Save Red Rock Announces Dangerous Lead Levels Discovered in Lovell Canyon
Brett Torino Foundation Champions Restoration Project
Save Red Rock announces the Brett Torino Foundation, a local nonprofit supporting children, education and the environment, has donated $15,000 to Save Red Rock to aid in the restoration of Lovell Canyon, now a significant initiative for the nonprofit. Soil tests conducted in the canyon by John Hiatt, a Doctorate in Chemistry and Red Rock Audubon Society’s conservation chair, revealed lead concentrations more than 30 times the threshold for safety. Known neurotoxin and carcinogen, lead concentrations found in target shooting areas along Lovell Canyon Road range from 1,600 ppm to 44,000 ppm; to be considered safe, levels should not exceed 1,400 ppm.
Lovell Canyon borders Red Rock Canyon to the west and is managed by US Forest Service (USFS) who is conducting further investigation into the test findings. Experts believe the alarming lead levels are due to ammunition containing lead.
“The test showing unsafe lead levels are startling. It’s a priority for the Brett Torino Foundation to champion Save Red Rock’s effort to preserve Lovell Canyon. We believe in their ability to lead this effort,” explained Brett Torino, the foundation’s founder, a longtime philanthropist and environmentalist whose foundation supports critically and chronically ill children, education, along with numerous local environmental issues. Torino and his foundation have been invested in Lovell Canyon restoration for four years, supporting clean-up efforts and working with government agencies to preserve the land.
In November 2016, USFS restricted firearm discharge in Lovell Canyon due to public health and safety concerns. Earlier that year, the shooting of exploding tannerite targets caused two fires in Lovell Canyon. Although shooting is allowed on USFS land, according to management guidelines, Lovell Canyon is an area which allows dispersed camping, which is not compatible with open shooting.
“The Brett Torino Foundation believes how you care for others is what becomes your legacy. We extend a heartfelt thanks to the dedicated groups including the Nevada Congressional Delegation, the outstanding efforts of Sheriff Joe Lombardo and the dedicated officers of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Clark County Commission, Save Red Rock, and local volunteers for their effort to restore and protect Lovell Canyon for future generations,” adds Torino.
“Save Red Rock was established to protect Red Rock Canyon, and as its neighbor and an area used by local scouting troops and outdoor enthusiasts, Lovell Canyon needs our attention,” said Heather Fisher, founder and president of Save Red Rock. “We are grateful for the support of the Brett Torino Foundation and hope we can gain additional support to do the necessary work to restore this area.”