In 2007, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program produced the publication “Choosing the Right Plants for Northern Nevada’s High Fire Hazard Areas.” This publication assessed the plant materials presented in the Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s “Landscaping in the Truckee Meadows” publication in terms of desirable fire-resistant characteristics. Those characteristics included high moisture content, low-growing habit and lack of flammable chemicals.

“Choosing the Right Plants for Northern Nevada’s High Fire Hazard Areas” quickly became one of the program’s most popular publications. During the period of 2007 to 2017, more than 10,000 copies of the publication were distributed. Despite its popularity, the utility of the publication was somewhat limited in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

In an effort to preserve, maintain and improve the Lake Tahoe Basin’s unique environmental characteristics, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) developed and administers a Code of Ordinances which, among other things, influences plant material selection in the residential landscape. Chapter 36.7 of the Code, Landscaping Standards, requires in many instances the use of plant materials from the “TRPA Recommended Native and Adapted Plant List.” Accent vegetation may also be used in certain situations. See inset box. Unfortunately, there is not an easy way for property owners to determine which plants recommended in the “Choosing the Right Plants for Northern Nevada’s High Fire Hazard Areas” were also included on the TRPA-recommended/suggested plant lists.

In response, “Choosing the Right Plants for Northern Nevada’s High Fire Hazard Areas” has been revised to indicate which plants in this publication are also included on the “TRPA Recommended Native and Adapted Plant List” and which are on the suggested “Accent Plant Guide for Lake Tahoe” list. Look for the following logos to indicate good plant choices for the Lake Tahoe Basin’s high fire hazard areas.



Use link provided below to open the special report "Choosing the Right Plants."

Skelly, J., Smith, Ed. 2017, Choosing the Right Plants for Northern Nevada's High Fire Hazard Areas - Lake Tahoe Basin, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-17-01

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

flood map of reno
CodeRED in Washoe County
If an emergency arises in Washoe County, public agencies utilize CodeRED to inform the public. Registering for CodeRED increases the likelihood that residents will receive these urgent notifications.
Roice-Gomes, J., Adams, J., Kay, M., Restaino, C. 2021, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-21-120
The Governer of Nevada signing a multi-state proclamation with support of Nevadans around him.
Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month County Proclamation Wording
Customize your county proclamation in support of Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month- May 2020.
Roice-Gomes, J. 2020, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, IP-20
Choosing Turf and Erosion Control Grasses for the Lake Tahoe Basin
Planting grass near homes can control soil erosion and help create fire defensible space. Since the tragic Angora Fire in 2007, many Tahoe residents are re-evaluating their landscaping options for areas close to residences.
Cobourn, J., Skelly, J. 2009, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-09-07
Firescaping: Landscape design for defensible space
Firescaping is landscape design that reduces house and property vulnerability to wildfire. The goal is to develop a landscape with a design and choice of plants that offer the best defensible space and enhance the property.
Skelly, JoAnne 2001, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-01-33
Sign up for Emergency Notifications
Local Emergency Notification Systems, commonly known as Reverse Dial, are used by safety officials to send phone calls, emails and texts to a specific area with a prepared message during an emergency.
Kay, M. 2020, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, IP

Associated Programs

living with fire cb

Living With Fire

Helping Nevadans and visitors prepare for wildfire