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Spectacular Sheldon: June 24 - 26

KEEN and Zappos improve the Mt Charleston experience

Pine Forest Range edges closer to designation

Young volunteers helping Mt Rose Wilderness

Black Rock Rendezvous: May 27 - 30

Upcoming volunteer projects and events

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June 30, 2011

Dear Friends,

As you get ready to celebrate the 4th of July, I'd like you to remember all the people over the centuries that have fought for our wonderful country. The struggle to keep this land great continues in many ways including the work of our volunteers to keep our Nevada wild lands healthy and beautiful for the future. Thank you all for your donations of time, wisdom and funds to make these successes possible.

Shaaron Netherton
Executive Director

Spectacular Sheldon: June 24 - 26

photo: volunteers removing fence from the Sheldon (c) Brian Beffort
Sheldon volunteers removed 3 miles of old barbed-wire fence
(c) Brian Beffort

Your support for Friends of Nevada Wilderness has translated to great accomplishments on the ground and a host of satisfied volunteers, as Friends' Summer of Sheldon began with a spectacular weekend, June 24-26. Thirty volunteers joined forces to free the wildlife refuge from its burden of obsolete barbed-wire fence — a legacy from cattle grazing, which was removed from the Sheldon (on the Oregon border in NW Nevada) in the mid-1990s.

The stars aligned beautifully in every way for the weekend: wildflowers were blooming enthusiastically, and the altitude (about 6,000 feet) helped make sure the weather didn't get too hot, as volunteers removed more than 3 miles of fence from important pronghorn habitat.

Saturday evening, Badger Camp provided perfect ambiance for dinner and socializing, fed by Sheena Britschgi's wonderful Dutch-oven jambalaya.

photo: Sheena rolling up old barbed wire (c) Brian Beffort
Not only is Sheena a champion Dutch-oven chef, she's also a wild barbed-wire roller (c) Brian Beffort


photo: group photo of Sheldon volunteers (c) Brian Beffort
Volunteers at Summer of Sheldon, June 24-26 (c) Brian Beffort


The Summer of Sheldon will continue on July 22-24 and August 26-28, as Friends again provides easy ways for you to explore Wild Nevada with like-minded, wonderful people, while giving back to your wild public lands and the wildlife that need your help. Contact Sheena to RSVP now — (775) 324-7667 or by email. The trips are free, but space is limited.

Brian Beffort
Associate Director

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KEEN and Zappos improve the Mt Charleston experience

KEEN and the "Zappos family" joined Friends of Nevada Wilderness to celebrate and help Earth on June 21, 2011.


photo: KEEN/Zappos volunteers group shot, June 2000 (c) Kurt Kuznicki
KEEN/Zappos volunteers group shot, June 2000 (c) Kurt Kuznicki

100 enthusiastic volunteers cleaned out fire pits and painted all the picnic grills and picnic tables in the Old Mill and Foxtail recreation areas. They also installed 10 drainage structures to make the road to Blue Tree Trail more resistant to rain runoff.

The crew was amazed at the amount of use – and amount of garbage – the area receives.

James Curleigh, CEO of KEEN Footwear, summed it up perfectly: “For us to connect the outdoor experience with our team, . . . it’s a natural fit.”

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is pleased to team up with the great folk at KEEN and Zappos to keep Nevada's wild places clean, healthy and thriving. If your company or group is looking for a way to help keep Nevada Wild, give Friends a call at (775) 324-7667.

Darcy Shepard
Stewardship Technician

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Pine Forest Range edges closer to becoming wilderness

On Monday, June 20, the Humboldt County Commission reviewed the draft wilderness legislation and map for this beautiful area and, again, unanimously voted to support protection for this Nevada treasure. We anticipate the bill could be introduced in Congress any day now. Member donations helped make this possible!

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Young volunteers helping Mt Rose Wilderness

I get to spend a lot of time in the backcountry, tromping around Nevada's lesser-known, remote canyons, and sometimes I take for granted the places that are just outside my backdoor. I got my regularly-scheduled reality check recently when I took a small group of soon-to-be UNR students out onto the Hunter Creek Trail for some relaxation, camaraderie and of course, thistle pulling.


photo: Young volunteers removing invasive thistle plants from Mount Rose Wilderness (c) Wes Hoskins
Young volunteers removing invasive thistle plants from Mt Rose Wilderness (c) Wes Hoskins

The Dean's Future Scholars program aims to help first-generation college students succeed in being the first person from their family to graduate from an University. Service-learning is a part of this program, and Friends partners with a number of UNR programs to satisfy students' service-learning requirements.

