The Wild Speaker Series is a monthly meeting in Las Vegas hosted by Friends of Nevada Wilderness. We invite local experts in their field to talk, demonstrate or discuss current conservation issues with our community. Since its beginning in February 2015 we've seen some fascinating presentations and watched attendance grow. Please join us at REI in Boca Park every first Thursday at 7 pm for a new speaker every month, everyone is welcome!
July 6, 2017 - "Emerging infectious disease and the imperiled relict leopard frog"
Anthony Waddle is a graduate student at UNLV studying the rare Relict Leopard Frog (once thought to be extinct) and effects of chytridiomycosis. We'll hear about what he's been findings in the lab and the plight of this desert inhabitant.
August 3, 2017 - "The illegal capture and sale of our desert reptiles"
Jason Jones is a Herpatologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife. He will inform Friends about the commercial collection of reptiles for sale in pet shops and online. This illegal trade is very lucrative but also very dangerous to the delicate desert ecosystem. Come learn how this illegal trade effects you and what steps can be done to slow or halt this industry.
Reid Wolcott was back to guide us through forecasting thunderstorms during monsoon season and how technical forecasting can be.
> Nick Saines explained the evidence in Kyle Canyon that supports Pleistocene era glaciation of the Spring Mountains in his talk: Glaciers in Las Vegas?!
Jim Boone gave us a tour of Gold Butte through pictures and his incredibly useful website birdandhike.com.
Reid Wolcott from the National Weather Service described the basics of Meteorology. We came away understanding that watching weather patterns and forecasting the weather is very complex and relies on global cooperation to be effective. Friends of Nevada Wilderness is a Weather-Ready Ambassador!
Thomas Valencia Education and Outreach Specialist with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area went over some of the Wilderness areas in the area and popular spots to explore.
The weather was perfect for low elevation hiking so Jesy Simons with Friends of Nevada Wilderness talked about a few little known places to visit in one of the wildest places in Southern Nevada, the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Everyone was also reminded to submit comments about the LEIS proposing the Air Force take over control of the Refuge. #SaveDNWR
The project leader for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Christy Smith, introduced us to the 4 Wildlife Refuges around Las Vegas and we learned from Jose Witt all about the recent push by the military to take over much of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge just north of town. #DontBombtheBighorn
Howard Watts from the Great Basin Water Network joined us to talk about the state of water in Nevada, what we can expect in the future and some of the water laws that Nevadans work with.
< A group of Wildland Fire Fighters with the US Forest Service discussed tools & techniques for fighting wildfire on National Forests across the United States. Stories of their personal experiences gave us a glimpse into this very specialized profession.
Reid Wolcott is a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service and he discussed types of clouds, how thunderstorms are created, and what recreationists need to know to be prepared for weather.
> Laura Rosales is a member of the National Speleological Society, part of the local group Professor of Geology at UNLV, Dr. Melissa Giovanni, guided us through time as we looked back at the layers of rock displayed in the Grand Canyon.Southern Nevada Grotto and a professor at Nevada State College. She's an experienced caver and she shared some of the most unique caves she's explored in her talk "Going Under: Caves of Nevada and Beyond".
Kerry Holcomb, Endangered Species Biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, discussed his current research of highway underpass use by wildlife, specifically Desert Tortoise.
UNLV Professor of Ecology Dr. Scott Abella helped us celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service going over his new book Conserving America's National Parks.
< Jim Boone, the creator of Bird and Hike.com, gave us tips on how and where to plan our next Gold Butte adventure. Everyone was excited to go!
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is a spectacular area and well-kept secret right next to the city of Henderson! Friends of Sloan Canyon introduced the area, talked about the history & recreation as well as the changes expected in Sloan Canyon NCA.
Nita Tallent from the National Park Service talked about invasive and noxious plants species in her presentation Aliens in Our Backyard: Who Invited You Anyway?
Friends of Gold Butte Executive Director Jaina Moan introduced us to Gold Butte, Nevada's Piece of the Grand Canyon!
> One of the most iconic endangered species in the world and certainly in Southern Nevada, the Devil's Hole Pupfish was the topic, discussed by USFWS Senior Fish Biologist Lee Simons.
In recognition of the 51st Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, John Hiatt recapped the creation of the Wilderness Act and the historical figures that made it happen.
Before there was a Basin and Range National Monument, Jim Boone introduced us to this huge piece of the Great Basin that's so characteristic of Nevada's landscapes.
< Jason Jones, Herpetologist for Nevada Department of Wildlife held a fascinating introduction to the United States only venomous lizard, the Gila Monster.
Nevadans for Cultural Preservation discussed the pieces of ancient and more recent history that can be found throughout the state of Nevada.
> Trail's Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service Spring Mountains National Recreation Area held a question and answer session about the Carpenter 1 Fire of 2013 and the status of one of it's casualties, the South Loop Trail.