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Rocks in wrong spot

Sheila Gardner

Work to repair flood damage at the Cottonwood Dam stopped about 30 feet short of what’s needed to protect the structure, and property owners are ready to shell out about $20,000 to fix it.

A load of huge rocks was dumped at the 35-year-old Cottonwood Dam on the Carson River, but river users think the project needs to be extended another 30 feet downstream.

“The rocks do two things,” said rancher David Hussman. “They support the dam and quiet the water so it loses some of its force. They were not placed properly. They’re supposed to be placed so the water goes across the top.”

The rocks are arranged in such a way that the water drops through.

“We need to get everybody together to see what we’re going to do to put those rocks back in and then we’ll foot the bill,” Hussman said.

He said a contractor estimated the cost would be about $20,000 which will be divided by the irrigators on a per acre basis. He estimated the cost would be about $5 per acre.

“It’s a good thing we never had to do anything massive,” Hussman said. “But at $5 per acre they don’t complain too much. The attitude is, ‘Do what you have to do as long as I get my water.'”

Hussman said the Cottonwood Association also has to get permission to be in the river.

“If you overlook one of these agencies, the ‘river police’ will come after you,” Hussman said.