Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) and the National Forest Foundation (NFF) announce a pilot program to implement the National Forest Foundation’s Forest Ambassador Program in the Mt. Rose Fan/Upper Galena area. The program’s objectives include educating the public about forest fire impacts and mitigating heavy-use impacts on recreational and natural resources in the Carson District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF). The area includes watersheds of importance to TMWA’s water supply.
Heavy recreational use is currently outpacing the response capacity of HTNF personnel. The Ambassador Program will provide the funding necessary to add staff—known as Forest Ambassadors—to conduct a range of recreation-management tasks, including public outreach, education, and trail stewardship. The program will support the HTNF recreation program while also improving overall watershed health and resiliency.
TMWA’s involvement came with the recent completion of the Mt. Rose Water Treatment Plant. This plant relies on seasonal water flows from Whites Creek and is near Thomas and Galena Creeks, a heavy recreational-use area.
“These creeks are essentially part of a larger system within this watershed,” said Kara Steeland, TMWA hydrologist. “We are well aware that the health of the upstream forest is directly connected to the quality of the source water we use,” she said. “Supporting the Ambassador Program is a real win in terms of its benefits to TMWA and our customers.”
“This pilot project directly aligns with our mission to bring people together to restore and enhance our national forests and grasslands” said Matt Millar, NFF Senior Program Manager. “The National Forest Foundation is excited to partner with TMWA to help educate the public about the importance of sustainable recreation within important areas we all enjoy and depend upon.”
TMWA will provide $50,000 to the NFF to fund the Forest Ambassador Program for 2022 and will collaborate on the educational outreach program. “This is another example of the increased regional collaboration we’re seeing with natural-resource and water-resource management,” John Enloe, TMWA’s Director of Natural Resources added. “We’re excited to have this opportunity to help protect our water supplies for our community.”