The Second Round

Almost a month ago we posted about our survey results thus far. Since then, we’ve had more responses, and we thought we might share some of the “other” answers as well.

(Psst, if you haven’t taken our survey yet, please go right ahead!)

  1. Why do you love the Truckee River? Check as many as apply.
    meta-chart (1)
  2. How often do you go to the Truckee River?
    meta-chart (2)
  3. In your opinion, what are the top three issues facing the Truckee River? Please check three options.
    meta-chart (3)

 

Let’s go even further. Below are some comments from those who filled out the “other” category. (The thoughts and opinions expressed below are those of the survey taker, and do not reflect the views of One Truckee River.)

  • Close it this season TO ALL FISHING, recover the browns and the rainbow trout, put diploid trout in, the LCTs cannot survey the Truckee any longer, Creel surveys prove that the return rate (or survivability) is 1% for LCTs (after MILLIONS of dollars have been spent) in the Truckee. We are a modern society and must admit when an animals’ habitat is no longer viable for them. The LCTs do not grow, or thrive in the Truckee any longer, the Browns and the Rainbow’s do.
  • The river is a valuable resource in the area, many people that come to Truckee visit the river and the events that are there. We should all do what we can to foster this resource for the community.
  • Ban alcohol while on river like Boise. Rafters are trashing the river.
  • Good job on putting together a foundation for a great organization. I am pleased to see the formation of a group focused on the Truckee River. I am interested in learning about ways to get involved in the One Truckee River group.
  • If one bridge is being replaced, because of flooding debris hanging up, won’t the other two bridges in town face the same trouble?!
  • It is very important to preserve it just the way it is.
  • Would be nice to see Reno take better advantage of the river corridor in the heart of downtown. After visiting San Antonio last fall, the Truckee River could be a real visitor destination that compliments the casino, tourist and convention industry already well established. Upscale shopping and restaurant district along the river should be incorporated with flood prevention. Reno needs to think bigger than this. Should have just removed the South Virginia bridge and replace it only to accommodate pedestrian traffic.
  • Pressure California Water Board to stop sending us Eurasian Milfoil.
  • The role of the river as a center piece of the Truckee Meadows, increasingly the only habitat for many species of wildlife, and as a connector from east to west is being overlooked.
  • I think that funding for sustaining and restoring the river ecosystem (including the Carson/Walker systems, too) should be a priority.
  • Thank you for caring for the river!
  • I’m very concerned about the future encroachment of development on the Truckee Floodplain. Obviously, most of Reno sits right on it, but we should maintain the open areas (such as UNR farm) to give the flood water somewhere to go.
  • It would be expensive and a political disaster, but I would like to see a functioning flood plain along the entire river devoid of development.
  • I’d like for the Truckee to be a healthy ecosystem for the natural flora and fauna that depend on it. I really enjoy the bike trails installed along the river. I avoid the Truckee downtown due to how it attracts derelicts and the unsound of mind.
  • Pray for snow this year. I just drove past the Truckee River at Alpine Meadows — it is almost non-existent.
  • Like the large purchase of land along Mill St. to protect it from development and allow for flooding, money obviously needs to be spent on a conservation easement or fee title purchase of the UNR Farm to protect it for the same reason.
  • More signage to keep tourists from leaving so much garbage in and around the river.
  • Especially with all that has been done the last decade, the Truckee River has become the heart of downtown Reno. I love, enjoy and need its beauty, strength and vitality.
  • The Truckee River east of downtown Reno is nothing but one big homeless camp with the river serving as a sewer and solid waste dump after every flood event as well as by direct disposal by the inhabitants, winds and rains. Fed and State regs are violated every day. Most landfills look cleaner and more sanitary than many locations along the river. Further, due to the graffiti and the appearance of the folks you see along the river banks and in the bushes, most tourists avoid the area for safety reasons. It is disgraceful that the Cities of Reno and Sparks have ignored the situation and has allowed this beautiful river to fall to such a state!
  • Please protect the Truckee River and its ecosystem from the developers and poor planners in the city. I.e. the kayak park that was hoodwinked through by the lobbyist AWA which was supposed to bring millions of dollars to the city when in FACT all it did was warm the water up in Sparks. Talk about poor planning and management, what a travesty.
  • The Truckee River is the jewel of downtown Reno, and just needs a little spit and polish to make it shine.
  • Rowdy teens that hang out at the circle area next to Java Jungle that make it unpleasant for families and tourists, they see that and think Reno does not care about the issues those teenagers cause, IE: Running into people because they want to, harassing people for money and food, drugs and alcohol, their language, and not letting people have access to the river via the stairway to the river..
  • I personally have no sympathy for the illegal camping along the Truckee River. What eventually ends up happening is the camp is abandoned and all the trash that has accumulated remains. There is no such thing as LNT ethics with the drug addicts in these camps. I wouldn’t really call them homeless as they have chosen to be out here to use drugs. Lots of broken glass, rocks, needles, dogs off leash are all associated with the illegal camping along the path. The path is a gift to our community and unfortunately a vast portion of it here in Reno is over run with camps, trash and needles. It starts near the Reno Aces baseball stadium and goes to about Rock Creek Park before the camping dies down. It is obvious the city of Sparks no longer tolerates it out there. I am baffled as to why it is tolerated in Reno. Unfortunately cleanups focusing on just the river aren’t the main issue in my opinion. The path and the camps need to be cleaned monthly based on the volume of trash I am seeing. Between now and September it appears the only way I may get involved is to volunteer for needle cleanup with HOPES.
  • Regional Transportation Commission intentionally returning carp and crawfish into the river tributaries…
  • Reliance on the Truckee River for recreation, water, homeless population will probably increase. Preserving natural resources trees, willows, wildlife will be difficult.

