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Cooperative Extension hosts Best Management Practices workshops

Posted 3/17/2015

Lake Tahoe with thunderstorm clouds in the sky

Properly installed best management practices can help prevent polluted runoff from reaching Lake Tahoe, even during heavy thundershowers. Photo by John Cobourn.

Courses teach landscaping and land-management practices to protect Lake Tahoe water quality

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will hold Best Management Practices (BMP) workshops for contractors and landscape designers April 24 and 29. The full-day basic workshop will be 8 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., April 24 at Sierra Nevada College, 999 Tahoe Blvd. in Incline Village, and the half-day refresher course will be 8 a.m. to noon, April 29 at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), 128 Market St. in Stateline.

"Best Management Practices are land-management and landscaping practices that control erosion and encourage runoff from rooftops and pavement to infiltrate into the ground," John Cobourn, Cooperative Extension water resources specialist, said. "These practices are required at Lake Tahoe, because they reduce the amount of muddy runoff that flows into the lake during rainstorms."

Cobourn, along with speakers from the planning agency, the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, Resource Concepts Incorporated and North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, will explain the basics of proper installation of the practices around homes and small businesses. Cobourn said that after these two workshops, no more are planned, due to lack of funding. Since the workshops began in 2000, more than 1,850 contractors and landscape designers have benefitted from the trainings. The number of businesses advertising Best Management Practices installation in Lake Tahoe also increased.

"We want to teach contractors to create their own Best Management Practices designs, since the free site evaluations that have been offered previously are also being discontinued," Cobourn said. "We are asking that all businesses wanting to be on our providers list send at least one supervisor or manager to learn the new ways for them to create designs for BMPs for properties."

This year’s topics include:

  • How to use TRPA’s online resources
  • TRPA’s new electronic approval process for Small BMP Retrofit Design
  • Commercial and multi-family residential BMP permits and maintenance
  • Last chance to qualify your business for the BMP Installation Service Providers List. Attendance by at least one supervisor per business is required. The Service Providers List is available on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency website, www.tahoebmp.org.

Early registration fees for the workshops are $25 for the Basic Workshop and $18 for the Refresher Course. These rates go up after April 8 and again at the door. Registration includes refreshments, workshop materials, Cooperative Extension’s Home Landscaping Guide for Lake Tahoe and Vicinity and the 2012 Natural Resources Conservation Service’s booklet of Standard Drawings of Residential Scale BMPs. For easy online registration, go to www.unce.unr.edu/adhoc/bmpworkshop. For more information, call Cobourn at 775-336-0244. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

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