By Susan Voyles, Reno Gazette-Journal
Every week day since December, a Washoe County sheriff’s community service crew has worked the banks of the Truckee River, wrapping trees with chicken wire to protect them from beavers, cleaning up homeless camps and picking up other debris.
Since December, they’ve wrapped 423 trees and removed 95 homeless camps, 1,058 large bags of garbage and 63 hazards such as rebar and pipe that present a danger to people, said Don Lawson, work supervisor.
But once a Truckee River Fund grant for $90,000 runs out in late July, the crew of six to eight members will be disbanded for a lack of a supervisor.
“We have been on beavers since December,” Lawson said. “We got started when the river was coming up. There’s still a lot of work to do. There’s a lot of trees to be wrapped. We are hitting the worst spots.”
The Truckee River Fund is supported by customers of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, the area’s biggest water company.
Mike Carrigan, TMWA board chairman, said he would encourage the sheriff’s office to apply for another grant through the board’s grant advisory committee. “I think it’s money well spent,” he said, after hearing the statistics.