River work protected golf course
January 11, 2017
The Carson Valley Golf Course and its surrounding area was one of the major areas damaged in the New Year's flood of 1997.
Even in the New Year's Eve flood of 2005, high water plagued the golf course and the homes around it.
However, on Sunday as the river rose, golf course owner Tom Brooks said he was pleased with how the course and neighborhood around it weathered the storm.
"I was thrilled and delighted trudging around the course," Brooks said.
“I was thrilled and delighted trudging around the course.”Tom BrooksGolf course owner
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Over the past 20 years the golf course has worked to prevent flood damage, he said. Work was accelerated after 2005.
"When the flood comes, everybody panics, but the rest of the time they don't do anything," he said. "One of the biggest issues is that through the drought years everybody forgets. All that vegetation grows up in the river, and someone has got to go through and clean it out."
Brooks credited several agencies who worked together on the river where it passes the golf course.
"We had a lot of good partners come on board," he said. "The Washoe Tribe is a great partner. In January and February they took out some big gravel bars that really cleared that channel so the water could get through."
Douglas County and the Carson Water Subconservancy also provided support for finding the funding and getting permits to do the work.
"Whenever you work on the river, it's nonstop agencies, permits and meetings," he said. "The people who helped us push this through made this happen."
Brooks said neighbors called him asking if they should sandbag.
"I told them they should take precautions, but we were in much better shape," he said. "Everything stayed in the banks of the river. I was thrilled watching how everything was working so well."
The ditches around the golf course drained back into the river and a problem spot by the fourth hole was helped by work on a canal feeding one of the ditches.
"There is no substitute for the ranchers' knowledge of the river," he said. "When everyone puts their heads together, it's amazing what can be accomplished. Compared to 1997, we've done a lot. The whole neighborhood around here is totally fine. But it's not over. We need to keep maintaining that river."