ABOUT THE WASHOE- STOREY CONSERVATION DISTRICT:
The Washoe-Storey Conservation District focuses much of our efforts on restoration and enhancement, education, and public policy. Through each of these programs, the District hopes to accomplish their goals and encourages environmental stewardship and responsibility.
RESTORATION and ENHANCEMENT
The Washoe-Storey Conservation District plans, restores stream, wetland and riparian habitat to proper function status.
The Washoe-Storey Conservation District encourages and assists with the development of public policy that benefits the health of the watershed.
The Washoe-Storey Conservation District encourages and assists with the development of public policy that benefits the health of the watershed and improved public recreation.
WASHOE-STOREY CONSERVATION DISTRICT INTERNAL POLICY:
The District will develop and attain a healthy Conservation District organization. As a grant-funded organization (501c3 eligible), the District must secure program funding and carefully tract expenditures and budgets in order to continue to provide our services to the community. Strategic planning, funding planning and regular budget reviews all contribute to the sustainability of the District itself.
RESTORATION and ENHANCEMENT
The Washoe-Storey Conservation District restores stream, wetland and riparian habitat to proper functioning status. In an urban setting that is becoming more and more heavily developed, the riparian habitat is essential in maintaining a natural stream function. Riparian zones provide canopy cover, stabilize slopes, provide habitat for native species, reduce nutrient loads, minimize public health vector impacts, and help to filter stormwater runoff. These environmental benefits can also lead to economic advantages in drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, recreation and tourism. The Washoe-Storey Conservation District recognizes that the preservation and restoration of these riparian areas can contribute immeasurable to our quality of life, and has several current restoration projects.
STEAMBOAT CREEK WATERSHED
Hidden Meadows University Farms: During the last fiscal year, WSCD evaluated options for restoration of Steamboat Creek at Hidden Meadows under a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation and selected a restoration alternative. This restoration alternative considers not only the pond at Hidden Meadows, but also the reach of Steamboat Creek adjacent to the pond, the water entering Steamboat Creek from the Yori Drain, the Airport Authority’s wetland mitigation project on the west bank of Steamboat Creek, and the WSCD/Corp of Engineers project at the confluence of Steamboat Creek and the Truckee River. During the coming year, WSCD will secure funding for and complete the design of the selected alternative, as well as searching for funding to implement the project itself
The Steamboat Creek Confluence Project: WSCD is the project sponsor for this ongoing project at the confluence of Steamboat Creek and the Truckee River. Begun under authority of Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, the project is a joint effort of WSCD, the Army Corps of Engineers, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the City of Reno. WSCD has been allocated funding from Washoe County’s Question 1 money to continue the address local issues that the Corps of Engineers’ process does not adequately cover. In conjunction with the City of Reno, WSCD will continue to stakeholder involvement to cover community concerns about mercury production, wetlands questions, noxious weed control and other issues. At the same time, the District will pursue alternate sources of funding the project in case the Corps of Engineers program in not reauthorized.
Pleasant Valley Complex: In 2000, WSCD completed a bank stabilization project on Steamboat Creek in Pleasant Valley. During the lasts fiscal year, a design has begun to expand that bank stabilization project both upstream and downstream from the original project site. In 2005-2006, the District will secure funding to implement the expansion of the stabilization project, while continuing the monitoring and evaluation currently underway at the original site.
Evans Creek: Restoration is not limited to large-scale construction projects. In south Reno, Evans Creek flows through Anderson Park toward Steamboat Creek. Flowing along the back of a meadow adjacent to several homes, the channel is beginning to show significant impacts from the land management in the drainage areas. Under a grant from NDEP, the District will work with adjacent landowners to improve their land management techniques, leading to improvements in the Evans Creek Channel.
The Washoe-Storey Conservation District views education and outreach as a primary way to get volunteers involved in conservation projects and to create community support for conservation efforts. During the upcoming fiscal year, the District will put together an education and outreach program to bring conservation education to local schools, as well as to local volunteer and community service groups. This program will be funded in part by the Truckee Meadows Regional Stormwater Quality Management Program, and will incorporate students in the education department at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR).
The education component of the program will focus on Truckee Meadows area schools. The District will work with a graduate student in education at UNR, as well as several student teachers, to create conservation-oriented lesson plans that fit with the Washoe County science curriculum. These lesson plans will be developed and used by the student teachers during the 2005-2006 school year. And will then be available to WSCD programs in the future. In this manner, WSCD hopes to bring education and outreach programs to local schools.
At the same time, the District recognizes the need for other outreach programs in the community. Volunteer workdays, public workshops and presentation, and community events provide the District with the opportunity to work with the public towards conservation goals. The District will work toward these ends through the following:
• Work with the Steamboat Creek Restoration Steering Committee to provide education to the public.
• Encourage teachers to enter the NACD National and State Conservation Teacher of the Year contest.
• Develop new conservation brochures & pamphlets
• Assist with annual cleanup and repair of the Conservation Trail at the arboretum.
• Maintain and expand the WSCD Web page, with considerations made as to our target audience.
• Make the Steamboat Creek Restoration Plan available on the internet
• Develop a District Newsletter.
• Develop a marketing and sales strategy.
• Create new signs for the Conservation Trail and grass plots at Rancho San Rafael Park.
• Use the Great Basin Habitat development as a teaching tool.
• Make presentations at schools and public events.
• Participate in the annual Northern Nevada Earth Day event sponsored by Environmental Leadership.
• Develop an educational trail at the Anderson/Bartley Ranch Part restoration site on Washoe County Parks property to educate the public on stream restoration, wildlife habitat, and water quality while providing development options for future development.
• Hold and sponsor the annual Snapshot Monitoring Day to assess watershed health and provide public education and participation.
Through these events, WSCD will bring environmental education and outreach into the Northern Nevada Community.
WSCD recognizes the role of public policy in conservation efforts. In order to encourage public funding and community support, the District works with local governments, as well as state and federal agencies, to advocate environmentally responsible growth and development policies. The two main focuses of the District’s Public Policy program to date have been noxious weeds, storm water runoff, and development plan reviews. During the coming fiscal year, WSCD plans to continue this work, as well as to encourage the preservation of agricultural land and extension of the areas hiking trails and other recreational opportunities.
Interlocal Stormwater Committee
• Continue participating with the Interlocal Stormwater Committee in cooperation with Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.
• Seek opportunities to encourage new stormwater control alternatives to keep, maintain, and treat stormwater on-site.
• Work with Reno, Sparks, Washoe County and Kennedy-Jenks to assist in the NPDES Phase II permit requirement development and conversion of responsibility for the State of Nevada to the three jurisdictional entities.
Land Use Planning
Provide public bodies input into land use planning
Align district projects efforts with Nevada’s Department of Environmental
Protection 208 Water Quality Plan.
Development Plan Reviews
• Continue to review development plans for the suitability and adequacy of construction phase erosion and sediment control.
Preservation of Agricultural Land
• Encourage the preservation of traditional agriculture in Washoe and Storey Counties, including the preservation of water rights on cultivated land.
• Work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other sources to provide technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers for conservation efforts.
Work with Washoe County Parks and others to expand local neighborhood compatible trails and other recreational opportunities.