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KUNR Today: Several regional agencies host public trainings on wildfire evacuation, preparation

A fire spreads rapidly across a roadway.
Tamarack Fire Information
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Read or listen to news headlines for Thursday, June 2, 2022.

Several regional agencies host public trainings for wildfire evacuation, preparation
By Gustavo Sagrero

Several agencies across Northern Nevada are planning two public training sessions for residents on wildfire preparation and evacuation. The partnering organizations include firefighting and law enforcement agencies, along with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Living with Fire program.

On June 7, there will be an event for residents of Douglas County’s Topaz Ranch Estates at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center. On June 16, there will be a session for Elko County’s Spring Creek community at Spring Creek High School. Both events will discuss how to respond to evacuations in those areas. Organizers will also provide general guidance for community members living in other areas.

Interior Secretary Haaland announces support for clean energy projects
By Yvette Fernandez, Mountain West News Bureau

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited the Mountain West this week and announced plans to support clean energy projects. Climate change poses an existential threat to our environment, health and economic wellbeing, according to the secretary.

In Las Vegas, Haaland announced two new developments to foster renewable energy efforts. The first is a new policy to reduce by 50% rent and fees charged for wind and solar projects on public lands for existing and new projects.

“It will incentivize industry to partner in responsible solar and wind development and help encourage and inspire to invest and compete in the clean energy economy,” Haaland said.

A second development is the creation of five new Renewable Energy Coordination offices to handle the increasing number of applications by wind, solar and geothermal developers through the Bureau of Land Management.

The coordination offices include a national office at BLM’s headquarters, within state offices in Arizona, California and Nevada, as well as a regional office in Utah.

Western Nevada Development District appoints new executive director
By Shelby Herbert

The Western Nevada Development District announced a new executive director named Christine Brandon. Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering and has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where she presided over the environmental cleanup of hazardous waste sites.

The development district is a multi-county planning organization that facilitates economic development. The organization encompasses the cities of Reno, Fallon, Fernley, Carson City and Winnemucca. It also includes the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the University of Nevada Center for Economic Development.

Brandon said that her goals for her tenure include supporting programming focused on improving infrastructure, attracting new businesses, and promoting economic resilience and vitality.

California details racist past in slave reparations report
By The Associated Press

The reparations movement has hit a watershed moment with the release of an exhaustive report detailing California’s role in perpetuating discrimination against African Americans. Wednesday’s report is a major step toward educating the public and setting the stage for an official government apology and case for financial reparations.

The 500-page document lays out the harm suffered by descendants of enslaved people long after slavery was abolished in the 19th century. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating the two-year task force in 2020, making California the only state to move ahead with a study and plan. California is home to the fifth-largest Black population in the U.S.

Review of BLM facility where 145 wild horses died finds multiple violations
By Kaleb Roedel, Mountain West News Bureau

This spring, 145 wild horses died of an equine flu at a holding facility in the Mountain West, and a review has found multiple violations of federal policy.

The review found the Bureau of Land Management failed to vaccinate horses in a timely manner at its facility in Cañon City, Colorado. Many hadn’t been vaccinated at all, despite being there since last summer. The report, compiled by BLM officials, says the facility was significantly understaffed.

Scott Wilson of the American Wild Horse Campaign said the deaths should not be viewed as an isolated incident.

“You can’t keep piling wild horses into a broken system,” Wilson said. “Clearly, they’re safer in the wild. The BLM report kind of adds up – in my assessment – to overcrowding an inadequate system.”

The agency plans to release another report soon to further explain why some horses were not vaccinated. The BLM holds roughly 58,000 wild horses across the west. About 64,000 are roaming free – more than half in Nevada.

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