Fill ‘er up and kill ‘er up

One thing is obvious when you fly into Reno from the north—major forces are currently doing a fine job of fulfilling the dominant paradigm: Fill it up, fill it up, fill it up. The things being filled up are places—Spanish Springs, Double Diamond, the North Valleys and the Verdi sump, for example. At current rates of construction, these once bucolic ruralities should be completely filled up with condos, culverts and convenience stores within the next 10 to 15 years.

You might suspect that you’re about to read some sort of weepy, green-ass lament. Not a chance. We all know what’s coming, and we all see the writing on the wall. There’s no time to waste. Get the houses up. Get the golf courses built. Get those malls socked in. Let’s just get it the hell over with.

You do realize, however, that you can’t fill someplace without draining someplace else. At least, that’s how it is in Nevada these days. It’s not difficult to see what places will be drained in order to honor this axiom. Walker Lake is obvious toast. Hell, it’s already doomed, and they haven’t even started building the new subdivisions of Yerington. Stampede, Boca and Prosser Lakes will likely be drained on an annual basis once 63,000 new lawns are installed and opened for twice-weekly hosings. That’s assuming we’re lucky enough to have those reservoirs at least partially fill up during our increasingly undependable snow seasons. Pyramid Lake has some pretty sharp lawyers looking after its health, so it will be a while before the upstream legal teams of Reno, Sparks and Truckee find a way to backstab the tribe’s legal team, but no one should be too shocked when they do.

Draining and filling—this is where the action is in Northern Nevada. If you don’t like the sound of that, well, too damned bad. Because the people who are baking The Pie and then cutting it up really don’t give a flying bleep what you think. Oh, they might give you your three minutes in front of a council or commission, and let you blather on about the old days and the past times with their quiet nights and chirping crickets and unlocked doors and the visible galaxy and such. They’ll give you that. And then they’ll pat you on the head and say “thank you so much” and advise you to not let those coccyx-bustin’ chamber doors hit you on the ass on your way out. Because at that point, it will be time to get down to bidness. And don’t kid yourself. There’s a helluva lot of bidness to be done around here. And that’s future bidness, which doesn’t take into account the bidness that’s already been wrapped up and about to begin.

So bring it on. Fill ’em up. Fill up the valleys, and then fill up the boxes that will fill up the valleys. For that’s when we’ll find out … The Next Places to Fill.