Carson, Lyon support Alpine County joining Carson River group

YERINGTON - Lyon County and Carson City became the first counties Thursday to sign resolutions in support of Alpine County joining the Carson Water Subconservancy District.

Churchill County may sign a similar resolution June 21, with Douglas County considering the Alpine County matter July 6, said Ed James, the subconservancy's general manger.

Once Alpine County becomes a member, all the counties along the 184 miles of the Carson River will be part of the district. Churchill County, where the river ends, didn't join the 45-year-old district until last year.

Ultimately, the Nevada and California legislatures both have to approve allowing Alpine County in California to join a Nevada district. The Nevada Legislature next meets in January.

James said all Nevada legislators representing areas in the Carson River Watershed have shown support.

"We are seeing the need to work together," James told the Lyon County Commission and Carson City Board of Supervisors at separate meetings. "Our job is to strip away county and state lines and look at what's best for the watershed."

Alpine County in March 1999 asked to join the Nevada district that manages the Carson River watershed. The river's headwaters are in Alpine County.

Since Alpine made its proposals, questions have flourished about adding a California county to a Nevada district but James insists this will create no federal complications.

James said the subconservancy is local governments working together with no state or federal involvement other than the legislatures approving Alpine's addition. The district has no regulatory powers.

"This is a different formula," James said. "This is not politics as usual."

The Carson Water Subconservancy District was created by statute in 1955 and reports to the Nevada Legislature to provide development and protection of water resources in the upper Carson River.

The nine members include two residents each from Carson City and Lyon County and five from Douglas County. Appointments are made by each community's board of commissioners or supervisors.

The district determines what's best for the entire watershed and then asks county commissioners and supervisors to approve matters in their respective counties that most benefit the entire river, James said.

Lyon County Commissioner Bob Milz welcomes Alpine County becoming part of the district.

"I really believe this is a necessary thing," said Milz, chairman of the subconservancy district. "This not only does what is best for Lyon County but also for all the other counties involved."

Carson City Supervisor Kay Bennett has served as a subconservancy director for many years.

"Now we're building on the foundation we need to go forward," Bennett said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment