The Walker Lake Working Group met on July 14, with a room full of interested residents from Mineral County. The monthly meetings bring the current updates about the Walker Lake Restoration project, but this time three guests attended from the Walker Lake Crusaders – Toby Montoya, Casey Key and Darren Hamrey. In conjunction with the Working Group, the Crusaders commissioned a 2,000 pound monument to be made by John Keaby at Rock Chuck in Schurz.
This piece was constructed with rocks from Walker Lake, as a tribute to the lake’s history and to allow an informational viewing area which can serve as an on-going guide to educate visitors. With the efforts being done to restore the preservation of this unique lake, a plexiglass top was selected to allow the printed updates to be changed out as necessary.
A geocache was installed, which is a device that allows those that have GPS to have a treasure hunt, allowing participants to not only get to the monument, but find the hidden location to register their visit. With the Walker Lake State Beach being transferred into Mineral County’s possession, the Crusaders wanted the monument installed at the old boat launch upon entering the park. This will allow visitors a vantage point to read, take pictures and enjoy the use of the area.
As the Crusaders presented their desires that day, it could not be confirmed as to when the completed monument would be approved for installation. But, as positive efforts can be rewarded, Montoya was not only surprised, but happy to learn it could be place on July 18, following the Walker Lake Breakfast.
With a few phone calls made by Montoya and the fact that the State of Nevada had amazingly signed a MOA (Motion of Agreement) on July 15, this came into agreement with Cliff Cichowlaz, county commissioner.
The confirmation of installation was given a green light, much to the surprise of Mary Conelly, State Director for Senator Harry Reid’s office. Her congratulations by email stated, “Holy smokes, never heard of anything moving so fast. Great news, big thanks to everyone who helped.”
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, local residents and visiting campers joined in to watch the monument take its rightful place with the help of many volunteers. The area needed leveling and was cleaned up with the assistance of the Walker Lake Volunteer Firefighters and others.
With the excessive weight of the actual rock piece needing to be lifted from Glenn Bunch’s trailer, local resident Artie Jones used his equipment as bystanders enjoyed watching this historic event unfold. More than forty people joined in this initial event, while looking forward to a planned dedication which is to be scheduled in a few months.
Organizers want to make the dedication a time of sharing food and a true moment to remember, with invitations extending to governmental officials. Displays of historic Walker Lake will be sought after, as visitors can enjoy the past but look forward to the future, as booths will outline the efforts being made to redeem Walker Lake’s lifespan.
A response from Elmer Bull, Executive Director of the Walker Basin Conservancy Program out of Yerington said, “Great work by all. That’s what good partnerships can accomplish.”