Illegal use of off-road vehicles damaged a significant portion of the revegetation landscaping effort at the Spanish Springs Flood Control Project this week.
The site is posted with “No Trespassing” signs, which have largely been ignored. Unauthorized vehicles that create dust, damage the landscaping, endanger life or property, or compromise the effectiveness of the flood control project are subject to a $10,000 fine and other legal consequences implemented by local law enforcement.
The Department of Water Resources is erecting a perimeter fence to protect the integrity of the detention pond and outlet channel, which should be completed by the end of the year.
In the meantime, residents are asked to notify the Sheriff’s office at 785-4629 if they witness off-road vehicle uses within the flood control area.
“The re-vegetation costs for the detention pond and outlet channel totals about $175,000 of a quarter-million dollar landscaping effort designed to prevent dust and erosion,” Jeanne Ruefer, Water Resources Planning Manager said.
“The damage done here is significant and may directly impact local property owners who pay for construction, maintenance and operations through the Spanish Springs Storm Water Utility Fee.”
The $250,000 landscaping effort includes the slurry spray seed application of native grasses, sagebrush and a dust palliative.
The landscaping will armor the banks and channels of the project, ensuring the effectiveness of the flood control facility.
“Working with the County’s Parks and Open Space department, DWR is considering options for passive recreational uses for this facility, including pedestrian access, bicycles and possibly a dog run area,” Ruefer added.
“We are also working with motorcycle shops and the local schools to disseminate information to riders and students in this area, focusing on areas approved for off-road vehicle use and urging riders to avoid riding through the flood control project.”
For more information about the Spanish Springs Flood Control Project please contact Jeanne Ruefer, Water Resources Planning Manager at (775) 954-4764, or to request brochures or collateral materials on designated off-road vehicles areas please call Betsy Mellinger, Public Information Officer at (775) 954-4643.