State wildlife commission meets Friday and Saturday

By Don Quilici

According to a press release by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, temporary operating permits for U.S. Coast Guard documented boats and a report on a major sagebrush die-off in the West are on the agenda for a Sept. 10-11 Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners meeting at the Bristlecone Convention Center in Ely.

The meeting begins Friday, Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m. and will include reports on elk sub-plans for Lincoln and White Pine counties, the Governor's Sage Grouse Team, the Mule Deer Species Policy Plan Team and a report from Terry Crawforth, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).

Other reports on the agenda are on wild horse management, Carson Lake and Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Sandy Canning, NDOW's chief of wildlife diversity, will give a report on the die-off of large stands of older sagebrush that is occurring in the Great Basin, primarily in the Colorado Plateau of Utah and Idaho.

She said the die-off could be related to drought conditions combined with infestation of the Aroga moth. Nevada has had some die-off, but not to the extent seen elsewhere.

The following day, the meeting will begin at 8 a.m., and will include a report on the status of negotiations of a group in Ely that is working to secure Bassett Lake as a public recreation site.

The group has indicated it would like to obtain the lake from Kennecott Minerals Company using Question 1 state bond funds. It has the potential as a sport fishery as well as a wetlands area for waterfowl and shore birds.

NDOW will ask commissioners to approve a regulation that would allow owners of documented boats to be given temporary permits to operate their boats. This is being requested because there is a backlog of requests to the US Coast Guard for paperwork on boats that are documented.

Commissioners will also be asked to prohibit "teak surfing," which is when a person is towed from a boat's swim platform.

This activity subjects the surfer to carbon monoxide poisoning as well as possible injury from the boat's prop or impeller.

Other items include commission review and recommendations into NDOW's budgets for the 2006 and 2007 fiscal years and proposed legislation.

There will be a report and a possible position statement or resolution on the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act.


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