Other Rivers: Alcohol Ban

At the end of June 2015, the Truckee River was dubbed one of the best rivers in the U.S. for tubing and drinking.

We’ve been doing some research here at the One Truckee River headquarters (getting ready for our stakeholder forum and everything), and we found a river that might be very last on that list of best tubing and drinking rivers.

The Boise River.

In 2009 the Boise City Council adopted a new ordinance: No alcohol allowed within 250 feet of the Boise River. (Included in the adoption was a second ordinance disallowing glass containers on the river.)

Courtesy Floating the Boise River Rafting.
Courtesy Floating the Boise River Rafting.

That rule is still very much a reality today. Signs are posted along the river, and “float” police are regularly on the lookout for perpetrators, patrolling river entrances and exits, and even in the river.

Those caught with an open container may face a misdemeanor citation.

Compare the Boise River to the Truckee River — do you think open containers of alcohol are an issue along the Truckee?

What are the positives you see in the Boise River alcohol ban? What about the negatives?

Share your thoughts with us by commenting below!

Waste Management’s cleanup, 7/30

On Thursday, July 30, 2015, Waste Management completed one of the required cleanups that come with adopting a portion of the Truckee River.

Waste Management’s section is right where you’d expect: behind the WM facility on Commercial Row. (Highlighted in red below.)

WM

 

This particular section of the river was what the founding members of the One Truckee River Initiative toured back in May. Based on that slideshow and the photos you’ll see below, it’s easy to see that there was a lot of trash and abandoned items.

Waste Management did its job very well, however. Check out the before and after pictures below…

Before…
Before1
After…
After1Before…
Before3After…
After3Before…
Before2After…
After2

 

The Truckee River’s support system

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful works hard to keep the Truckee Meadows area in top notch. That hard work includes cleanups and garden plantings and teaming up with youth, businesses and municipalities alike.

There’s also Adopt-A-River. This program invites businesses, co-workers, and neighborhood, civic, faith-based, school and other community groups to take on a portion of the Truckee River to clean three times a year (fall, spring, summer) with possible additional cleanups.

Below is a map of the river and the different sections, beginning at River Park Court to the end of the river path in Sparks. The blue dots show portions that have been adopted, as well as who adopted them; the yellow dots show portions yet to be adopted.

Survey results (so far!)

If you’re following us on social media, or have taken a look at our main website page lately, you know that we’re advertising a survey like crazy. If you’ve taken it, thank you; if you haven’t, please do so!

The survey quite literally takes two minutes to fill out, and asks briefly about the user’s experience with the Truckee River (how often the user goes, what the user does, what the user thinks are issues with the river, etc.).

By hounding away at people on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we’ve gotten some really wonderful and insightful comments! Posted below are pie graphs of what people have input so far.

  1. Why do you love the Truckee River? Check as many as apply.
    Why do you love the TR
  2. How often do you go to the Truckee River?
    How often do you go to the TR
  3. In your opinion, what are the top three issues facing the Truckee River? Please check three options.
    Top three issues

Reno residents share their thoughts

Earlier this month we shared a blog post about the new homeless overflow shelter opened up by the Reno Police Department and the Community Assistance Center (CAC).

The organizations have been reaching out to illegal campers along the Truckee River to educate them on the new shelter. The coverage of this outreach is the Truckee River Corridor (from Stephenson Street east to Wells Avenue, within 350 feet of the river).

