Ernie Schank serves as Vice Chairman and an agricultural representative on the CWSD Board appointed by the Churchill County Board of Commissioners.
Ernie was born and raised in Fallon, Nevada. He was educated in the local schools and attended and graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Animal Science. He served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand. Ernie has been married to his sweetheart, the former Carmen Sorensen, since 1972. They enjoy their three sons and one daughter, as well as 13 grandchildren.
Ernie owns and operates a family farming/ranching business. He has worked as an instructor for the Western Nevada Community College, served on the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, and served as President of the Newlands Water Protective Association. In 1978, he was named Outstanding Young Farmer/Rancher of Nevada by the Farm Bureau.
Ernie was first elected to the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) Board of Directors in 1978. He served four years at that time. In 1998, he was again elected to the Board until he retired from the Board in 2018 after 24 years of service. He served for 20 years as the President of the Board of Directors. In his capacity as President he represented the TCID before congressional committees, has been involved in negotiations on all kinds of water related issues and has been a witness in many legal proceedings. From 1982-1984, he was appointed and served on the Governor’s Select Committee to study the feasibility of building additional dams on the Carson River. In 1994, he represented the Newlands Water Protective Association on the second-generation negotiations for implementation of P.L. 101-618. He also currently serves on the Carson Truckee Water Conservancy District Board of Directors.
He has done extensive research on the Newlands Reclamation Project history in preparation for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Project’s authorization and construction which occurred in 2003. He has spent many years putting together a picture history of the building of the Truckee Canal from collections at TCID, Churchill County Museum, Nevada State Historical Society, and Bureau of Reclamation. He has enjoyed the opportunity to make historical presentations on the building of the Newlands Project before many organizations, clubs, and groups. He has also written many articles on water-related issues for local newspapers, Nevada Policy Research Institute, and for In Focus, a Churchill County Museum publication.
Major accomplishments at Truckee-Carson Irrigation District:
• Improved relationships and communication with governmental leaders
• Committee structure of the Board of Directors
• Passage of Public Law 106-265-Transfer of Headquarters from US to TCID
• Long-term lease with Sierra Pacific Power Company
• Purchase of New Lahontan Hydro Plant
• Improvements and modernization of Old Lahontan and V-Line Hydro Plants
• Bonding of Truckee Canal Conduit Rehabilitation Project