Nevada’s state parks forge new environmental partnership

December 24, 2007

Graduating class of Valley of Fire Leave no Trace Master Educator course (Oct. 2007).

“Leave No Trace” expert urges more responsible outdoor stewardship

CARSON CITY, Nev.—The eyes of committed conservationists see no difference between the front country and the backcountry.

A longstanding effort to increase environmental awareness has been to teach backcountry outdoor ethics. Specifically, the creed has been to “leave no trace” in remote areas.

The problem: Most visitors visit the front country—urban parks, established campgrounds, open space trails and the like. This is according Allen Newberry, chief of operations and maintenance for the Nevada Division of State Parks.

Newberry has been involved with the Leave No Trace program, which originated with the U.S. Forest Service in the 1960s, since the early 1970s, when he taught outdoor ethics to Boy Scouts at Valley of Fire State Park in Southern Nevada. Read the rest of this entry »


White Pine County may establish its own new fire district (Ely Times): NDF responds

December 20, 2007

The Nevada Division of Forestry clarified today information that appeared in the December 20, 2007, Ely Times story “White Pine County may establish its own new fire district.” NDF comments are in bold.

White Pine County may establish its own new fire district (Ely Times)
By JOHN PLESTINA
Ely Times Reporter

The White Pine County Commission is looking at options to form a county fire district that would not be under the auspices of the state.

At least two issues that surfaced this year put the current fire district that is managed by the Nevada Division of Forestry under local scrutiny.

[CORRECTION: The White Pine County NRS 473 Fire District is managed jointly by the White Pine County Board of Fire Commissioners and the Nevada Division of Forestry. White Pine County provides operational funding annually including equipment repair. NDF brings statewide communications, the emergency suppression account, command and control, hand crews and other services at no cost to the Fire District and White Pine County.]

Those issues include slow repairs to trucks and equipment by state NDF mechanics and the state firing of a well-respected battalion chief.

[CLARIFICATION: Vehicle repairs are in part dependent upon funding levels provided by White Pine County. The Division does fund repairs on state equipment.]

The county is likely to seek a proposal from Mary Walker & Associates of Minden to do an analysis for a new fire district. Walker has done in several similar analyses in rural Nevada counties. On Jan. 9, the commission will consider entering into a contract with Walker. Read the rest of this entry »


Enjoying the outdoors with Santa and his volunteer helpers

December 17, 2007

Nevada State Parks LogoDuring his break from the gig at the mall Saturday, Santa picked up his wife, Mrs. Claus, and took a little drive out to Washoe Lake State Park.

“Boy,” he said as he played confidant of local boys and girls. “Is it pretty out here.”

Joined by some 200 visitors from Carson and Reno in a heated tent, Santa not only enjoyed the crisp air, hot cocoa and homemade cupcakes with the rest of the holiday revelers, but said he found a little bit of the spirit of the “old-Nevada Christmas” somewhere in there as well.

Read the complete story at the Nevada Appeal.


Governor to meet with U.S. Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne

December 13, 2007

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons

CARSON CITY, Nev.—Governor Jim Gibbons will meet tomorrow with U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to discuss the federal government’s role in assisting Nevada with post-fire land rehabilitation efforts and the U.S. District Court’s recent decision to reverse a 2004 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not list the Sage Grouse as threatened or endangered.

Secretary Kempthorne will be in Nevada to attend the annual Colorado River Water Users Association Conference.

Governor Gibbons recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Idaho, Utah and Wyoming to outline and formulate a cooperative plan to ensure the continued coordinated support efforts for wildland fire fuels management and rehabilitation efforts between all four states. Each year, western states lose millions of acres of native vegetation to catastrophic wildfires. Read the rest of this entry »


Appeals court upholds state ruling on Truckee water transfers (Nevada Appeal)

December 11, 2007

Nevada State Engineer LogoCARSON CITY, Nev.–The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld almost all of the state engineer’s rulings in a case involving Truckee River water rights.The Pyramid Paiute Tribe had appealed a federal district court ruling in the case involving 10 different water rights holders in the Fernley area.

It is just the latest chapter in a battle which has been in almost continuous litigation in the federal court system since 1917.Read the complete story at the Nevada Appeal.


Valley of Fire State Park opens new camp sites Dec. 17

December 6, 2007

Valley of Fire State Park in Overton, Nevada. 

OVERTON, Nev.–On Monday, December 17, 2007, Valley of Fire State Park will open a new addition to the park’s Atlatl Rock Campground.

Twenty-two RV camp sites with hookups for power and water will be opened, adding to the existing 19 vehicle and three tent campsites at the Atlatl Rock Campground. A new restroom with coin-operated showers and an RV dump station were also installed for visitor convenience.

“This project is another example of all the good things that have come from Question 1 Bond funds,” said State Parks Administrator David Morrow. “It is only 1 out of 25 more projects utilizing the 27 million in funds we have available.”

The new RV hookups will make visiting the park more comfortable during the extreme temperatures of both the summer and winter months and will help reduce the need to run noisy generators. The new camp sites will also allow more visitors to enjoy the park during the busy fall and spring seasons. The cost for these new sites with hookups is $24 per night.

Contact Park Supervisor Jim Hammons at 702-397-2088 for more information. Read the rest of this entry »


Tree advocates launch new guidebook making connection between trees and air quality

December 6, 2007

Shades of Green book coverShades of Green book coverTree-planting event December 13 at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law

LAS VEGAS—Shades of Green, a collaboration of tree experts, planners and educators, have developed the first free resource designed to increase awareness about the value of community trees in improving air quality.

Cleaner Air, Tree by Tree: A Best Management Practices and Guide for Urban Trees in Southern Nevada will be launched December 13 at two events.

“We wanted to create an easy-to-use resource guide for developers, planners and decision makers specifically tailored to Southern Nevada,” said Matt Koepnick, community forester with the Nevada Division of Forestry.

To emphasize the importance of trees to Nevada’s air quality, the group will launch the book December 13 at noon at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension on 8050 S. Maryland Parkway. A tree planting ceremony will follow in front of UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law at 2:30. The tree planting ceremony is free and open to the public.

Read the rest of this entry »