The inspiring thing about these kids was that even though they were unsure of what to expect, they truly wanted to be there, hiking an exposed trail in the June heat, and pulling weeds down by the creek. This is an essential, albeit unglamorous, part of the work we do.

Betty, a volunteer attending Reed High in Sparks, was jubilant about this place in the Mt Rose Wilderness, and her perspective really made me appreciate the part I get to play in this organization.


photo: Group photo (c) Wes Hoskins
These enthusiastic, young volunteers made a difference for
Wild Nevada in Mt Rose Wilderness (c) Wes Hoskins

Our goal above all others is to get people connected to the land in a way they may not experience in their everyday lives. On this trip, the volunteers were the ones who made me reconnect and refresh my perspective of this awesome place so close to home.

Want to get out on a trail farther from home? Our Santa Rosa Backpack is full, but we will be hosting a two-night backpack in the Table Mountain Wilderness, July 22 through 25. Come on out, no weed-pulling necessary.

Wes Hoskins
Forest Projects Coordinator

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Black Rock Rendezvous: May 27 - 30

Wind, rain, and mud didn’t deter wilderness warriors in the Black Rock Desert this Memorial Day weekend during the seventh annual Black Rock Rendezvous.

Over 100 participants from Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Nevada Outdoor School, and Friends of Black Rock-High Rock gathered at the Black Rock National Conservation Area for a weekend of work, speakers, and Dutch oven delights!

photo: before and after comparison of dune at Mormon Dan (c) Brian Beffort
Before and after comparison of dune at Mormon Dan (c) Brian Beffort

One team built more than 30 yards of buck-and-rail fence to protect sensitive dune habitat. A few miles away in the Calico Mountains, another group of volunteers erased the traces of three illegal off-roading routes.

photo: kids in field and spring-monitoring class in progress (c) Brian Beffort
Kids in field and spring-monitoring class in progress (c) Brian Beffort

Nevada Outdoor School led a kids' nature hike. Meanwhile, the grownups learned how to characterize springs — data that will improve management of the entire region. Volunteers then collected data on three springs.

Darcy Shepard
Stewardship Technician

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Upcoming volunteer projects and events

Friends of Nevada Wilderness offers up lots of fun opportunities to help your Nevada wildlands heal and prosper. Here are the next several events.


Summer of Sheldon:   Two chances remain to help the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge this summer

Stewardship — In the past, we've had fun with the Sheldon Rendezvous. This year, instead of one giant day of restoration, we're giving you multiple opportunities to join us in giving back to the pronghorn, sage grouse and other wildlife on this most-majestic Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Same fun, same great food, multiple opportunities!

Here are the remaining dates:
July 22-24 (Friday to Sunday),
August 26-28 (Friday to Sunday).


Friday, July 22 — Monday, July 25   Mosquito Creek Backpack Table Mountain Wilderness

Stewardship — Join Wes for a long weekend backpack and inventory in the beautiful Table Mountain Wilderness area. Backpacking experience required.


Friday, August 12 — Monday, August 15   Barley Creek Trail maintenance trip, Table Mountain Wilderness

Stewardship — Clear and maintain the Barley Creek Trail to help it recover from the long winter and general use.


Saturday, August 13   Hunter Creek trash removal, Mt Rose Wilderness

Stewardship — Remove an illegal structure and trash near Hunter Creek Road in the Mt Rose Wilderness. This one-day event is the perfect opportunity for Reno-area volunteers who can't get away for a three-day weekend.


Friday, August 19 — Sunday, August 21   North Black Rock Range Wilderness - fence removal project

Stewardship — Help this final push to remove the last of an old, down, ugly and dangerous fence from the wild-and-scenic North Black Rock Range.


Friday, August 26 — Sunday, August 28   Santa Rosa Wilderness stewardship project

Stewardship — Details for this project are yet to be finalized. One thing for sure, it includes a trip to a beautiful part of Wild Nevada.


Contact Friends at (775) 324-7667 or by email for more information or to RSVP for a project.

More projects will be announced as they are scheduled. See later emails and the stewardship events page.