DON'T BOMB THE BIGHORN: Desert bighorn sheep need YOU to take action! Once again the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, just outside the city lights of Las Vegas and home to one of Nevada’s largest desert bighorn sheep populations and over 1.2 million acres of proposed wilderness, is yet AGAIN under assault by the military.
Find out how you can take action to help defend the Desert National Wildlife Refuge!
In the 1940's, the military gained joint administration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the western half of the Refuge. Public access was eliminated and called into question any future wilderness designation for that portion of the Refuge. This time, the Air Force is looking at seizing control of most of the remaining portion of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Not only would wildlife be threatened and public access removed indefinitely but future wilderness designation would no longer be possible. Most of the Refuge was recommended for Wilderness in the 1970’s by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – these high quality wild lands would be lost forever! The Air Force is currently seeking public comment. It is critical you voice your concerns and oppose any transfer of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge to the military.
Originally protected in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide habitat for the iconic desert bighorn sheep, the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR) is the second largest wildlife refuge in the United States. Since the Refuge was established, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has managed the Refuge to protect its rich biological diversity and wildlife habitat, maintain the integrity of the recommended wilderness areas, and safeguard invaluable cultural resources. The military already controls millions of acres of land in Nevada and has unlimited ability to fly over the Refuge for training purposes. We have already sacrificed enough of the Desert Refuge, it is time to make a stand for what remains.
Please stand up for one of our nation’s most precious resources – The Desert Refuge with its large tracts of undisturbed wild lands that provide invaluable habitat for threatened, sensitive, and endangered wildlife species.
There will be five public scoping meetings in October where the Air Force will take public comment. It is critical that you attend one of these meetings to make their voice heard – otherwise, the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, one of the wild gems of southern Nevada, will be lost forever. Please save the date and plan to attend!
All meetings will be from 5-9pm.
- Wednesday, October 12: Beatty Community Center, 100 A Avenue South, Beatty, NV
- Thursday, October 13: Tonopah Convention Center, 301 Brougher Ave. Tonopah, NV
- Tuesday, October 18: Caliente Elementary School, 289 Lincoln St. Caliente, NV
- Wednesday, October 19: Pahranagat Valley High School, 151 S. Main St., Alamo, NV
- Thursday, October 20: Aliante Hotel, 7300 Aliante Parkway, North Las Vegas, NV (RSVP here)
- Attend one of the above public scoping meetings to make your voice heard in person. Comment cards will be available at each meeting for you to submit written comments in person, as well as speak one-on-one with Air Force staff.
- Submit your comments through the National Wildlife Refuge Association at http://refugeassociation.org/action/#/68, via e-mail to: 99ABW.PAOutreach@us.af.mil, online at http://www.nttrleis.com/comment.aspx, or by mail:
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
4430 Grissom Ave.
Nellis AFB, NV 89191
How to Submit Effective Comments
- Politely ask for Alternative 1 which maintains the status quo.
- Make sure you are specific when commenting. General comments such as "I am/am not in favor of this proposal" do not provide information for the Air Force to understand your concern. Tell them exactly what you are concerned about and why and if you have any suggested recommendations that you feel would improve the proposal or alternatives being considered. Below are several reasons why we believe Alternative 1 is the best alternative.
- For a complete list of talking points, view our list here
You can also help spread the word by sharing this page by e-mail and social media. If you post on social media, use the hashtags #DontBombtheBighorn #SaveDNWR to help us create a buzz!
Although thoughtful written comments are preferred (they will hold much more weight), you can also sign our petition here:
Air Force Proposal
Created in 1936 to provide habitat and protection for desert bighorn sheep, the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the largest refuge in the contiguous United States. Encompassing six major mountain ranges and nearly 1.6 million acres in Nevada, it provides the highest quality, intact habitat for desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife that depend on Great Basin and Mojave Desert ecosystems. With the exponential growth of Las Vegas over the past decades right up to the refuge boundary, this haven for wildlife is critical.
Last year, Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Joe Heck helped prevent the transfer of more than 800,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge System lands from becoming bombing ranges to the Air Force. Unfortunately, the latest attack on southern Nevada's wild gem, the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is yet again under attack - this time directly under military request.
Don’t Bomb the Bighorn!
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