Public comment is being sought on a proposal to remove the Incline Lake dam and restore the area.
The U.S. Forest Service bought the 777-acre Incline Lake parcel, located off the Mount Rose Highway, for $46 million in 2008 for its recreational, scenic and natural resource values.
Funding for the purchase came from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. Minden firm Terra Firma helped broker the deal.
During the purchase process, it was determined that the dam and spillway do not meet federal, state or local standards for a high-hazard dam.
Incline Lake has been drained and has not been allowed to refill.
The forest service is proposing to remove the major dam and spillway and recontour the area to match adjacent contours and grades. The agency proposes converting the minor dam to a low-water crossing. The project goal would be to restore the groundwater-dependent ecosystem within the Incline Lake Dam project area, which over 15-20 years would become a system of small- to medium-sized ponds, fens and marsh. In the short-term, the project activities would ensure the stability of the site.
As a result of initial public scoping, the forest service also analyzed an alternative to reconstruct the dam in its current location and configuration. The project design features and BMPs in the proposed action would apply to this alternative as well.
These actions are needed because the current dams and spillway do not meet current public safety and water quality protection standards, and long-term planning for the remainder of the property cannot begin until the fate of the dams is determined.
The forest service would implement the project in summer of 2015. Funding for the project comes from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. Once the forest service reaches a decision on the future of the dam, it will begin management planning for the remainder of the site.
Comments during this round of public input must be received by June 6. To review the project documents and find out how to submit comments, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/InclineDam. For more information, contact Matt Dickinson (530) 543-2679 or Anjanette Hoefer (530) 543-2822.