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Public Lands Represented in the State Legislature

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These passionate folks want to keep it public!
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

Last week, Nevada public land activists came out in droves to support several pro public lands bills in the Nevada State Legislature.

On Monday, April 10th, dozens of activists came out to committee hearings for two pro public lands bills - SB413 and SJR12. SB413, introduced by State Senator Nicole Cannizzaro, would establish the last Saturday in September of each year as “Public Lands Day” in the state of Nevada and SJR12 would rescind SJR1 that passed in the Nevada Legislature in 2015 and urged Congress to transfer the majority of public lands to state control. There were a lot of great public testimony in support of these bills including representatives from Patagonia, SH Architecture, UNLV, and NV Energy, our Executive Director Shaaron Netherton, and representatives from a variety of outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

On the following day, even more folks showed up for pro-public lands and national monument rallies held in front of the Legislature in Carson City and the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. With "I Heart Gold Butte" buttons and "Stand Up for Your Public Lands" t-shirts, these passionate activists sent a strong message to state legislators that Nevadans support our public lands and want to keep them public. In Carson City, Assemblywoman Heidi Swank, Senator Nicole Cannizzaro, Las Vegas City Councilman Isaac Barron, Meghan Wolf from Patagonia, and Shaaron Netherton from Friends of Nevada Wilderness all addressed the crowd with inspiring speeches on the importance of public lands and protecting them for future generations. Following the rally, everyone went inside for the committee hearing on AJR13, introduced by Assemblywoman Heidi Swank, that would express the support of the Legislature for National Monuments like Gold Butte. 

All three bills went to working sessions and passed their committees later that week! Now, these bills will go to the floor for a vote - we'll be sure to keep you updated! In the meantime, if you haven't already, visit the Nevada State Legislature website and vote in favor of these bills.

Thank you to everyone who attended these hearings, who voted online, and who contacted their legislators in support of public lands! Your support has made all the difference!

 


Alternative Spring Break

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UNLV students gave back in a BIG way in Gold Butte National Monument.

Last week, fourteen university students chose to pick up a shovel instead of a beach towel to accomplish important work for Nevada's new National Monument, Gold Butte.

This year, Friends of Nevada Wilderness partnered with the Bureau of Land Management and Barrick Gold to host the seventh-annual Alternative Spring Break. As part of the week, students helped restore wildlife habitat for the threatened desert tortoise and the rare relict leopard frog. Students also installed wooden posts near a popular geologic attraction, a sink-hole named Devil’s Throat.

Beyond the service learning and educational opportunities that the program provides, students also gained valuable career advice from guest speakers and related programs. For students interested in a career in public land management, this opportunity gave them the inspiration and tools to start down that path. The program also ensured that students had time to socialize and explore their national monument. Opportunities to explore the Gold Butte area such as the old town site and petroglyph panels, as well as nightly campfires and Dutch-oven meals, helped students relax in between all the hard work.

Friends has organized and hosted Alternative Spring Break in the Las Vegas area for seven years. For the last several years, Barrick has made it possible to provide students free transportation, meals, and gear for the week. The time and resources invested in ASB are an investment not only in the resilience of our public lands but also in the future of conservation. Thank you to Barrick for making it all possible!



Call for Art and Photos

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Wheeler Peak by Gregg Willison,
Featured in our 2016 Wild Nevada exhibit

It's that time of year again where we're now accepting artwork and photography for our Wild Nevada art exhibit. Our fourth-annual Wild Nevada art exhibit will be on display during the month of July. We're always looking for original works of art in all mediums (photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, art quilts - we've seen it all) that depict the beauty of wild Nevada. If your artwork is accepted, it will be on display and for sale (with a portion of the proceeds donated to Friends) in our office in Sparks for the month of July with a special grand opening reception on July 8th. For more information and how to apply, visit our Artown page here.

We can't wait to see what you send us!


Updates from the Field

Northern Nevada Stewardship Season Begins

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Volunteers started out our Northern Nevada stewardship season strong!
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

We kicked off our Northern Nevada 2017 stewardship season with a fun seedling project in the Santa Rosa Range in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. For the past five years, our hard-working volunteers have been planting native seedlings in the Santa Rosa's to help regenerate winter forage burned by the Hansen wildfire in 2012. Last Saturday, a stellar group of volunteers along with our two northern Nevada AmeriCorps, added 1,200 seedlings to the count! Amidst a stunning backdrop of the snowy Santa Rosa Mountains, our volunteers had a great time enjoying and giving back to our public lands. Thank you to everyone who came out!

Our Santa Rosa seedling projects are funded by the Dream Tags Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, a fund that is paid for by the proceeds of the annual sale of raffle chances to win a Nevada Dream Tag, a chance for sportsmen throughout the U.S. to win special big game hunt tags.


KEEN-Zappos Employees Take Care of Tule Springs

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KEEN and Zappos understand the importance of giving back to public lands!