Since the initiation of the overflow shelter and outreach program, news has picked up concerning the efforts. On July 9, police were reaching out to a group of illegal campers when three unleashed pit bulls charged at the officers. One dog was Tasered while another dog was shot (not fatally).

Channel 2 News in Reno did its own story on the police and CAC’s efforts on July 14. Channel 2 posted on its Facebook page the following:

Homeless camps like this one by the river are getting cleared out by police, now that there is room at the overflow shelter, but some don’t want to go. They risk getting arrested if they don’t. Do you think there is a homeless problem along the river?

Two hundred and twenty comments resulted. We went ahead and listed some of them , including replies, below. The remaining comments can be found here.

KTVN

Channel 2 News posed the same question later that day, saying:

Over the last few weeks Reno Police Department officers have been working to clear homeless camps out of the Truckee River corridor. As KTVN Arianna Bennett reports, police say the goal is to get them into the overflow shelter.
Do you think our area has a homeless problem? Why?

Another 78 comments were posted.

So we turn to you, our One Truckee River readers, supporters and friends. What are your thoughts on the above-mentioned questions and comments? Does the Truckee River have a homeless problem?

Please post your thoughts on our Facebook page, mention us on Twitter, or email us at onetruckeeriver@gmail.com. All of your comments will be extremely helpful as our initiative moves forward!

Summary results of opportunities, threats & issues

Below is a summary of the threats and opportunities facing the Truckee River, as discussed by the core stakeholders during their second meeting. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of sticky notes dedicated to that specific threat or opportunity.

A graph of the decided-upon emerging issues can be found here.

Threats:

  • (4) Social issues; storage, personal property; impacts of homeless living on/along river; homelessness (human waste, safety, camping)
  • (4) Drought/climate change; lack of water quality; water temperature; flooding; natural disasters (drought, flood, nature, fires)
  • Invasive species
  • (2) Lack of funding
  • (2) Public awareness, lack of – “Why should I care?”; community education, engagement
  • (3) Public safety; safety in recreation, trash
  • (2) Boundaries . . . state, city, county, tribe; coordination and communication between; agreements; oversight and authority
  • (2) Maintenance responsibility; fragmentation – lack of coordination
  • (2) Restrooms; impacts of recreational use – trash, erosion, facilities; impacts to tourism; trash in riverbed
  • (3) Storm drains, runoff; urban runoff; water quality
  • (2) Beavers, raccoons
  • (2) Littering; trash
  • Communication/coordination
  • Population growth, new developments
  • Any perception of exclusivity
  • Crime
  • Wildlife conflicts
  • Access points – lack of management, control
  • Management plans? Clarity, understanding, are there silos?
  • Impacts to adjacent homeowners, business owners of river users and conditions

Opportunities:

  • Funding opportunities; community investment; remediation district?
  • Media – great stories here!
  • Boundaries: one river, shared vision!
  • Overflow shelters, education
  • Vendors, concessions
  • “Inclusive”
  • Fly fishing; birding, bats, cui-ui
  • Improved ecosystem
  • (6) Community ownership; service organizations; coordinated volunteer opportunities; cleanups/volunteers; business partners; Adopt-A-River; collaboration/coordination; communication (ownership, water quality, personal investment, self-policing)
  • (3) Ballot initiative? Conservation district funding; other assessment fees? Endowment fund for Truckee River @ CFWN
  • (4) Education opportunities; youth component (partners like SNJ, DM, WCSD, NMA); public outreach; the right to do something . . . people are more aware
  • (2) Education and community events; river rangers (kids and families)
  • (2) Livable communities; quality of life; local use
  • (9) Recreation; access points; special events; tourism; economic resource; safety – enhanced? More users, more ownership, tourism; activities and economics
  • Easier water disposal
  • New development (tax base)
  • (2) Artown culture; tourism with art highlights
  • Restrooms
  • Public safety
  • Cultural opportunities

Reno’s new homeless overflow shelter

The One Truckee River Initiative’s purpose is to manage, protect and provide stewardship for Northern Nevada’s Truckee River. That purpose includes all aspects that are affecting the river, both in and along.

One of the perks of our initiative is that we consist of partners who are working with their own organizations on improving the Truckee River and its influence. On June 26 the Reno Police Department and the Community Assistance Center (CAC) opened up a homeless overflow shelter.

In the One Truckee River meetings so far, and from our own experiences, we have discussed and understand that the presence of people camping illegally along the river is very much a reality. With the new overflow shelter in place, progress is being made.

