Nevada gets $3.7 million for land and water projects

The Agricultural Appropriations bill approved by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday includes $3.7 million for lands, conservation and water projects in Nevada.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that includes $750,000 for erosion control in the wake of last year's Waterfall fire in Carson City.

Reid said native vegetation was destroyed on more than 8,500 acres along the capital city's west side.

"Carson City now faces threats from flooding and potential debris flows and severe damage to surface water supplies," Reid said.

He said the money will help with essential reforestation and erosion control.

The largest single grant on the list is $1.8 million to control tamarisk and cheatgrass throughout the state. He said those plants threaten aquatic systems and drive out native vegetation. In addition, cheatgrass is a dangerous wildfire fuel.

Other grants on the list are:

• $504,000 for the Nevada Arid Rangeland Initiative which includes work on invasive species, conservation of native plant and animal species and well water testing for pesticides and naturally occurring dangers such as arsenic.

• $150,000 for grasshopper and Mormon cricket control. More than 11 million acres of Northern Nevada were infested with crickets last year and projections are it will be worse in the future.

• $100,000 for the statewide cooperative weed management program.

• $250,000 for rangeland conservation including reduction of highly flammable grass and other fuel species.

The legislation now goes to a conference committee to work out differences with the House version of the budget bill.


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