State, federal experts begin planning for fire restoration | NevadaAppeal.com

State, federal experts begin planning for fire restoration

Gov. Kenny Guinn’s natural resources adviser says even as the Waterfall fire burns, state and federal officials are starting to plan restoration efforts.

“Basically Carson City’s watershed has been destroyed,” said Steve Robinson. “That creates a big challenge for us. We’ve got a heck of a restoration job on our hands.”

Robinson said Nevada State Forester Pete Anderson and he will meet with federal officials including Regional Forester Jack Trooper of Ogden, Utah, in Carson City next week along with federal forestry officials based in Nevada including Toiyabe Supervisor Bob Caught and District Ranger Gary Schiff.

One of the first steps will be to form a committee to evaluate the damage and develop a plan to restore the burned lands along the west side of Carson City. The committee will also have to “come up with a price tag for it,” he said.

“It’s going to be huge,” said Robinson. “The first order of business will be stabilization – trying to keep as much land up there as possible so we don’t lose more of it when the rains come.”

He said efforts may include such things as hay bales in places to minimize runoff, and reseeding will begin as soon as possible.

Robinson said Anderson will apply to the federal government for grants to start the process on state lands. They will also be applying to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for money to help private land owners with restoration.

“We’ve got to see what’s going to be available for landowners as well as the state,” he said. “The state’s going to have a big share of things to do here. We’ve got to figure out what to do to restore the whole range and how to pay for it.”

On private property, he said, the grants might not pay for everything.

“But if it benefits everybody up there, there might be some funding available,” he said. “We’ll know more next week when their top forester gets here,” he said.

Contact Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.