Nevada State Legislature: AB 379 (We need your help!)

In the One Truckee River Management Plan, one of our action items (4.1.e) states that OTR will “continue to work on advocacy for enabling Park District legislation that would provide a sustainable funding source for all parks, open space, fire-adapted communities and natural resources in the Truckee Meadows region.”

That legislation is happening right now, and the bill in question (AB379) is being forwarded to Governor Sandoval this week.

This statewide enabling legislation will provide another viable long-term strategy for our local communities to use in the management of our local park, recreation, open space and natural resources, trails and critical watersheds. Nevada’s cities’ and counties’ parks, recreation and open space departments experienced significant recessionary funding cuts, up to 50% in certain areas, over the past 5-10 years. The funding levels have not been restored and this has resulted in severe service reductions for our local communities, infrastructure deterioration and lack of safety maintenance funding of our local facilities.

As we prepare for continued growth in our communities, the time is now to make sure we have outstanding and well-maintained parks and recreation facilities, programs for engaging our youth, open spaces, trails and quality natural areas for our neighborhoods.

We are very close to securing the final approval for this most important legislation. We are now in need of your immediate and specific support to secure the Governor’s signature on the Bill. It passed the Senate by a vote of 13-7 on Thursday, May 25th, and received the required Assembly concurrence on Monday, May 29th. It will now be processed and forwarded to the Governor, expected this week.

Please show your support!
1. Send an email to Governor Sandoval or call his office expressing support and urging his approval of the Bill.
2. Send a letter to Governor Sandoval expressing support and urging him to sign the Bill.

Information regarding the bill can be found here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/S…/79th2017/Reports/history.cfm…

First mile marker installed on Truckee River

Yesterday we had a little shindig at Fisherman’s Park on the Truckee River, installing the first mile marker on the Truckee River.

These mile markers came at the perfect time: What with the powerful flows of the river and the local fire departments warning folks to stay extra safe around the river this spring, the markers will now serve as emergency locations. A specific number is displayed on each marker, to be relayed to the 911 operator in an emergency situation.

Additionally, the recreating public can use the markers as location guidance. The markers will be installed every tenth of a mile, according to river miles, with “mile zero” being at Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City.

 

The creation and installation of the mile markers is a collaborative effort between One Truckee River and the Reno and Sparks fire departments, specifically the Water Entry Teams. We’d like to give huge shout-outs to Manny Souza with the Sparks Fire Department and Eric Lieberman with the Reno Fire Department for their help in this entire process.

We placed marker 574 (mile 57.4) first because it was the spot closed to the boundary line between Reno and Sparks. Council members Donald Abbott (Sparks), David Bobzien (Reno), Charlene Bybee (Sparks), Naomi Duerr (Reno), and Paul McKenzie (Reno) were present for the installation — thanks to Councilmember McKenzie for doing the actual installation!

Initially, the markers will be placed along the river path throughout Reno and Sparks, and will eventually run along the entire Truckee River.

Installation of these mile markers fulfills a first-year action item listed in the One Truckee River Management Plan.

Between May 1 and May 12, we will be installing the markers in Reno in time for the River Fest on May 13-14. Volunteers are needed! Please email a.hoeft@nevadalandtrust.org for more details.

Ode to the River

By Eric Hobson

Fishing, bait lure or fly
Cutthroat rainbow or Brown

Playing in the river
Kayaking tubing or swim

Walking on the bank
Tahoe Pyramid Trail or River Walk

Bridges crossings old and new
From Fanny to Pyramid Lake

Wildlife supported so diverse
Beaver Deer and more

Tributaries and diversions
Natural and man made

Dining along the flow
From fine to food trucks

Parks and recreation
Casinos to music venues and playgrounds

Crossed by highways and byways
City streets and pedestrian spans

Truly the aorta of a region
The Truckee runs through it

Featured photo by Cessie Pulleyn

Open Water

By Angela Spires

Since I didn’t believe in Fitbits, I walked at a brisk pace with my PokemonGo App tracking my ‘steps.’ My friend Tee, having just finished an hour of dancing, joined me. She shook her head at my game, that would interest her grandchildren, but we unwound differently. Warm night air blew past providing the perfect amount of breeze. Most nights held this ideal temperature by the Truckee River downtown. Tee’s feet ached and she wanted to dip them in the water. At Wingfield Park, we made our way down to the river. I didn’t especially like rivers or bodies of water in general. Actually, I hated being in open waters, mainly because of an irrational fear of things that lived there. Perhaps this came from watching horror movies at an early age. But what could possibly be lethal in a few inches of water? Hesitantly, I submerged my feet as well.

