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U.S. EPA Awards Grant to Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Release Date: 3/31/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez (415) 947-4248

Money will support wetland assessment project near Pyramid Lake

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a $69,816 grant to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to start a wetlands monitoring program on the reservation.

    The tribe has already mapped the wetland system of the reservation, and has set water quality standards for the Lower Truckee River. This grant will allow the tribe to evaluate the overall health of the wetlands on the reservation and restore the natural resource.

     The Paiute people have depended on the wetland areas along the Lower Truckee River for food, crafts, and clothing materials for many years. The tribe is concerned about the health of the wetlands because of changes in land use patterns upstream from the reservation, and increasing agricultural and urban polluted runoff over the past 100 years.   The wetlands sit downstream from the city of Reno.

    In addition, years of unmanaged cattle grazing has degraded the wetland system, impaired water quality, and resulted in many invasive plant species gaining a foothold in the wetland.

    Wetlands are rare in the high desert and are integral to many species such as migratory birds, mammals and leopard frogs. Wildlife survival and population sizes are dependent on the high desert wetland system.  

    Every year, the EPA's Pacific Southwest Office in San Francisco awards millions of dollars to over 130 tribes throughout California, Arizona and Nevada to run their environmental programs.

    For more information on wetlands visit: