September 2008 Director’s update

Good morning to everyone in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. I hope you all had a great summer. I know I am looking forward to those magnificent Nevada fall days.

After months of preparation, DCNR’s biennial budget (it begins July 1, 2009 and ends June 30, 2011) has been submitted to the budget office. Given Nevada’s economic situation, the development of this budget has been nothing like I have experienced in my 27 plus years in state government. With the hard work and cooperation of the division administrators and agency budget staff we were able to meet our reduction targets. They will deeply impact our programs. The division administrators have been very creative in modifying the way we do business and how we provide services to our clients…the citizens and visitors of our state. We are only in the beginning stages of the process. We will now work with the Budget Office and the Governor’s Office as they craft a final budget to present to the 2009 session of the Nevada Legislature.

I would like to recognize Deputy Director Kay Scherer for the work she put into DCNR’s biennial budget. Kay is a master tactician and strategist and worked with all of the programs to ensure the impacts of the reductions were minimized. Great work Kay!

Brownfields loan clears the way for redevelopment

The cleanup of environmental contamination at a future retail site on the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony was completed using a $950,000 loan from the State of Nevada Brownfields Program, made possible by a $2 million grant from Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP).

The loan helped the Colony complete the final phase of the cleanup of petroleum and lead contamination left by previous tenants of the site located on East Second St., just east of U.S. 395. Previous businesses located there included an auto storage facility and a radiator repair shop. The recently completed cleanup was accomplished by removing and hauling away the contaminated soil. Construction of a large retail store will begin on the site in the near future.

NDEP’s technical staff oversaw the assessment and the cleanup to ensure that the work was completed in accordance with state law and is protective of human health and the environment. Read more.

Wild horse gentling

DCNR’s Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses recently worked with the Department of Corrections to produce this video on the horse adoption process. Take a look at the great work of this cooperative effort.

Parks wood sale permits available Sept. 6 in Carson City

Permits will go on sale September 6 for the Nevada Division of State Parks’ annual wood sale. The permit sale starts at 8:00 a.m. at the State Library and Archives building located at 100 N. Stewart Street in Carson City. Permits are $50 (cash or check only) per cord and are limited to one cord per address/family.

Approximately 300 permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The wood consists of a mixture of pine and fir, some seasoned and some green. The pick-up schedule will be between September 13 through October 3 and October 6 through October 13. This program benefits forest health and fire protection and provides a great secondary benefit of the use of the wood for residential fuel.

Available pick-up locations will be at the North Canyon area near Spooner Lake and in the vicinity of Hobart Reservoir via Lakeview Road. Wood in the North Canyon area is in an accessible location, but four-wheel drive trucks are strongly suggested. Trailers are allowed. Four-wheel drive vehicles are mandatory to access the wood near Hobart Reservoir.

Boat launching unavailable at Sand Harbor

As we enter into the late summer, water levels are decreasing in lakes and reservoirs throughout Nevada. Low water levels at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park have prevented boat launching from Sand Harbor. In last month’s news, I reported about low water levels at Lahontan Reservoir, which have put quite a distance between the ramps and the lake.

Boat launching has taken a high profile at Lake Tahoe with the discovery last month of quagga mussels on a boat that was attempting to put into the Lake. Due to the sharp eyes of the harbor master, the boat was quarantined and decontaminated. In late September the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will be presenting to its Governing Board a program for the inspection of boats to ensure mussels and other aquatic invasives do not infest Lake Tahoe as they have in Lake Mead in Southern Nevada.

Water Resource regulations

Later this month the Division of Water Resources will present an important set of regulations to the Legislative Commission for approval. The 2007 session of the Nevada Legislature granted the Division the authority to levy more stringent fines and penalties to those exceeding their permitted water allocation. DWR’s staff has worked hard over the last year and a half to craft a set of regulations that address the scarcity of water in Nevada, yet provide for firm and fair enforcement with all appropriate due process for alleged violations.

Have a great September.

Allen Biaggi


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