“This isn’t enough,” Tee said. “I’m going to sit on that rock.” She pointed at a rock covered in water and forming the curve of a slide. Slick and smooth, the water poured over it. Not caring about her skirt getting wet, she walked to the rock and sat, water surrounding her legs, feet submerged. “Come on,” she said. “You can do it.” I simultaneously admired the action and thought she was a little crazy.

Uncertainly, I made my way to her and sat. My heart raced. My capris quickly absorbed the cool water, the stone welcoming like a backless recliner. I slid a little further in and followed as Tee pointed out the yellow star that was actually Mars. The water brought a warmth and safety to me that I hadn’t expected and I let it wash over me, unknown, but safe, and we continued to talk.

Featured photo by Cessie Pulleyn

A Real River

By Tina Hogue

When I saw the Truckee for the first time I thought,

“So this is a real river.”

It looked relatively shallow from the passenger window, as I leaned back in my seat.

The rivers where I’m from are mostly stagnant ponds filled with mosquito larvae. Last year, the rains flooded the Guadalupe 20 feet in an hour. The worst in decades. Swept away a whole family. Never saw it coming.

A man at the foot of the trail stopped us.

“Path’s flooded, waist-deep,” he said.

He had on sturdy boots and carried a walking stick. I was wearing flip-flops with socks, blisters on my heels from my poor choice in shoes. My boyfriend had his sleeping bag rigged to his pack with cheap carabiners.

“We came this far,” was the consensus, and we kept on until we reached the river.

I clipped my flip-flops to my pack and held it up high. The river was stronger than it looked. The force of all the snowmelt sucked the wind from my lungs. Up to my waist half-way through, I doubted every rock. So smooth-looking from the bank, they felt rough as cut metal on my city feet. I cursed myself for taking off my shoes as the current pushed hard against my side, challenging my balance.

I worried my sleeping bag was wet. And my phone.

I remembered reading about the bodies found tangled in the oaks, covered in ants.

Silently, I pleaded with the Truckee gods.

We reached the bank, completely zapped. I yanked the towel I had protecting my Bluetooth, and dried off. Shivering there, completely humbled by the effort, I noticed how beautiful the river actually looked underneath the sun. I stood in my flip-flops, wiggled my numb little toes and felt gratitude for the warmth that came.

Featured photo by Cessie Pulleyn

A River’s Invitiation

By Eileen Bidwell

Reminiscent of my native Chicago, a river runs through the heart of our city, altering its geographic and cultural landscape. Our first encounter with the Truckee was 13 years ago. Strolling down Virginia Street during Hot August Nights, my husband and I noticed a sign directing us to a River Walk. Seeking respite from the crowds and automotive exhaust, we wandered across the Virginia bridge, and found a perfect spot to experience the river. That evening we watched the sun set beyond the mountains to the west. Vintage lamps illuminated the river’s ripples. They danced, animated, with a golden glow. At that moment I knew Reno would someday be our home.

We will never take the astonishing natural splendor of our region for granted. No day is complete without pausing to observe the Truckee’s many moods, from tranquil serenity to rapid rush—powerful and enchanting. Our favorite vantage points are looking west from the wooden bridge downtown, where the horizon is framed by sky and mountains, and from the Booth Street bridge, where we imagine how the river must have appeared before development and human intervention. Then, it meandered past pristine mountain vistas into a mysterious wilderness inhabited by native trees and creatures.

Just as we sought respite from the chaotic festival scene, the Truckee offers an intriguing contrast from the desert landscape, and, for us humans, a respite from the cares of daily life. Rivers are journeys that entice our imaginations to meander along with them. They change with the seasons, the weather, the time of day, and sometimes with the mood of the observer. They create a sense of adventure, a sojourn into an unknown region around each bend. In our urban context, the Truckee is a symbol of our connection to the natural world. And every evening after sunset, it meanders back into the realm of magic.

Featured photo by Cessie Pulleyn

Catch and Release

By David Bobzien

Catch and release morality gave way in the fading September light. I casted to visible risers, and successfully raised my rod to take after take of rainbows, as the hatch continued on the Truckee just downstream of the California line. Darkness imperceptibly replaced sunset glare on the water, and my precision tactics were swapped for blind casting figuring that striking on the mere suggestion of a trout’s take, whether by spying the rise form or hearing its splash, could produce one more fish to net for the evening.

This calculus balanced a sporting relationship between predator and intended prey, with no regard to the other actors on my riparian stage.

