ELY, Nev. – White Pine County is set to receive a gigantic infusion of money thanks to grants from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998 (SNPLMA) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Nearly $60 million in grant money was awarded for improvements in the region. The projects range from trail expansion to new campgrounds and an extension of the Nevada Northern Railway into McGill.
“The projects based in White Pine County recently granted by the SNPLMA and EDA programs are extremely impactful and will have long-lasting positive effects on tourism and local quality of life,” says White Pine County Tourism Director, Kyle Horvath.
Here’s a breakdown of the different grant awards and where the money will be going:
- The US Forest Service received $2 million for the Ward Mountain Trail Expansion Plan. The plan includes 30 miles of non-motorized singletrack, trailhead improvements and signage and will improve on Ely’s already legendary mountain bike trail system.
- The Bureau of Land Management received $10 million to improve the Garnet Hill Recreation Area. The plan includes road improvements, a new campground, picnic/toilet facilities, new garnet collection zones, 20 miles of non-motorized singletrack and 20 miles of motorized trail. The work will make the recreation area even more family-friendly.
- White Pine County received $24 million for Heritage Park, a brand new park that will be built south of Ely. This major beautification project will be a new gateway to the community and a major hub for visitors and locals alike.
- The Nevada Northern Railway received $10 million for track expansion and trail upgrades to connect the train tracks to McGill. The two miles of track will re-connect McGill to the historic train track system and allow steam locomotives to return there for the first time since the 1980s. In addition, a new trail will be built alongside the tracks for motorized and non-motorized use.
- The Fairgrounds received $13 million for major renovations and improvements to the indoor rodeo arena and event center, home of the annual White Pine Fair and Horse Races.
- From the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Nevada-based Great Basin Institute also received a $160,000 grant to establish a professional recreation trail building school in Ely.