Save the Desert National Wildlife Refuge!

11_11_DNWR_CowCamp_shoot_kuz_6988_89_90_91_92.jpgDON'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.



At the end of 2016 the Department of Defense released their draft proposed alternatives to the current management in their scoping plan. They accepted comments about this scoping document and are using the input they received to release another draft of proposed alternatives to management for the Refuge.  Thank you to everyone that submitted comments.  Friends of Nevada Wilderness also submitted comments.

Read Friends of Nevada Wilderness' Submitted Comment here



Sign our petition to show the Department of Defense you support the current management of the Desert Refuge:

Desert National Wildlife Refuge Petition


Air Force Proposal


View the Air Force proposal website here.


The Air Force held five public meetings throughout October,2016. We thank everyone who attended one of these meetings to make your voice heard!


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!


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wilderness Appendix for DNWR

Desert National Wildlife Refuge website

Friends of Nevada Wilderness Expansion Comments

History & Timeline of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge

National Wildlife Refuge Association Petition

PBS Outdoor Nevada episode on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Related News Articles:

Desert Companion: By Land and By Air 

Las Vegas Review Journal: Conservationists Sound Alarm Over Air Force Plan (Sept. 15, 2016)

Pentagon to Lawmakers: Let Interior Keep Refuge

One View: Proposed Military Base Expansions Threatens 800k Acres

Sign Up Take Action Events
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
sidebar image