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Speak up for the sage-grouse!

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You've probably heard a lot about the sage-grouse lately and for good reason. In response to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife's proposal to list the greater sage-grouse on the Endangered Species List, Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller jointly released a discussion draft of the Nevada Sagebrush Landscape Conservation and Economic Development Act. 

This proposal would conserve sage-grouse habitat in Nevada through a variety of means - including wilderness designation - and provide economic development opportunities to industries and local governments throughout the state.

The sage-grouse need you to speak up for them and e-mail the Senators to thank them for their leadership in proactively forming a Nevada-based solution. The discussion draft is in no way perfect and Friends of Nevada Wilderness will continue to monitor the proposal to provide comments and suggestions to improve protection for sage-grouse habitat in Nevada. However, we believe this discussion draft is a great start for all Nevadans to come together to find a solution that works for everyone while protecting this rapidly declining species.

sagegrouse@reid.senate.gov
sagegrouse@heller.senate.gov

To learn more:
Link to the press release
Link to the discussion draft

Not sure what to tell the Senators? Here are a few key talking points:

  • Protecting and restoring sagebrush habitat is good for all wildlife - not just the sage grouse.
  • Wilderness is forever - agency land use plans change whereas wilderness is certain protection since it provides rock solid regulatory certainty.
  • Nevadans need to work together to find a solution that works for everybody and shares the responsibility.
  • This is our last chance to protect the sagebrush sea.
  • I appreciate the Senators working together to put forth a Nevada-based solution.
  • Wilderness is not the only solution but it will be a critical effort in areas where wilderness and sage-grouse habitat overlap.

Keepin' It Wild in Nevada

Let's Celebrate! 30 Years of Friends of Nevada Wilderness &
50 Years of the Wilderness Act!

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2014 is a big year for wilderness. For one, Friends of Nevada Wilderness will be celebrating 30 years as an organization. That's 30 years of keeping Nevada wild and protecting over 3 million acres of our wilderness lands. As our Chairman of the Board, Roger Scholl, so aptly put it, "Back in the 1980s, we thought how great it would be if we only had one person working on wilderness. A few years later, we thought how great it would be if we had two people working on wilderness. Now, thirty years later, look at how far we've come."

With protecting 68 wilderness areas, 64 wilderness study areas, three National Conservation Areas, and nine wildlife refuges in Nevada...I'd say we've come a long way since 1984. Of course, our organization and these accomplishments would not have been possible without the historic passage of the Wilderness Act 50 years ago.

On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law this landmark bill which established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people, including Nevada's first wilderness area Jarbidge Wilderness.

2014 will be a year of celebration and we have some very exciting partnerships and events planned for these anniversaries. Stay tuned and we hope you join us in celebrating our wild lands!

 

Save the Date: March 21, Reno, NV In honor of our 30th year, we're throwing a birthday party! Stay tuned for more details...

Updates in Wild Nevada

Day of Service

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National Desert Wildlife Refuge -- Instead of a "day-off", volunteers spent their Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as a "day-on" in service of their community. 18 volunteers - many of them youth - made the drive north of Las Vegas to the National Desert Wildlife Refuge. There, they pulled the invasive weed, London Rocket, to prepare for the upcoming planting season. In addition to invasive weed removal, they cleaned up the area of litter that had been blown in by recent windstorms. In all, volunteers cleared 1 acre of weeds and about a full cubic yard of litter. A repeat volunteer of the area took notice of native vegetation he helped plant last spring and exclaimed, "It's nice to see the lasting impression of your volunteer work. " Way to go, Southern Nevada volunteers!


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Photo by Jesy Simons

Arrow Canyon -- Our Southern Nevada stewardship team didn't stop at the Desert Refuge on our National Day of Service but also planned an additional volunteer excursion to Arrow Canyon. 9 volunteers came out to re-install a fallen fence post which allowed vehicles to pass, installed 20 additional wooden posts to create a parking arrow at the trail head, and also naturalized places vehicles had illegally driven on. Due to their hard work, all visitors to Arrow Canyon will now know where to park and where not to drive! After the work day was finished, the team went for a hike up Arrow Canyon, to see the petroglyphs, the fossils, and the historic CCC dam. To view more pictures of this project, click here.


Wilderness Wingding

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Congratulations to our award winners!
Photo by Andy Horstmanshoff

Last month at the California Building in Idlewild Park, we hosted our seventh-annual Wilderness Wingding! With over 150 attendees, an amazing line-up of raffle & silent auction items, a complete BBQ dinner menu, and eight awards presented, we'd say this year was a huge success.

