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10 Days Left to Defend National Monuments

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We're running out of time to show our support for Nevada's national monuments!

Our nation's National Monuments, including Gold Butte and Basin and Range in Nevada, are under attack and need your help today!

In April of this year, President Donald Trump released an Executive Order to review 27 national monuments across the nation. Immediately following the order, the Department of the Interior opened a comment period for the public to weigh in on the monuments under review. This comment period comes to a close on July 10th - we only have ten days left to make our voices heard that Nevadans love Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments!

The Center for American Progress and Conservation Science Partners just released a new study of the 22 land-based national monuments currently at risk and finds that—scientifically and ecologically speaking—these places are some of the best places in the country. We all know that Gold Butte National Monument is teeming with wildlife and plant diversity but did you know that this area ranks in the top 2% of soil diversity (a major indicator of strong ecological health)? Or that Basin and Range National Monument contains one of the most genetically diverse strands of ponderosa pine in the West?

This new study underscores the urgency of defending these iconic landscapes across the country from this new attack. These monuments are the best of the best and deserve to remain protected so that future generations can experience these amazing places for themselves. If you haven't yet taken action, send your comment in today to urge Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep our monuments protected for future generations...now is the time!

TAKE ACTION: Let Secretary Zinke know that Nevadans want Gold Butte National Monument and all national monuments to be protected for future generations.


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This week, Secretary Zinke made a few visits to Nevada and we made sure to welcome him...with public land signs in hand. Read about our recap from the past week and our continued push to rally for our public lands and national monuments! Read here.



BLM Honors Friends of Nevada Wilderness with Group Excellence Award

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From left to right: Acting Associate State Director Paul Petersen, Friends of Nevada Wilderness' staff members
Dan Alvey, Richie Bednarski, Nora Kaufmann, Black Rock Outdoor Recreation Planner Chelsea McKinney, and Wilderness Specialist Dave Mermejo.
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

We are incredibly humbled and grateful to have been awarded the Bureau of Land Management's prestigious "National Volunteer Group Excellence" award at their National Volunteer award ceremony on May 24th.

The BLM Winnemucca District nominated our group for the award stating that "you have made such great strides the past 14 years helping the BLM keep public lands in Nevada beautiful and sustainable. You have helped promote so many great volunteer activities around the Winnemucca District, among many others!"

We'd like to especially thank our volunteers and members who made this award possible and who help us keep Nevada wild year after year. We are also so appreciative of the great partnership we have with the BLM and the many different district offices that we work with across the state.

Watch the award ceremony here (begins around the 33:40 mark)

Updates from the Field

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Our 2017 trail crew starting out on their first hitch to improve our wilderness trails.
Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

Our 2017 wilderness trail crew has hit the dusty trail set on maintaining hundreds of miles of wilderness trails throughout northern and central Nevada! This enthusiastic and hardworking six person crew has already made some major improvements in beautiful Arc Dome Wilderness and will be heading back out in the field this week to Table Mountain Wilderness. With pulaskis and crosscut saws in hand, they'll continue their way across the state improving public access wherever they go, including trails in Jarbidge, the Santa Rosas, the East Humboldts, and the High Schells Wilderness areas. If you run into them while out and about in wild Nevada this summer, be sure to say hi!

Our wilderness trail crew is funded in part by the Recreational Trails Program, an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. The RTP provides funds to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail uses.



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Team Aria joined us in Mt. Charleston to improve trail access for visitors.

Trails in southern Nevada are also receiving some much needed TLC. Employees from Aria Hotel and Casino joined us for a day in Mt. Charleston to help maintain the popular Cathedral Rock Trail. The morning was spent trimming overgrown brush from the trail path, maintaining trail integrity, and moving large rocks and downed tree branches out of the way.

Many trails like Cathedral Rock may only be serviced every 2-5 years...if at all. With dozens of daily visitors, one can easily imagine the type of damage done, sometimes inadvertently, due to high use. Friends of Nevada Wilderness’s stewardship projects keep trails safe and viable for hikers by completing this much needed maintenance that may never be completed without volunteer power! A special thanks goes to the Aria staff who joined us last Saturday, Ron LaPointe, super volunteer and blue helmet winner who assisted in leading the stewardship work, and our agency partner, the U.S. Forest Service.


