Alpine subconservancy membership stirs anxiety

A proposal to include Alpine County in the business of monitoring the welfare of the Carson River has stirred some anxieties from both sides of the border.

Local and state government officials are expressing some apprehensions with plans to make the Carson Water Subconservancy District into a bi-state agency. The district board Wednesday will consider options to easing concerns and increase public support for the plan.

During a recent meeting of the subconservancy district's Alpine County Committee, subconservancy District Manger Ed James said Alpine County Supervisors want to make sure water rights in Alpine County will not be commandeered by Nevada counties and the district will not use Alpine County money to buy water rights in California and transfer the water to Nevada.

Other concerns heard by James as he made reports to the governing boards

of member counties and state officials included:

- Though very supportive of the move, Churchill County expressed concern over the funding of Alpine County's membership.

- Douglas County Commissioner Don Minor brought up the issue of not creating another level of bureaucracy without a good purpose. Douglas County also expressed concern with losing their majority representation on the board, but was reminded that, with the recent addition of Churchill County, they were no longer a majority.

- Carson City Supervisors want to make sure the language in any future agreement does not change the district's role into a regulatory agency.

- Sen. Mark Amodei expressed concern the Federal government would be able to usurp the district's authority if Alpine County joined the district.

Also scheduled for discussion is an update on the Newlands Water Rights Purchase Project.

The subconservancy was appointed by the 1999 State Legislature to administer a program to purchase and retire 6,500 acres of water-righted lands in the Newlands project. The program is an effort to end litigation between local ranchers, the Paiute Tribe and Federal government. Sierra Pacific Power Company, Carson-Truckee Water Conservancy District, State Legislature and Federal government are funding the buyout.


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