The kick-off meeting for the One Truckee River Management Plan was a success. On Thursday, May 21, 2015, stakeholders from many different organizations gathered to discuss the vision and future of the Truckee River.

Participants began by sharing personal insights of their experiences along the river. Examples included recreation (fly fishing, biking, hiking), water supply, values of the river, and its overall part in Northern Nevada’s thriving community.

Alicia Reban, co-executive director of Nevada Land Trust, then¬†shared with¬†the stakeholders the history of work and effort around the Truckee River. She explained that the management plan should go beyond the river’s water quality and recreation and social issues because the river is what links us as a people. Closing with a quote by Edward Abbey, Alicia said, “The river is the soul of the desert.”

Then Barbara Rice, representative of National Park Service and a facilitator at the meeting, and Lynda Nelson, natural resources specialist with Nevada Land Trust, asked everyone what the goals of the group were concerning Truckee River. Some of the responses are listed below:

  • To have a river corridor to be proud of; presence of enforcement (river ranger) in the environment (Jennifer Fonda, KTMB).
  • Getting the mentally-ill into treatment; substance-abusing and homeless into care; addressing those who don’t want help (Sheila Leslie, Washoe County Social Services).
  • Balance the natural environment with the management of the social environment (Susan Lynn, Truckee River Fund).
  • Involve businesses along the river (Susan Lynn, Truckee River Fund).
  • Create an ecosystem for all; ease access and maintenance of paths and trails; connect people back to the river (Lieutenant Amy Newman, Reno Police Department).
  • Engage homeless and homeless youth (Alicia Reban, Nevada Land Trust).

IMG_1349From there, the group discussed what the values and roles of the team would be. Mostly these were positive-enforcing ideas (be honest and open; respect others; remember everyone has the same goal, etc.).

Barbara then shifted the group’s focus to bringing others aboard. “Who’s missing at this meeting?” she asked. Stakeholders volunteered ideas like the City of Sparks, Reno Bike Project, EDAWN, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Sheriff’s office, Waste Management, educators at the university and local schools.

Concerning community outreach and engagement, Lynda brought up the river forum planned for fall of 2015. The goal of the forum being to “broaden awareness about the qualities of the river, (and) put it in a positive light.”

Social media strategies were also mentioned — the creation of a website and accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram would be necessary.

In closing, the group discussed follow-up actions. Defined roles, values, goals and a vision would be distributed by email, Lynda would research samples of other river projects done across the country, and a schedule survey would be sent out for the next meeting.

Overall, stakeholders experienced many positives during the meeting, including the positive atmosphere, the space and the coffee and mini muffins (provided by Christi — thanks!). The only negatives mentioned were the jargon tendency and the possibility of not getting things done.

The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and finished at 12:00 p.m. on the dot.

Detailed minutes of the kick-off meeting can be found here.