Northeast Nevada snowpack above normal

ELKO " Storms that catapulted over the Sierra and regrouped in eastern Nevada brought an above-average snowpack to the mountain regions around Elko.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that as of April 1, water content in the upper Humboldt River base was 6 percent above normal for this time of year.

The lower Humboldt was 20 percent above average, while Clover Valley and Franklin River basins were 10 percent above the norm.

In the Snake River basin, the snowpack was 3 percent above average.

"This is as average of an average year as we'll get," Gerald Miller, resource conservationist with the NRCS, told the Elko Daily Free Press.

In western Nevada, snow totals for the date in the Sierra were below average after storms that started out with a bang in January fizzled in February and March.

The report bodes well for northeast Nevada reservoirs, wildlife, grazing and fire rehabilitation " although other factors play a part.

"That is a good indicator but there are still other pieces in the puzzle," said Mike Brown, a spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management. "The other component that is critical as far as forage on public lands is the moisture received during the grazing season, which is starting about now. There are so many different scenarios that can effect things."

Joe Doucette with the Nevada Department of Wildlife said wildlife, area streams and waters should benefit. He said many parts of the county are still in a recovery stage after last year's drought and fires.

The wet winter may aid rehabilitation efforts in the sensitive areas, he said, giving plantings a good start.

It also will aid area reservoirs, including Wildhorse, which was down to 40 percent of capacity, Doucette said.

The reservoir may be charged up to 70 or 80 percent this year, he said.


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