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Learn more about what the candidates running for nine races in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County have to say about environmental issues.

2022 Elections: Washoe County Commission District 5 Candidate Surveys on the Environment

Illustration with a KUNR logo and text that says, “Candidate Surveys on the Environment. Washoe County Commission District 5.” There is an implied surface with a pencil, a roll of stickers and a ballot box placed on top of it.
Crystal Willis
KUNR Public Radio

Earlier this year, KUNR Public Radio launched a survey asking community members to share topics or issues they would like to hear about from candidates running in Nevada’s 2022 elections. Many community members voiced concern about climate change and wanted to know how their local politicians would respond to environmental issues. With additional environmental questions collected from a group of University of Nevada, Reno students majoring in a variety of fields, KUNR created a questionnaire for candidates running for nine races in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.

This election cycle, there are two candidates running for the Washoe County Commission seat in District 5:

  • Jeanne Herman (Incumbent, Republican)
  • Edwin Lyngar (Democrat)

Editor’s notes: Candidates have been listed in alphabetical order by last name. We have provided candidates’ responses to our questionnaire, and each answer had a limit of 1,000 characters, with the exception of a yes or no question. Responses have not been edited for spelling, punctuation or grammar. Candidates’ answers have been fact-checked, and editor’s notes have been provided as needed. Editor’s notes were also added to provide additional context.

Some candidates did not respond to the questionnaire after being reached out to multiple times; however, we will post their responses if they become available. Candidates were also asked to submit a headshot, and these photos were included upon availability.

Jeanne Herman (R)

KUNR reached out to this candidate several times, and they acknowledged the questionnaire over the phone but did not submit responses. In a phone call with a KUNR reporter about the survey, Herman said she would not have time to complete it. We will update this web post with the candidate’s questionnaire responses if they become available.

Edwin Lyngar (D)

Edwin Lyngar is looking toward the camera and smiling.
Courtesy of Edwin Lyngar
Edwin Lyngar, a candidate for Washoe County Commission District 5.

When our region experiences poor air quality from wildfire smoke and high temperatures, how would you assist our community’s more vulnerable populations, including unsheltered individuals and outdoor workers? (We would like to hear your local mitigation ideas.)

We need to treat wildfire smoke as the serious health threat it has become. In years when cities experience bitter cold spells or heatwaves, communities set up emergency shelters for the unhoused. We should consider some similar measures. We should also not be afraid to cancel routine work outside when air quality is dangerous. We will experience hardship in extreme years, but we must put a focus on the health of outdoor workers and the unhoused. We will be living with extreme drought and wildfire for the foreseeable future, so we should take concrete steps to protect the health of our vulnerable populace.

Editor’s note: Research from the University of Nevada, Reno College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources demonstrates that in recent decades, Nevada has witnessed increasing temperatures, extreme droughts, loss of snow and a number of large wildfires as a result of climate change.

How will you help ensure that we have enough drinking water for the increasing population of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County? And more broadly, what would you do to improve water management and sustainability in our region?

We must balance the needs for growth with the reality of water in the west. We are so fortunate to have better resources than in Southern Nevada, but the time to conserve that water is now. New development should be water smart. We should change the culture around massive lawns that were normal 20 years ago, and instead plant more trees and use more native vegetation that is drought resistant. I am for better water capture technologies as well, including new water treatment. We have areas with water that we can’t use for drinking. Water treatment is an important element. If we cultivate a deep respect for water and a culture of water conservation in our community, we can head off mistakes that will create crisis in later years. We can never take water for granted. Every time we have a chance to secure more water rights, we should always have an eye on buying for future needs.

Do you believe that human-caused climate change is real? (Yes or no response only.)


What other environmental issues would you like to address for your constituency, and how?

As we build our community, we see ever more human / wildlife conflicts. As we intrude on wild spaces, it’s critical to plan for wildlife, avoid important wildlife areas, and invest in personnel who can help the public solve problematic encounters. We can have a better relationship between people and wildlife but it takes deliberate planning and commitment from people and their leaders.

Editor’s note: A spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Wildlife confirmed that “human-wildlife conflicts are increasing across the board in Washoe County.”

Learn more about Edwin Lyngar at Edwinlyngar.com.

Click here to view candidate surveys for other Washoe County Commission races, as well as city council and mayor in Reno and Sparks.