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May 24, 2010

Caring for the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is a member of the Sheldon Refuge Network, an informal association of many diverse groups that share a love for the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Washoe and Humboldt counties. Here is the latest news.

    Sheldon Wildlife Refuge Campaign

2nd Annual Sheldon Rendezvous — 2010

Friday to Sunday: June 25-27, 2010

Volunteers wanted for a weekend of fun and hard work!

Where: We will be camping at the Virgin Valley Campground in the NE portion of the Sheldon Refuge. This site accessible with regular passenger vehicles. Whether you get there on your own or choose to have us help you with a carpool, let us know you will be coming. Contact Pat Bruce at (775) 324-7667 (office), (775) 815-5598 (cell) or email Pat.

Directions: From Winnemucca head north on Highway 95. Turn left onto Highway 140. Travel northwest to Denio Junction stay left and follow Highway 140 into the Sheldon Refuge. The campground turn off is about 14 miles beyond the refuge boundary. Look for large "opal mining" signs and go south on the gravel road about 3 miles. The Virgin Valley Campground is past Dufurrena Ponds and the Refuge headquarters.

Fence crew — 2009 Sheldon Rendezvous. Photo (c) Graham Stafford.
Fence crew — 2009 Sheldon Rendezvous. Photo (c) Graham Stafford

Transportation: A carpool from Friends of Nevada Wilderness' Reno office (1 Booth Street) will leave between 1-2pm on Friday and return by 5-6pm on Sunday. Make arrangements through Pat Bruce to participate in the carpool.

Food: Nevada Muleys will cook up hamburgers and chorizo for dinner on Saturday night and provide box lunches for volunteers on the Saturday work parties. Friends will provide breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. No food will be provided on Friday or after breakfast on Sunday. People with special diet requirements should bring their own food.

Sheldon antelope. Photo (c) Julie Granata
Sheldon antelope. Photo (c) Julie Granata

Be Prepared: Participants should be prepared to camp in a primitive campsite for two nights. Drinking water, cool showers and pit toilets are available. Weather could range from snow to extreme heat so plan accordingly. There are no services/stores/gas in Sheldon. Denio is closest but is not always a reliable source of fuel. Nevadans: fill up your tank in Winnemucca!

Folks should have a pack of sufficient size to carry their lunches and water bottles, some extra clothing (rain gear/layers), snacks, and anything needed for the day. Water will be available to re-fill bottles during the work day. Boots, long shirt, long pants, and leather gloves are required for safety reasons. Hats are encouraged for keeping the sun off — remember, you will be at higher elevations and in some of the cleanest air in the country.

Saturday work projects include:

  • 3-to-5 fence removal crews

  • 1-to-2 refuge boundary signing crews

  • 1-to-2 invasive weed removal crews

Your work makes a difference

Not only does your hard work make a difference directly on the ground by improving wildlife habitat, but it leverages even more. Last year all your volunteer labor was used as an in-kind match for getting spring-restoration work scheduled for 2010. At the Sheldon Rendezvous this year your labor will provide an in-kind match for pika studies to be completed by Oregon State University later this year. Thank you for making this happen!

Contact Pat Bruce at (775) 324-7667 (office), (775) 815-5598 (cell) or email Pat.

Sheldon Planning Update

The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge is getting closer to having the next step completed in their Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP). In June, the Refuge plans to have a document out for public review on a summary of the actions by alternative that will be in the draft CCP. The full plan is scheduled to be released for public comment in late summer.

Guano Rim at the Sheldon Refuge. Photo (c) Scott Smith
Guano Rim at the Sheldon Refuge. Photo (c) Scott Smith


More info about the Sheldon:

For descriptions of the Sheldon Refuge, refer to the USFWS website.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has posted information on the Sheldon Refuge plan.

We look forward to your participation.


Larry Johnson, Shaaron Netherton, John Capurro, David Von Seggern, Judi Caron, and Tina Nappe



Visit Friends' TAKE ACTION pages for other ways to get involved with Friends of Nevada Wilderness.

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