle Sherman, CRA board member, reiterated that, “in the near term, CRA will continue to set the tone and make a stand for preservation and protection of our precious cultural, historic landscape from bulldozing, road building, excavation and water withdrawal. Long-term, CRA plans to serve as the Landmark’s citizen stewards, filling a void left by 50 years of benign neglect and the off and on destruction of the Landmark.”
The symposium furthered Preserve Nevada’s mission to promote networking and information resources that foster careful stewardship and conservancy of our cultural resources. The symposium strives to educate preservationists and others in Nevada about the opportunities of sustainable historic preservation in both the urban and rural setting.