The shelter, located at 790 Sutro St. and available for both men and women, isn’t the only step. Through an educational campaign, Community Action Officers (CAO) with the RPD have been reaching out to educate illegal campers on the river of the new shelter.

Once the CAO have made contact with a homeless camp, they refer the campers to the CAC to be put on a list for the overflow shelter which opens each night at 8 p.m. Once the camper is officially checked in, they are provided transportation to the overflow shelter which can accommodate up to 100 people.

The RPD and CAC are focusing on the Truckee River Corridor for these efforts, which extends from Stephenson Street east to Wells Avenue, and will cover areas within 350 feet of the river.

Once the educational campaign is complete, officers will begin issuing misdemeanor citations to those who have been previously warned about camping illegally along the river.

Upcoming Truckee River Service Opportunities (6/25)

The Truckee River Watershed Council‘s latest service opportunities are listed below. One is this Saturday, so mark your calendars!

  • Aquatic Monitoring Field Collection: Volunteers will spend the morning monitoring stream health. This will include getting in the water to collect water quality and habitat data and stream insects. Equipment provided; locations vary. Contact Beth at 530-5508760 x1 to help out. Saturday, June 27 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 5 p.m.
  • River Talk: The River Talk is a one hour virtual tour of a few of TRWC’s projects throughout the watershed. It is a chance for guests to learn about the work and for TRWC to receive their comments and feedback. No financial contributions will be asked. Please call Brenda Gilbert at (530) 550-8760 x5 to RSVP or for any questions. Thursday, July 9, 2015 from 6-7 p.m.

Initial Stakeholder Meeting #2

Just over a month after the kick-off meeting for the One Truckee River initiative, core stakeholders met again for round two. On June 23, 2015, those involved gathered once again at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to further discuss vision and future of the Truckee River.

National Park Service representative Barbara Rice began by asking the other 22 reps for any comments or changes on the ground rules, roles of partners, and core values of the One Truckee River plan. No changes were made.

From there, environmental steward Alex Hoeft, who works with Nevada Land Trust, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and National Park Service, introduced the communications strategy for One Truckee River. Alex went through the short-, medium- and long-term goals for communications, including social media, blog posts, website creation and maintenance, surveys, videos and future funding.

After the communications strategy was introduced, Alex showed the participants around the website, followed by social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Once the communications portion of One Truckee River was finished up, Barbara took over again to have all members divide up into three groups for a Truckee River issue identification.

IMG_0392Stakeholders broke up into three groups and assessed Truckee River opportunities and threats and identified key issues that will need to be addressed in the management plan. The input and reflection will be considered as the group prepares final goals for this planning effort, which will be addressed in preparation of a scope of work for the Truckee River Management Plan.

A quick summary of each group’s threats and opportunities involving the Truckee.

Group One:

  • Threats: restrooms (safety and illicit activities); storage for personal property; drought and climate change; maintenance responsibilities and lack of coordination; lack of funding; invasive species; social issues; crime; littering; public safety; water quality; beavers
  • Opportunities: restrooms; river as economic resource; more livable communities/quality of life; increased local use; increased tourism; funding opportunities; increased special events; increased collaboration and coordination; increased education and public outreach; adopt-a-river; increased access; vendors/concessions; increased public safety; increased recreation; overflow shelters and education

Group Two:

  • Threats: maintenance; population growth; communication/coordination; funding; oversight/authority; storm drains; trash; homelessness; fires; oversight and authority
  • Opportunities: education; ownership/volunteer; easier waste disposal; recreation

Group Three: 

  • Threats: clarity and understanding previous planning efforts; safety in and along river; lack of access points; impacts of recreation (trash, erosion, lack of facilities); public awareness (why should I care?); impacts to locals/business owners/river users; urban run-off; homelessness; perception of One Truckee River group as “exclusive”; wildlife conflicts and impact (beavers, raccoons as threats); flooding; oversight and authority; drought/rising water temps
  • Opportunities: community ownership; volunteer opportunities; OTR inclusivity; fly fishing, birding, bats, etc.; youth component; tourism/recreation; long-term sustainable funding; highlighting art and culture/history; river ranger program; community and education events; break down jurisdictional boundaries; safety; bringing together agencies to collaborate; new opportunity for awareness

From these threats and opportunities, Barbara then led the groups in identifying key issues to focus on in the initiative. The issues are still being fine-tuned, but include public health, water quality and sustainable funding. A full list will be posted soon.

The spotlight then fell on Nevada Land Trust’s Lynda Nelson to discuss future planning. Lynda discussed with the group the September forum, a potential contractor, and the day and time of the next meeting.

The meeting ended at 1:28 p.m.