Of course, the evening would not have been such a success without the generous support of community businesses and members who donated raffle & silent auction items, all of the food, refreshments, and dessert...and, of course, our volunteers who helped us in the preparations & to staff the event, provided live music, and even photographed the entire evening!

To view all the photos, visit our brand new Flickr page here.

Save the Date -- December 5th, 2014 Yep, that's right - we already have next year's celebration penciled in at the California Building. We hope to see you there...who knows, you might just win "Volunteer of the Year"!


REI Grant Reception

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 Our Southern Nevada Manager, Jose Witt, recently accepted a grant award from REI for $10,000 to support local stewardship in wilderness areas of Southern Nevada. Jose gave a presentation on prior events and activities completed with the REI's grant, as well as a presentation on what to look forward to in 2014. Some of the major volunteer events we were able to accomplish because of REI's generosity was the Griffith Peak summit trail project and the 2012 & 2013 Alternative Springs Breaks. Thank you, REI!

Other recipients of REI grants were Friends of Red Rock Canyon and Outside Las Vegas Foundation.


Congress On Your Corner

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Also in November, Congressman Horsford paid the residents of Mt. Charleston a visit for a "Congress on Your Corner" event.  With a handful of newly signed postcards Jesy met the Congressman for the first time. He was glad to hear about the determination of Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Clark County residents, and his constituents in the efforts to designate Gold Butte as an NCA with Wilderness.


Gold Butte Rocks!

Speaking of Gold Butte, our friend Dolly recently sent us a raving story and photos of a recent visit to the area. This was her first time at Gold Butte and we think it made a lasting impression:

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"It’s a Nevada style gamble to go for a 6 day camping trip to an unfamiliar landscape in late December. But Nevada is for gambling and Kurt (from Friends of Nevada Wilderness) told me “Gold Butte Rocks!” so we hedged our bets by packing good food, lots of water, and a spare spare tire. Then we set a schedule to meet some friends and spend the days between the winter solstice and Christmas in the Gold Butte back country...." (To read more, click here!)

Learn more about this fantastic place and how you can help to protect it by visiting our Gold Butte page!

Upcoming Events

South

January 29, February 12 & 26, Spring Mtns. We are looking for volunteers to join us in the beautiful Spring Mountains National Recreation Area where we will be meeting new folks and introducing them to all we do at Friends of Nevada Wilderness.  If you've never tabled before, don't worry - there are no skills necessary...just a love for the outdoors!  For more information contact Jesy at jesy@nevadawilderness.org or 530-598-0121.

February 22, Arrow Canyon Trail head We're partnering with the BLM and the Sierra Club to continue our work at the Arrow Canyon Trail head. We will be installing more wooden posts for the established parking area, as well as naturalizing illegal road scars. Camp overnight or just meet us for the day!

March 17-21, Alternative Spring Break Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and students from UNLV for our 4th annual Alternative Spring Break.  Volunteers will spend 4 days camping on the Desert Refuge, doing restoration projects by day and listening to local educational speakers by night.  For more information, contact Jose at jose@nevadawilderness.org or 702-203-1720.


April 15, 19, 26 Desert Refuge Planting Now that volunteers have removed the invasive weeds in the area, we are offering a three-part series in helping plant native Prince's plume and screwbean mesquite trees. Join us for this all-ages, family-friendly event!

North

January 28th-31st Wildlife Society Annual Meeting, Reno Are you a member of the Wildlife Society? We'll be tabling at their annual meeting held in the Grand Sierra. Want to help volunteer at the event? E-mail Shevawn at shevawn@nevadawilderness.org for more details.

February 14: Full Moon Snowshoe Hike, Tahoe Meadows Since 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we want to profess our love for this historic act from the mountaintops. So, what better day than Valentine's Day? Bring your own Valentine and join us for an enchanting evening in our backyard wilderness, Mt. Rose.

February 22: Snowshoe Hike with BBBS We are seeking volunteers with some snowshoe experience to help us take out a group of Big Brothers, Big Sisters to experience the great outdoors. Help us make a lasting impression in a young person's life...and - who knows, they may just grow up to be the next Howard Zahnhiser!


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 and providing critical protection for Nevada's wilderness areas. Membership levels begin at $25 per year.

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!

Thank you!



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