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Hello, and happy National Wilderness Month!

President Obama has declared September to be National Wilderness month, in order to "reflect on the profound influence of the great outdoors on our lives and our national character, and ... recommit to preserving them for generations to come."

Click here to read the President's proclamation.


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The Jarbidge Wilderness was Nevada's first, designated with the signing of
the Wilderness Act in 1964. Thanks, Beau Rogers, for this great photo,
which is in the calendar below. Buy one to enjoy this and other great photos.

New Arrivals


The 2014 Wild Nevada calendar is here!

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Enjoy the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act with Nevada's wild beauty every day of the year.

Click here to find out where to get yours today.

Or call (775) 324-7667, and we'll be happy to take your order over the phone.



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Welcome Scott!

Meet Scott Larson, Friends' Americorps Stewardship Associate. He'll be working with us in the Reno office, helping plan and run stewardship projects, working with volunteers and doing his part for Wild Nevada.

"I'm excited to be here," Scott says. "Nevada's a lot different than my home in Michigan. I'm excited to get out, work with volunteers, get to know new places, and maybe work on my tan."

Welcome aboard, Scott. We're glad to have you. And we're confident that before your stint is up with us next summer, you'll get to know the Nevada sun well ... and the wind and the rain and the snow.




Boots on the Ground

Flight of the Volunteers!

When most think about cleaning up in a wilderness areas they consider typical “trash” like cans, bottles, bags and so on. But, there are times when bigger things need cleaning up. In 1978 a small aircraft crashed in a rugged canyon in the Mt Charleston Wilderness and was left behind. Although it was going to be a challenge, it needed to be removed.

Most amazing about the wreckage was how intact the aircraft remained. One thought was to arrange for a fire crew to remove it with a helicopter but was scrapped due to the large Carpenter One fire that broke out.

So how do you carry out an airplane out of a wilderness area? The same way you eat an elephant, piece by piece.

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"I've never put a wing in a backpack before."

Volunteers armed solely with hand tools hiked 1.5 rugged miles to the site using tin snips, screwdrivers, hand saws and other tools to take it apart piece by piece. They then loaded the pieces onto pack boards and carried them out. In the end it took about 150 volunteer hours and several trips to remove the entire plane.

Although airplanes wreckage can be fun to come across out in nature, the intent of wilderness is to be a place where nature prevails, "where man's imprint is substantially unnoticeable...where man is a visitor who does not remain."

And neither does our trash and wreckage, thanks to the great volunteers for their heavy lifting on this project!


Summer on the Sheldon

Since June, three Americorps* Service volunteers and their crew leader have removed obsolete and non-functioning water tanks, pipes and other garbage from 20 springs on the refuge, improving conditions for native plants and wildlife. The crew also monitored the health of those springs to create a baseline against which we can track the health of these springs in the future.

Along the way, the crew also discovered and removed an additional 10 miles of barbed-wire fence tucked away in the rugged canyons and slopes of the Sheldon.

“That fence was in some pretty tough territory,” said crew member Tom Cassell. “I don’t know how anyone got it in there in the first place.”

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The Sheldon crew's trophy: a whole bunch of scrap metal,
pulled from the wildlands of the Refuge. And this is just a close-up of a much larger pile.
Photo by Pat Lahlum.

To date, Friends’ volunteers and crew members have removed 188 miles of old cattle pasture fencing from the Sheldon Refuge. Unless we find more, we look forward to removing the last 10 miles in 2014.

Overall, the crew had a wonderful summer working surrounded by Sheldon’s expansive beauty.

“It was great,” said Tom, who hails from Boston. “I’d never been to a place so far out in the middle of nowhere before. I love the landscape, the mountains and all the wild animals. It was so vast.”

Tom enjoyed the experience so much, he stayed on a week past his term of service as a Friends volunteer to help wrap up the loose ends from the season of work. Thanks, Tom and the rest of the crew, for all your work to benefit wildlife and wildness up on the Sheldon!


Friends' Trail Crew Improves Public Access to Trails

For the last couple months, the crew has been in central Nevada wilderness areas, removing overgrown brush to re-open long-lost hiking trails the hills have reclaimed.

The crew has spent weeks removing wind-toppled aspen, clearing brush, and installing water breaks in the Arc Dome, Alta Toquima and Table Mountain Wilderness areas.

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The trail crew on their morning commute. Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

In 2012 & 2013, Friends’ trail crews have completed the following:

• Maintained 38 miles of trail

• Removed 500 downed trees

• Hosted 7 volunteer projects, which

• Generated 1,214 volunteer hours and $26,453 of in-kind service to our Forest Service lands in central Nevada.

In mid-September, the crew will be working on the Summit Trail in the Santa Rosas, north of Winnemucca.


 Black Rock Commitment

Recently, our volunteers completed a project that has taken us years to complete: clearing an old, down and rusty fence from Twin Springs, near the peak of the North Black Rock Range Wilderness.

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Eight years ago, Friends’ volunteers travelled to this remote site and helped the BLM begin to dismantle old, dangerous barbed-wire fence around a riparian area

Numerous times over the years, we returned to cut and roll more wire and carry it out.

Finally, on July 27, volunteers removed the last of the fence. The wilderness is wilder and more beautiful, thanks to volunteers and their job well done!

Campaign Updates

Yes, Congress has critical work...from foreign wars to national debt, but we believe that one of their most important jobs is protecting our country's natural treasures.

Help Gold Butte!

Please take a minute to ask Senator Heller to stand up for Gold Butte.

Bills have been introduced in both the Senate and House, but Gold Butte needs your help to achieve permanent protection as a National Conservation Area with wilderness.

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There are a million views worth cherishing in Gold Butte.
This is just one. Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

Even if you have signed before, please write Senator Heller to urge him to support Gold Butte.  http://www.nevadawilderness.org/gold_butte_is_important

You can also call his Las Vegas office at (702) 388-6605.


Save our nation's forests

The House of Representatives is currently entertaining HR 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act.

Despite is optimistic name, this bill would make logging the top-priority use of our forests, superseding multiple-use management that gives equal standing to wildlife, water, wilderness, & recreation. It would also undermine many of our nation’s environmental laws and the cost could run into the billions of dollars.

Click here to urge your Representative to OPPOSE this dangerous bill.

Upcoming Events

National Public Lands Day

This year, more than Over 180,000 volunteers at over 2,000 sites around the United States are expected to participate in this nation-wide event to enhance and improve our shared public lands.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness will join the festivities by hosting four NPLD events across Nevada.


September 20-22, NPLD Soldier Meadows, Black Rock Desert. Help Friends, the BLM, Nevada Outdoor School and Friends of the Black Rock care for these signature springs of the Black Rock Region.  Click here to RSVP.

September 27-29, NPLD Santa Rosa Range. Help Friends and the Forest Service remove old, rusty fence from the range. Click here to RSVP.

September 28, NPLD Desert National Wildlife Refuge
, 7:30am to 2:30pm. North of Las Vegas. Help Friends and the US Fish & Wildlife Service remove old rusty fence from near Corn Creek. RSVP here.

September 28, NPLD South McCullough Wilderness. South of Las Vegas. Thanks to Friends volunteers and the BLM, this wilderness will get wilder, 8am to 4pm. RSVP here.

Other Events

South

October 5. Wetland planting, Desert National Wildlife Refuge. 8am to 1pm.
Help plant native Great Basin rye and Lemonade bushes at the Corn Creek wetland. Native plants help prevent erosion, reduce dust, help to thwart invasives provide important habitat for wildlife and their roots help stabilize soils. The plants are small and will be easily planted, as such this is a good project for children. RSVP here.

October 11, Restoration in Eldorado Wilderness. 8am to 2pm. Help an abused corner of this ruggedly beautiful wilderness return to is wild glory. RSVP here. 

October 16, Restoration in South McCullough Wilderness. 8am to 3pm. In the South McCullough Wilderness stands an old corral that needs to be removed to improve wildlife habitat. We need your help in removing the corral, cleaning up the area and restoring the area to the way nature intended. RSVP here.

October 26-27, Restoration in South McCullough Wilderness. We need volunteers to help us repair and build a fence to prevent illegal vehicle use within the boundaries of the wilderness. Since it is a big project we'll be setting up a base camp to work on the fence Saturday and Sunday. You are welcomed to camp with us and if you do, we'll make you dinner. And camping in the desert is so nice this time of year. RSVP here.


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November 14, Wild & Scenic Film Festival,
Las Vegas. Friends will kick off our celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with this showcase of films entertain and inspire. Doors open at 6pm, Historic Fifth St. Schoolhouse, Las Vegas. For information, call (775) 324-7667 or email katie@nevadawilderness.org.

North

October 25, Post-Fire Reseeding in Santa Rosas #1. Friends, in partnership with the Santa Rosa Ranger District, will continue planting seedlings in areas of the Santa Rosa Mountain Range affected by the Tom Basin and Hanson Fires.  Please join us in the effort to plant sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings.  Planting sagebrush and bitterbrush will help rehabilitate the burned landscape and provide important winter forage and habitat to native wildlife. RSVP here.

November 2, Post-Fire Reseeding in Santa Rosas #2. 
Friends continues our work with the Forest Service plant seedlings in areas of the Santa Rosa Mountain Range affected by the Tom Basin and Hanson Fires.  RSVP here.

November 14, Lost Fire Reseeding.
Friends will join the BLM, Nevada Department of Wildlife and partner groups to plant bitterbrush seedlings in areas affected by the Lost Fire, west of Little High Rock Canyon Wilderness. RSVP here.


December TBA, Wild Winter Wingding, Club Cargo, Reno. Each year, we celebrate our wonderful volunteers and their accomplishments with food, fun, music, silent auctions and Pat Bruce in a powder-blue tuxedo, if we can talk him into it. Call (775) 324-7667 for updates.

In the Middle

November 8-10, Lunar Crater and Palisade Mesa Restoration. Join Friends as we team with the Tonopah BLM to naturalize habitat and explore this lonely and beautiful region of central Nevada. Jobs for all ages and abilities. RSVP here.

For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.

 

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