Last month, we teamed up with KEEN Footwear and Zappos.com to rekindle the annual employee volunteer event, KEEN Zappos Day. Over one hundred employees from Zappos and KEEN pitched in to clean up areas in Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, just north of Las Vegas. In just a few hours, these passionate volunteers picked up five tons of trash and debris in an area in Tule Springs that was formerly used for target shooting and illegal desert dumping. That's literally a mammoth weight of litter!!

We'd like to send a GIGANTIC thank you to these awesome volunteers and to KEEN & Zappos for being such amazing partners. We'd also like to thank our agency partner, the National Park Service and REI, Barrick, & NV Energy for providing general funding so we can continue to host projects like KEEN-Zappos Day!


Upcoming Events

North


April 22: Santa Rosa Seedling Planting What better way to spend Earth Day, a worldwide day to demonstrate support for environmental protection, than to plant native seedlings to help wildlife? We'll be heading out to the Santa Rosa Range, just north of Winnemucca, this upcoming Saturday to plant sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings in areas affected by wildfires and need some extra help! This is an easy day trip - we'll be leaving early in the morning and coming back in the evening. RSVP today!

April 22: Senator Cortez Masto Town Hall U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will be hosting a town hall on Saturday, April 22nd at Reno High School as part of her "Every Voice Matters" Initiative. The Senator would like to update you on the work she is doing in Washington and listen to your concerns about the issues that matter to our community. Please join us in asking her to support public lands and conservation in Nevada. More information and to RSVP, click here.

April 23: Volunteer for Reno Earth Day
Reno Earth Day is the biggest outreach event of the year! Help us reach new supporters and volunteers while enjoying this fun event with live music, educational booths, and delicious food. RSVP here.

April 25: Benefit Bowl Join Laughing Planet Cafe and Friends of Nevada Wilderness for a night benefiting conservation in Nevada. We'll have delicious food, movies, activities, and music!! Laughing Planet will be offering a specialty bowl at their UNR location with $1 from each sale going to Friends of Nevada Wilderness to support our on-going programs to keep Nevada wild! RSVP here.

May 6: Great Community Clean-Up Join us as we partner with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful for their annual Great Community Clean-Up! We will be removing invasive weeds along the Hunter Creek trail and afterwards, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful will be hosting a barbecue for all volunteers. Join us for a morning of giving back to our public lands and an afternoon of tasty treats! RSVP here.

May 7: Stillwater Hike Join us and the Sierra Club for a day of exploring the Stillwater Range! There are several peaks in the area including Slaughter Peak, Table Mountain, Shaly Peak and Mt. Lincoln. We will attempt to summit one or more of them while learning about the current proposal from the Fallon Navy Air Station to seize portions of the Stillwater Range from the public domain. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

May 10: Invasive Weed Removals With spring underway, what better way to enjoy the warm weather than hiking? Join us as we work on removing invasive weeds from the Mt. Rose Wilderness. The work is extremely rewarding and you get to experience some truly amazing country, all in our backyard wilderness! RSVP here.

May 13-15: Lone Mountain Exploratory Hike Join us for a fun weekend with the Sierra Club exploring the heart of wild Nevada! Lone Mountain is that impressive looking peak that you see when driving south on Highway 95, about 40 miles west of Tonopah. It's also an area we have identified as exhibiting strong wilderness characteristics. Join us to explore this stunning wild place and learn how you can help protect its wild qualities. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

South

April 22: GREENfest: We're looking for volunteers to join us at the eighth annual GREENfest in Downtown Summerlin to spread the word about Friends of Nevada Wilderness! We'll be speaking with the public about wilderness, stewardship, and how they can get involved. This event is always highly attended so more volunteers means we get to talk to everyone who stops by. There's no experience required to help out, just a passion for wilderness! RSVP here.

April 29-30: Griffith Shadow Trail Project Join us for a weekend to make improvements on the Griffith Shadow Loop Trail! Griffith Shadow Loop Trail, on the backside of the Red Rock escarpment, provides hikers and riders an opportunity to experience the quiet of La Madre Mountain Wilderness. We'll be doing trail work on Saturday and Sunday and camping out Saturday night. You're welcome to join us for the whole weekend or just one day. RSVP here.

May 4: Wild Speaker Series The May installment of our Wild Speaker Series will feature Reid Wolcott, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Reid makes reading weather systems easier to understand, a skill any outdoor adventurer should know. RSVP here.

May 20: Mt. Charleston Clean-Up Join us for the 10th Annual GO Mt Charleston Spring Cleaning! Help spruce up the mountain before the busy summer season. Each year, over 3,000 pounds of debris are removed - we need all the help we can get! For more information and to RSVP, click here.

For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.

Become a Member Today

"Philanthropy is the rent we pay for the joy and privilege we have for our space on this earth" - Jerold Panas

Become a member of Friends of Nevada Wilderness and support clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and opportunities for people to get out and enjoy the wonders of nature. Your generous donation will go towards getting volunteers on the ground in wilderness areas, advocating for keeping public lands in public hands, and providing critical protection for Nevada's wilderness areas. Membership levels begin at $25 per year.

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