[REGIONAL NEWS] Nevada lake poised to become great restoration story

This Monday, July 29, 2019, photo shows Walker Lake about 100 miles southeast of Reno.

By Benjamin Spillman | Reno Gazette-Journal

People driving between Reno and Las Vegas probably won’t notice anything unusual as they pass Walker Lake, located at the base of Nevada’s Wassuk Range in one of the least-populous counties in the United States.

But people who waited decades yearning for the lake to recover from its human-driven death spiral are marking a historic milestone.

On July 5, for the first time since Europeans settled the remote and scenic Walker Basin, there’s water flowing through the Walker River exclusively for the benefit of the lake’s fish and wildlife.

“It’s kind of a historical moment,” said Jeff Bryant, executive director of the Walker Basin Conservancy.

That’s because from 1936 until April 16, it was illegal for the federal water master, or anyone else, to move water through the Walker River for anything other than nourishing crops or cattle.


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