Ravenswood

Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District27844221145_49b22fb79c_z.jpg

Current LWC Status: Proposed

Acres: 34,470

State Region: West Central

County: Lander

Managing Agency

Bureau of Land Management

Battle Mountain District Office

50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820

(775) 635-4000

Battle Mountain District BLM Website

Area Description:

Ravenswood LWC is an impressive parcel of forested mountains located in central Nevada.  The unit sits directly west of highway 305, and is approximately 30 miles north of Austin near the Reese River Narrows.  As the name might suggest, much of the area is covered in thick forest and has a very remote feel.  This is an immense natural area with beautiful scenery, and is very characteristic of the central Great Basin.

Throughout the area rugged hills and rolling terrain gradually gain elevation towards Ravenswood Peak and Manhattan Mountain, which are both located near the center of the unit.  These mountains are tall and bulky, with no rivals in their immediate vicinity.  Rising to elevations above 8000 feet, both mountains are free from trees and compose several summits.  Rhyolitic rock outcrops dot these high ridgelines and peaks, adding some roughness to the landscape.  As elevation gradually lessens, much of the land is composed of shales and slates, allowing for rolling terrain with little interruption in the form of cliffs or large rock.  The exception to this is along the unit’s eastern side, where several dramatic cliff faces and deep canyons form the flanks of Ravenswood Peak. This is truly a unique piece of Nevada desert.

These mountains rise above the surrounding landscape, presenting a scenic and dramatic slice of the Great Basin.  Steep slopes, dense forest, and uninterrupted desert vistas stretch across this LWC, which is outstandingly natural.  Across the unit, especially along its southwestern extents, thick woodlands grace the hills and lend this area its foreboding name.  Here, pinion pines and junipers create a lush environment that is rarely visited and undisturbed by humans.  While this forest is most imposing near the area’s southern boundary, these woods stretch across the LWC.  This forest is an excellent example of central Nevada woodlands, and is very intact throughout these mountains.  Sagebrush is also widespread throughout the unit, and can be found intermingled with rabbit brush, great basin wild rye, mormon tea, greasewood, service berry, and other vegetation.  These bushes and grasses form an understory throughout the forest, and carpet the landscape where it is devoid of trees.  In contrast to this lush vegetation, a few portions of the unit appear to have experienced recent wildfire.  While such events are powerful and destructive, this is a naturally occurring disaster.  The hulking remains of burned trees dot these locations, and overall the area is recovering well.  Native grasses and small brush is returning to the hillsides, and will soon have reclaimed the land.  Other natural forces are also in control here, with evidence of flooding, rock fall, and landslides across the region.  This is an extensive natural area, shaped by the wild forces of the Great Basin, and quickly reclaimed by nature.  It is clear that humans are not in control here.

Dense forest throughout the area enhances opportunities for solitude as well, mirroring the somewhat foreboding essence of this LWC’s name.  Time seems to stand still within these woods, and a person feels quite removed from the outside world.  Each clearing within this forest provides its own unique space, and allows explores a sense of complete isolation.  There is practically no noise except for the sound of wind through the trees, and a visit to these lands is often a bit eerie.  This is the kind of place that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  You never know what wild creatures might be lurking a short distance away, and you’re never quite sure what you might come to within the woods; but you are sure to experience it alone.  One could wander this forest for days without seeing signs of other humans, become completely and utterly lost, and regain a sense of the real world.  This is the place to get in touch with nature, oneself, and the essence of space and time.  There are few other places that feel as removed from the cares of modern society, and allow as much personal freedom as here.  
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