River riders have high hopes about plan

Tom Young and Jeanne Rhoades have been enjoying river rides for about 30 years and spend 50 to 60 days each year rafting or kayaking, and own their own watercrafts.

"Some people think we're sick addicts," Young joked. "Wherever we can go to do it, we go."

He and Rhoades have traveled such waterways as the Colorado River in Arizona, the North Fork of the American River in California and, of course, Carson River. Their favorite part of their hometown river is above Markleeville, Calif., but they've also been over all of the sections running through Carson City and Lyon County, he said.

"It could be a good resource for the city," Young said. "Even if it isn't a long season. North Fork is even shorter than Carson."

The pair were on hand for the first in a series of public workshops about plans to make the Carson River better for recreational boaters.

Cleanup of plants and other debris might increase water flow and add some more time to the floating season, along with making it a more hospitable trip, Young said. Water flows best from April to June during most years. It's not a good location to float down during the rest of year because the water level is too low or even non-existent.

Young also said that work to clean the river area will be important in ensuring the success of any efforts to promote the river as a tourist attraction.

Homeless people also live along a portion of the river. While most of them don't bother people floating by they do leave trash around, he said.

"And a few of them aren't always that friendly," Young said. "I think people would use the lower part of the river if it was easier to use and cleaner."

The Carson River Aquatic Trail Plan details how improvements along 13.7 miles of the river could benefit residents and the region's economy by boosting tourism.

The plan breaks the river into two different stretches. One section, considered calm and suitable for beginners, runs from Carson River Park to Morgan Mill Road, near the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Carson City field office. It's considered a span of Classes I and II water flow.

The site near the BLM office provides river access and also serves as the starting point to a more swifter area described as Class III whitewater rapids in the Carson River Canyon and would end at a proposed river access area at the Santa Maria Ranch in Lyon County.

Meetings about the plan will continue through March 15, where it will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration.

A $10 million bond issue is proposed to help pay for improvements along the river in Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Churchill counties.

Adoption of the plan by the supervisors would make it easier to obtain grants to improve river access, put up information signs, and conduct cleanup and habitat enrichment projects, said Vern Krahn, the city's parks planner.

The city and Nevada Commission on Tourism is paying for the plan, which was designed by Resource Concepts Inc.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

For your

information

Read the plan online and see a list of upcoming meeting where it will be a topic of discussion by visiting www.carson-city.nv.us

Also call the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department for details: 887-2363

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