Public invited to Carson River cleanup day

Dan Kaffer stood on the sandy east bank of the Carson River, looking at the willow-lined west bank.

"This should look like that," he said pointing at the west bank.

A site which attracts litter, camping and parties, the bank across the river from Carson River Park will be the site of this year's Carson River Clean-up.

Up to 350 people are expected to turn out for the clean-up Saturday, which will occur in conjunction with National Public Lands Day.

Workers will plant thousands of willows from Mexican Dam to Deer Run Road Bridge as well as work on erosion control and beaver deterrent projects and litter pick-up.

"Families are encouraged," said Kaffer, of the Western Resource Conservation and Development Council. "It's a good family event because moms and dads and kids can do something constructive for the land. Everybody is downstream of somebody. The water they drink comes out of this system. We want people to be involved in the water shed."

In the six years since the clean-up started 6,000 volunteers have donated around 30,000 hours of labor to clean-up the river.

The local Kiwanis Club spawned the current clean-up efforts by hauling about 20 tons of trash away from the river in 1990. Since then the effort has come to involve the community in an attempt to help residents learn more about the area's watershed and how they can protect the environment.

"The river is not just for the ranchers," Kaffer said. "It's everybody's concern that we conserve the lands along the river."

Terry Knight, a recreation program leader for the Carson District of the Bureau of Land Management, said Public Lands Day is a perfect fit with the work day. Much of the river that will be cleaned is a part of the Silver Saddle Ranch. Workers will also have an opportunity to volunteer on trail building and painting projects at the ranch, Knight said.

"This is a day where people will come out to not only enjoy their public lands, but protect them," Knight said.

The Kiwanis Club, one of the event sponsors, will provide lunch for volunteers, and all volunteers will receive two T-shirts, one from the BLM and one from the Carson River Clean-up committee.

The event is sponsored by the Carson Water Subconservancy District, Western Resource Conservation and Development Council, Carson City Parks and Recreation and the state Bureau of Reclamation.

What: Carson River Clean-up Day and National Public Lands Day

When: 8 a.m.-noon Saturday

Where: Carson River Park, junction of Carson River Road and Lloyd's Bridge

Call 775-883-2292 for information.


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