Warning of low water levels at Lahontan

August 30, 2007

Lahontan State Recreation Area in Nevada.

SILVER SPRINGS, Nev.–Severe drought conditions and continued above-normal temperatures have contributed to the rapid decrease in water levels at Lahontan Reservoir.

The Silver Springs and North Shore Marina docks have been removed from the water. Water levels are expected to drop lower than the launch ramps on or prior to Labor Day Weekend.

Beach launching is allowed but requires the use of a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Beach launching is recommended in sandy areas only. Park supervisors recommend avoiding all areas with silt or mud.

“Dropping reservoir levels continue to expose underwater hazards,” said Park Supervisor Rob Holley. “Please use extreme caution when boating on Lahontan Reservoir and do so at your own risk.”

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NDEP to meet with Las Vegas residents about indoor PCE vapor

August 29, 2007

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Logo

LAS VEGAS–The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is arranging in-home meetings with 146 homeowners in a residential area east of the Boulevard Mall to check the indoor air in their homes for the presence of a common solvent used in dry cleaning.

The NDEP suspects that the solvent, perchloroethylene or PCE, was discharged into the shallow groundwater from a former dry cleaner, located at 3661 South Maryland Parkway in the Maryland Square Shopping Center. The investigation continues into other possible sources of the contamination and any other associated responsible parties.

Groundwater monitoring data indicate that, over time, the PCE has migrated eastward in the shallow groundwater underneath the Boulevard Mall and some residences in the neighborhood east of the Mall. The NDEP is offering to test the indoor air in the homes to see if vapors from the underground PCE plume are making their way into the homes. The tests are voluntary and free-of-charge to the homeowners.

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Plant species conservation

August 27, 2007

The Steamboat buckwheat plant in Reno, Nevada. 

State botanist keeps his eye on Nevada’s rare flora

By Bob Conrad

Third-graders in Huntsville, Alabama are singing a new song. It goes: “The roots on the plant go root, root, root, mostly in Madison County.” It’s sung to the melody of “Wheels on the Bus.” The children are vocalizing about the Morefield leather flower, Clematis morefieldii, an endangered plant found only in Alabama’s Madison County.

***

This spring Southern Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base received a permit from the Nevada Division of Forestry for new construction on a portion of the Air Force’s property. More than 200 acres, however, will remain undeveloped for the sole purpose of protecting a plant found only in the Las Vegas area—the Las Vegas bearpoppy, Arctomecon californica. Read the rest of this entry »


Portions of Lake Tahoe-Nevada backcountry to close temporarily

August 17, 2007

Hobart Reservoir, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park 

Affected areas include Lakeview Road, Hobart Road

LAKE TAHOE, Nev.–Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park is temporarily closing a portion of the Marlette-Hobart backcountry Monday through Friday, August 20 through October 15, 2007.

The affected park areas will be Lakeview Road, Hobart Road between Marlette Lake and Hobart Lake, Red House Flume Trail and the Tunnel Creek Road in the Red House / Franktown Creek area. Read the rest of this entry »


Burros on a boat: A BLM burro gather at Lake Mead (video)

August 15, 2007

In March, the Bureau of Land Management gathered wild burros at Lake Mead in Southern Nevada. Nevada’s Wild Horse Program administrator came along to discuss the gather process as the burros were transported by boat across the lake.


State foresters promote community wildfire protection plans to reduce risks

August 13, 2007

Range fire in Nevada. Photograph by the Nevada Division of Forestry.

Residents encouraged to develop preventative steps to protect communities

WASHINGTON, D.C.–America’s wildfire environment has changed. Recent trends in climate, fuels, and demographics are contributing to the increased frequency of large and costly fires. To exacerbate this issue, more and more people are living in fire-prone areas. A 2005 federal study found that in the 1990s, 8.4 million homes–60 percent of the new houses built in the U.S.–were added to wildland urban interface (WUI) areas nationwide.

Although the risks may be high, communities are empowered to protect themselves. According to a 2007 survey by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), approximately 3,300 at-risk (for fire) communities have a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) in place, a 22% increase from the year before. Part of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, CWPPs help to reduce risk and damage and increase the ability to successfully suppress fires.

“Nevada was the first state to have CWPP’s completed for all of our communities at risk in the country,” said Pete Anderson, Nevada’s state forester and fire warden. “The CWPP’s have and continue to serve as the implementation road map for fuels reduction projects in the WUI areas across the state.

“While Nevada has done an excellent job through the CWPP process, utilization of the National Fire Plan and the WGA Ten Year Strategy, much is left to be done on the greater landscape of our national forests and public lands. Nevada continues to lose millions of acres to wildland fire impacting wildlife habitat, agricultural and ranching operations and outdoor recreation opportunities.”

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Stargazing Aug. 18 at Home Ranch Historic Park

August 13, 2007

Dangberg Home Ranch

The Astronomical Society of Nevada to present about starry skies at the original Dangberg Ranch

MINDEN, Nev.—Nevada State Parks is inviting the public to view the evening sky through telescopes at the Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden.

On Saturday, August 18, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., park rangers and the Astronomical Society of Nevada will be on site to help people learn more about our starry sky.

The event is free and open to the public. Read the rest of this entry »