Dropping my rod tip to deliver the fly sharply to its target, unexpectedly my line flopped before me on the water. Bewildered and annoyed, the answer to my sudden puzzle was presented as a small fluttering mass in the current.

A bat had taken my #16 Elk Hair Caddis pattern sometime between my backcast and forward stroke. Chuckling to myself at the comedy and tragedy of this predator’s flight interrupted by another’s pursuit, responsibility directed my wading into the feeding lanes, line nippers at the ready, to provide apology and relief to my unwitting catch.

Surgical skill removing tiny hooks from the lips of fish wouldn’t be employed for this release. I opted instead for a cut to my leader a foot away from the still-splashing bat. The job completed, I cheered quietly for the little guy to make it to the bank, my fly and tippet strand his new possessions. Keeping my remorse at bay, I hoped he’d have a chance to resurrect his evening.

A few more splashes and he burrowed into the safety of the streamside brush. I too exited the water and retired into the night.

Featured photo by Cessie Pulleyn

Management Plan Unanimously Approved (!!!)

Last week was a huge week for One Truckee River, and one we’ve had circled on our calendars for quite a while now. On September 26, 27 and 28, One Truckee River approached the cities of Sparks and Reno, and Washoe County for adoption of the One Truckee River Management Plan.

And… we were unanimously approved!

Both cities and the county were extremely complementary about the plan, and looked forward to working with OTR staff on implementing the plan’s recommended action items.

A couple of comments from those participating in the city council meetings:

“This river is one of the greatest resources of our community, and it’s great to see a group of citizens stepping up to actively protect one of our most valuable assets. It’s a pretty good example of what happens when government gets out of the way and lets the citizens come up with a plan.” — Reno City Councilmember Paul McKenzie

“I especially like the collaborative effort of looking at so many different partners coming in with so much background information and resources, and that collaboration of many is really what makes lighter work for (Nevada Land Trust and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful), but also brings different perspectives, different thoughts, different priorities to something that will truly be something regional we can be proud of with Reno, Sparks and the county.” — Sparks City Councilmember Charlene Bybee

We were also lucky enough to have multiple One Truckee River Core Planning Team members and stakeholders attend the adoption meetings. Thank you to all who attended!

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OTR attendees at the Washoe County Commissioners meeting on September 27, 2016.
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OTR attendees at the Sparks City Council meeting on September 26, 2016.
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OTR attendees at the Reno City Council meeting on September 28, 2016.

The Infamous Glendale Bridge

One Truckee River has known about the large tent encampments under/around Glendale Bridge in Sparks for a while now. Many OTR stakeholders and members of the public have reached out, expressing fear for their safety.

At the end of June 2016, when the Sparks Police Department announced its outreach plans to those residing in tents along the Truckee River, OTR leaders and stakeholders knew it was an exciting milestone. The officers began reaching out to those along the river, trying to match their needs with available services.

On July 27, key OTR personnel met up with Sparks police officers and Washoe County social workers to visit the Glendale Bridge area to see the encampments along the Truckee River.

We drove along the path in two police vehicles. We stopped at three different groupings of camps. Officer Ken Gallop would approach a tent and call out a greeting. After establishing the person’s/persons’ needs, Officer Gallop would have the social workers come down and talk to the campers.

Sometimes it would take a couple minutes; other times it took 15 minutes. Between the police officers and the social workers, each camper received information about the local shelters and resources.

As mentioned prior, One Truckee River has heard many complaints about encampments under and around the Glendale Bridge, right next to the Truckee River. Since those complaints, however, Sparks police have been performing outreach to those living on the river. The overflow homeless shelter has also opened again, allowing more shelter options for those going without. While there were three to four encampments (consisting of one to five tents each) around the bridge during our tour, everything and everyone under the bridge had been cleared out by the Nevada Department of Transportation. There were also signs posted everywhere:
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Sparks police and Washoe County will continue to reach out to those camping on the river for the near future.

 

One Truckee River Open House

On June 7, 2016, One Truckee River held its first open house. The event was hosted at the Siena Hotel in Reno (right on the river!), from 4pm-7pm.

At the open house, members of the public were able to get a first look at the One Truckee River Management Plan. Core Planning Team members provided answers to any questions people might have had, and comments were encouraged.

Below are key One Truckee River documents available or on display at the open house:


Those who attended were asked to fill out a comment card, providing their thoughts and suggestions for the plan. Below are those comments, all personal information omitted.


A mapping exercise also allowed attendees to place comments directly on satellite maps of the Truckee River. Below are those comments: