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News - Media Advisory Lake Tahoe Hosts Snow Survey and Safety School

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Media Advisory

Lake Tahoe Hosts Snow Survey and Safety School

DAVIS, Calif., December 13, 2011—Media are invited to attend the Annual Westwide Snow Survey School held this year at Granlibakken Conference Center in Tahoe City, CA. This Snow School training presents a rare opportunity for media reporters to see first-hand how snow survey data is collected and how surveyors are trained to operate safely in a sometimes dangerous environment.

The school is rotated among western states as part of the effort to predict water supply based on snow pack, precipitation, observed stream flow, soil moisture, and other climatic data. The school is conducted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The training is required of all snow surveyors collecting data for NRCS.

NRCS is the lead national agency for coordinating snowpack information in the 12 Western states and cooperates with state agencies in collecting and disseminating water availability data. The 2012 training will take place in California the week of January 8-13, 2012. It includes an overnight snow bivouac on Wednesday, January 11, when each of the participants will be required to build a snow cave and spend the night in it. Media are invited to participate.

Who: NRCS employees and cooperators that perform snow survey duties

Where: Granlibakken Conference Center, Tahoe City, California

What: Media are invited to any portion of the school. Highlights include:

Tuesday, Jan. 10: Avalanche identification and rescue
Wednesday, Jan. 11: Snow cave preparation, construction and overnight bivouac
Thursday, Jan. 12: Snow sampling for water prediction

Photo and interview opportunities may be arranged by contacting the following:

Contacts before conference:

Anita Brown, Natural Resources Conservation Service, California
(530) 792-5644;

David Sanden, Natural Resources Conservation Service, California
(530) 527-2667 Ext. 107;

Contacts at Granlibakken:

Tuesday-Thursday: Anita Brown (916) 798-6919 (cell)

Granlibakken: 1-800-543-3221

Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs.


 The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people
conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

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