ELKO – Barrick today released updates to its restoration effort at Willow Creek Reservoir and announced that it has jointly signed and issued a statement on common management goals for the facility with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
“Barrick wants to ensure that the public will continue to have access to the reservoir for recreational use,” said Shane Moss, Project Manager and General Supervisor for Barrick. “That’s why we are working not only to repair the damaged gate, but also to improve and extend the life of the facility for future use.”
The reservoir drained in December of 2017, due to the malfunction of a gate actuator valve. Barrick began restoration efforts in January 2018 and has completed the first phase of the project that included full concrete restoration of the dam, installation of new fencing and public access gates and replacement of cast iron gate components, including the stems, stem guides, and gates with stainless steel components to fortify and extend the life of the dam infrastructure.
In May, Barrick and NDOW signed and issued a statement outlining continued partnership and common goals around maintenance of the reservoir and restoration of fish habitat. NDOW has contributed to fish habitat work at WCR for many years and provided support to salvage fish during the dam failure.
“Barrick has a track-record of responsible water management and this agreement demonstrates the company’s desire to be a good corporate citizen. By agreeing to common management goals, Barrick and NDOW will ultimately help to ensure the longevity of value and uses for the reservoir that are important to Nevadans,” said Caleb McAdoo, Eastern Region habitat dupervisor for NDOW.
Barrick and NDOW will install rock and log structures as well as artificial fish habitat as part of the restoration project. NDOW will oversee the fish restocking effort in a subsequent phase of the project with support from local sportsman’s group, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU) Midas Chapter.
“NBU Midas has been a longtime partner with Barrick and NDOW at Willow Creek Reservoir, contributing financial and volunteer support to help maintain the recreational facility,” said Nathan Blanton, president of the NBU Midas Chapter. “We have provided funding to stock the fishery in past years and intend to assist with the restocking effort again in the coming months.”
Barrick has dedicated 20,000 man-hours and invested $1.4 million into the project. Restoration will continue through the end of the year with current work focused on improvements to the public access boat ramp. The fishery may take time to return to original levels, but Barrick will reopen public access to the facility in early 2019.
“Without support from conservation partners like NDOW and NBU Midas Chapter, Barrick would not be as effective in restoring the fishery at Willow Creek Reservoir,” said Rebecca Darling, director of corporate social responsibility for Barrick. “We know the community and many of our employees enjoy spending time there. This partnership reflects the interests of our employees and will benefit all of us who are outdoor enthusiasts living in northern Nevada.”