It was a misty afternoon on May 18, 2015, as Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons, commander of Hawthorne Army Depot, wielded a fish fillet knife for the ribbon cutting, signaling the long-awaited opening of fishing at Rose Creek Reservoir.
The commander expressed his gratitude to all those involved in bringing the project to fruition. John Peterson, natural resource manager for the government staff, worked tirelessly with the Nevada Department of Wildlife both in transplanting the native Tui Chub from Walker Lake to the reservoir and arranging for 500 Tiger Trout to be stocked. The Boy Scouts and Sportsman’s Club put in many man hours in restoring the cabin by the reservoir and preparing a camping area. George Gram, general manager of SOC, and many SOC employees also lent their elbow grease to the project.
Gram was personally invested in the process and developed the procedures and guidelines. He reminded everyone that admittance to the reservoir must be coordinated through the SOC Guard Operations Center; people need to leave the area before dark; and that everyone is required to promptly notify the GOC upon their return, thereby, alleviating the necessity to engage search and rescue operations.
Gram thanked his employees and wanted to make sure that appreciation was also given to those who ensured there were portable latrines at the site. The Sportsman’s Club has graciously volunteered to accept responsibility for those expenses.
Gibbons reminded everyone, “The Mountain has had great importance, even before its inclusion in Army Property, as a sacred spot for the Walker River Paiute Tribe and all should remain respectful of its history and culture. With increased privileges come increased responsibility. We request everyone ensures that the environment and mountain is kept in its pristine condition.”
Gibbons and Rob Mathias, president of the Sportsman’s Club, reminisced regarding the starting point for re-opening the reservoir. They remembered that on Gibbons’ first day at HWAD, they attended an open forum hosted by Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French, commander of the Joint Munitions Command, headquarters for Hawthorne Army Depot. Mathias broached the possibility, then, of working together to renew community access to outdoor recreation activities on the depot.
Many of the adults present at the ribbon cutting remembered coming to the reservoir as children, having picnics and spending the day fishing.
“Generations have fished here. It is a good thing for the community,” said Mathias.
Gibbons communicated his appreciation of Hawthorne as America’s Patriotic Home and his current home. He reaffirmed his commitment to the youth in the community and mentioned the continuing efforts with the community and Paiute tribe to open camping opportunities to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups in the near future.
“We are happy to share our resources with the community’s greatest resource, our youth,” concluded Gibbons.