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Rancho San Rafael Pasture Closed

Esther Ciammachilli

Starting today the multi-use pasture at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park will be closed to the public due to lingering drought conditions.
The closure, which is expected to last through summer and possibly the fall, is due to a lack of irrigation water needed to sustain the grass in the pasture, used mostly as an off-leash run for dogs. Irrigation comes from the Highland Ditch which is fed from the Truckee River. However, the Federal Water Master has shut the ditch off due to low water flows. Making the situation even worse was a very dry winter.

County officials say added stress of thousands of people and dogs on the dormant grass, could cause long-term damage to the park. 

The pasture will be closed to all uses, with the exception of a Cyclocross event and the Great Reno Balloon Races.

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.
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