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Volunteers keep Mt. Rose Wilderness wild and invasive weed free!
Photo by Shevawn Von Tobel

For several years, our volunteers and staff have diligently monitored and removed extensive invasive weed populations in Mt. Rose Wilderness, Reno's backyard playground. Invasive weeds can dramatically affect water quality by out competing native plants and increasing fire loads thereby increasing soil erosion. This year, we're continuing the tradition but facing a new obstacle - a raging Hunter Creek that poses impossible to cross.

Not one to shirk from a challenge, our volunteers have had to go the extra mile (literally) by hiking along the ridge line and dropping into each weed site. With the hot temperatures and steep terrain, the days are certainly no easy jaunt through the woods. A special thanks goes out to Patagonia who provided at least six hardy employees on each of our projects through their Employee Volunteer program.

Unfortunately, with the recent Hunter Creek wildfire that ripped through the canyon last week, we only have one more project left (in a different area). We're looking at potential planting projects for later in the fall to help regenerate habitat burned by the Hunter Creek fire before winter comes. A BIG thank you to our stellar volunteers who have helped keep Mt. Rose Wilderness a wild destination!


Upcoming Events

North


July 8: Wild Nevada Art Exhibit - Opening Reception The Wild Nevada art exhibit showcases over forty art pieces from local artists depicting the beauty of wild Nevada. All artwork will be for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to Friends of Nevada Wilderness to support our ongoing programs to keep Nevada wild! From paintings to photographs, this year's exhibit features a wide selection of artwork - whether you want to just soak the artwork in or you'd like to purchase a piece of wild Nevada to take home with you! The opening reception will have refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, and chances to meet the artists featured in our exhibit. Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly.

July 7-9: Little High Rock Canyon Fence Pull
Enjoy a weekend in the high desert while restoring wildlife habitat. Come out with us to the Black Rock Desert to remove an old barbed wire fence that is no longer needed. We plan to camp just outside the Wilderness area and near the work site. As always, we have a great weekend planned full of taking care of wilderness, delicious food, and camping underneath the stars. RSVP here.

July 12: Mt. Rose Weed Pull Help us complete our seasonal Noxious Weed program in Mt. Rose Wilderness! Spend one last day up in Mt. Rose Wilderness and help remove invasive weeds from our backyard playground. RSVP here.

July 20: My Year Behind the Lens Slideshow Artown presents: Join photographer and Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteer extraordinaire, Jeff Lock, as he presents a slideshow covering his travels in the West and Baja, Mexico. Suggested donation at the door with proceeds going to Friends of Nevada Wilderness. RSVP here.

July 21-23:
Stevens Camp Trail Project Join us for a great weekend of trail work and restoration! We will be camping at Steven’s Camp, a public use cabin located at the north end of High Rock Canyon in the Black Rock Desert NCA. Built by Tennessee Ernie Ford, the cabin is a lovely oasis in the desert! RSVP here.


South

June 1: Wild Speaker Series Join us for our July installment of the Wild Speaker Series! Our guest speaker will be Anthony Waddle, a graduate student at UNLV studying the relict leopard frog and the effects of chytridiomycosis on its declining population. The relict leopard frog, Rana Onca, was believed to be completely extinct until three populations were found in Nevada during the early 1990's. Mr. Waddle will share his findings with us and his predictions of the future of this rare and fascinating species. RSVP here.

June 15-16: North Loop Trailwork #1 Come join us and the Backcountry Horsemen of America for an overnight camping trip on the North Loop Trail! This will be the first of many weekends spent maintaining our backcountry trails in Mt. Charleston Wilderness. We'll be camping out at the junction of Trail Canyon and North Loop Trail at night and working to maintain the higher stretches of North Loop during the day. Join us for the whole weekend or just the day. RSVP here.

June 29-30: North Loop Trailwork #2 Come join us for round two on North Loop Trail! This will be another weekend spent maintaining our backcountry trails in Mt. Charleston Wilderness. We'll be camping out at the junction of Trail Canyon and North Loop Trail at night and continue our work to maintain the higher stretches of North Loop during the day. Join us for the whole weekend or just the day.

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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