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Celebrating LMNRA’s local native plant nursery and seed bank

According to National Geographic, the first agricultural revolution occurred twelve thousand years ago. During that time, humans moved into long-term settlements thanks to their ability to collect, clean, and store seeds. Fast-forward to today, and the process is no less critical.

Globally, over 1,750 seed banks are maintained by governments and nonprofits to assist in the recovery from catastrophic events. Norway has gone so far as to build a secure storage facility inside a mountain called Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Most local seed banks are small and focus on seed collection, saving, propagation, and supplying plants to a specific habitat.

Because our local seed bank is not open to the public, we would like to highlight their fantastic work. Opened in 1993, Song Dog Native Plant Nursery and seed bank resides at Lake Mead.

They grow over forty thousand plants annually to assist the park and partner with native species for habitat recovery after disturbances. Some of their most notable projects include the propagation of over 90,000 plants for wildfire recovery in Southern Nevada and 3,000 Joshua trees to help California recover from the Cima Dome fire that burned over 70 square miles of Joshua tree forest.

Human-caused disruptions from construction and illegal off-roading are no less destructive. Though newcomers to the desert might assume that the landscape is uninhabitable, countless living beings call the desert home, many of whom are endemic and cannot survive anywhere else. Song Dog grows and plants native species to assist in recovery from these disruptions.

Visitors may be surprised when they see the Lake Mead Lodge site. After its teardown, the nursery team got to work. Though the new plants are young, a complete restoration of the area is expected within the next ten years.

In celebration of the Song Dog’s 30th anniversary, we would like to celebrate one of our Lake Mead staff members who has continued to make these accomplishments possible: the nursery and restoration manager, Biologist Kelly Wallace. Ranger Kelly has worked at the facility for over 12 years. Kelly is committed to the work because,”I love the desert, and I always knew I wanted to use my skills working for the National Park Service.”

Her time is spent between the nursery and work in the backcountry.

During the back-country surveys, the team identifies where plants are in their seeding cycle to determine when to collect seeds. When the seeds are ready, volunteers swiftly collect them before they fall to the ground and are eaten by coyotes or carried off by the wind. While out, the vegetation team also tracks the status of roads to determine if restoration from illegal off-road usage is required. The team then makes time to rake over any tracks off-roaders make to discourage others from the off-roading that is so destructive to our desert home.

Thank you, Kelly, and to all the volunteers at Song Dog; your dedication to this beautiful desert and the species that reside here is truly admirable.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.