Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District
Current LWC Status: Proposed
State Region: West Central
Bureau of Land Management
Battle Mountain District Office
50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820
The core of the unit is comprised by 13-mile limestone backbone of the Sulphur Springs Range. This rugged range towers to an elevation over 8000 feet and is heavily covered by a dense pinion/juniper woodland. Craggy limestone outcrops and cliffs can be found throughout the unit and impenetrable thickets of mountain mahogany can be found associated with the limestone formations. Bitter brush is also found throughout the unit. The volcanic intrusion of Bald Mountain creates a striking contrast with the limestone landscape and provides soils more conducive to sagebrush meadows. Other volcanic intrusions create the rolling foothills on both the east and west margins of the unit. These lower elevations include scattered stands of pinion/juniper interspaced with sagebrush, rabbit brush, and a host of grass lands comprised of squirrel tail, rice grass, great basin wild rye, and crested wheat grass. Several springs within or adjacent to the unit provide critical water resources for wildlife. Wildlife is abundant here, as evidenced by ample scat and other signs. Mule deer is the predominate herbivores, while smaller animals are also plentiful. Reptiles, rodents, and predators all exist here in this rich ecosystem. Birds of prey roost in the many cliffs and rocks, and can often be seen soaring high above. Ravens and other members of the jay family are frequent visitors. Smaller sage and pinon habitat birds nest here as well. This unit provides sage grouse habitat. Several recent fires have burnt along the lower, northwestern flank of the unit.
Dense stands of pinion and juniper found scattered throughout the canyons and the aprons of this unit provide outstanding opportunities for solitude and for finding secluded spots. The convoluted terrain of the rugged backbone of this unit combines with nearly 2000 feet of vertical relief adds a deeper dimension to the outstanding opportunities for solitude in this unit. The highest elevations rise far above the surrounding roads and valleys and provide seclusion in craggy rock outcrops and among stands of mountain mahogany. Out here one gets a sense that they are truly alone. It is quiet except for wind through the hills and the occasional call of animals.
Nearly every inch of this unit is accessible to the visitor with the determination and skills to traverse trackless wilderness. Hiking and backpacking the rugged 13 mile crest of this unit provides a challenging and outstanding opportunity primitive and unconfined recreation. Many birds and wildlife are present as well, providing opportunities for viewing and excellent hunting. Mule deer, chukar, are some of the animals available for game. Rock scrambling routes abound in the solid limestone canyons, ridges, and along the crest of the unit. Here the rock is firm and has plentiful holds. Rock alcoves and shallow caves present opportunities for shelter and exploration. Other activities include: cross country skiing; snowshoeing; orienteering, landscape painting and sketching; rock scrambling; hiking; orienteering; backpacking; rock hounding; geological sight-seeing, bird watching; primitive camping; horseback riding, hunting, and nature studies.
The wildness, remoteness, and natural integrity of this unit provide unparalleled opportunities for studies in natural history, geology, and ecology. The limestone ridges of the unit provide outstanding examples of sedimentary geological structures. The limestone and volcanic contact zones within the unit provide rockhounds with the opportunity to study the mineral assemblages associated mineral intrusions.