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River cleanup is success

by Linda Hiller

Volunteers showed up by the dozen for the 5th annual Carson River Cleanup Saturday, to the delight of organizers Dan Kaffer and Donna Lee.

“It was fun,” Kaffer said. “We had a great turn-out and everyone did such a great job.”

The all-morning project was sponsored by the Carson Water Subsconservancy District, the Carson Valley Conservation District, Soroptimist International of Carson Valley, the Carson Valley Lion’s Club, Nevada Division of Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation Service, China Spring Youth Camp and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service through their “Partners for Wildlife” program.

Volunteers who helped stabilize the riverbanks included families and individuals, Douglas County Teens With a Future, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from the Carson Valley and Dayton, a school group from Diamond Valley schools, and others.

“Everyone did a great job, and we certainly think this is one of the most important things we do as a group – to help sponsor this Carson River cleanup day,” said Lee, who was the chair of the project for Soroptimists.

Lotta hard workers. Around 140 people helped to plant nearly 3,000 willow sticks individually and in bundles, clumps and wattles designed to stabilize the bank at Willow Bend off Genoa Lane, badly damaged in the 1997 New Year’s flood.

Bags and bags of Yellow Starthistle, the number two most noxious weed in Douglas County, and more bags of trash were also collected from the riverside by volunteers.

All of Saturday’s efforts on the Carson River will help stabilize the banks so that wildlife habitat is strengthened and agricultural land downstream will not be lost, Kaffer said.

Bat houses and wood duck boxes, all made locally, were fastened high in the tall Freemont Cottonwood trees along the river.

“The cub scouts in Dayton made the bat boxes,” Lee said. “And we sure appreciate Blake Hiller for making the wood duck boxes at the last minute.”

Hiller is a senior at Douglas High School and made the large cedar wood duck boxes after school.

Volunteers also wrapped tree trunks with chicken wire to prevent beaver damage and seeded the banks with six different grass species.

Approximately 500 Lahontan Cutthroat Trout were released into the river, transported in cups from the tanker truck to the river by volunteers.

Look for the red shirts. Everyone who participated Saturday received a free commemorative T-shirt provided by Soroptimist International, and lunch prepared by the Lion’s Club. Much of the work done Saturday was on property adjacent to two families, the Victors and the Brauns, who welcomed the volunteers, Kaffer said.