Campaigns

Save the Stillwater Wildlands

Your Action is Urgently Needed…

The military wants to shut you out of more than 350,000 acres of valuable public land YOU own in order to expand the Fallon Naval Air Station bombing range across six counties in Nevada.

Will you sign our petition asking your members of Congress to turn down this current proposal from the military?  

The Navy’s Fallon Range Training Complex is seeking to withdraw and reserve for military use approximately 606,685 acres of public lands managed by the BLM - and closing 359,928 of those acres to the public. If successful, this will increase military-controlled lands in the area to nearly 1,000 square miles - quadrupling their area of control from 239,575 acres. Their proposal includes the elimination of 74,400 acres of Wilderness Study Areas in parts of the Clan Alpine Mountain, Job Peak and Stillwater Range WSAs. We think Wilderness designation is a better option for conservation AND the military! Rather than getting rid of portions of WSAs, urge the military to support full Wilderness designation for the five WSAs surrounding their proposed expansions.

This is military over reach. Please tell your elected representatives the Navy needs to come back with a measured proposal that protects national defense while preserving the resources we value in Nevada.

The public comment period has been extended until February 14, 2019. 

Read more for details below.

Watch the Stealth Land Grab Video (produced prior to the draft EIS release- there have been some changes) to see what's at stake! 

Save the Desert National Wildlife Refuge!

The Latest:

It’s Time to Show Up to Save the Desert National Wildlife Refuge!

The Nevada State Senate is holding a hearing on Senate Joint Resolution 3, opposing the military expansion into more of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge

We need you to show up and show your support for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and Senate Joint Resolution 3, which urges our Congressional delegation to OPPOSE the military takeover of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. There are two options available for those who wish to support in Northern and Southern Nevada!

There are two opportunities to show up at the Nevada Legislature and show your support for the Desert Refuge and Nevada's wildlife: March 5 (Senate) and March 6 (Assembly), both at 4 pm. Show up and sign in and register your support!

When: Tuesday, March 5th  at 4pm & Wednesday, March 6th  at 4pm

Where: Room 2144 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St. in Carson City. Southern Nevada supporters can attend the video conferenced hearing in Las Vegas at the Grant Sawyer Building at 555 E. Washington Ave.

What: We are calling on our supporters to show up in Carson City or Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 5, to support Senate Joint Resolution 3, which urges our Congressional delegation to OPPOSE the military takeover of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

Why: DNWR is the largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states, exhibits a stunning diversity of plant and animal life and includes some of the highest value bighorn sheep habitat in the country. We must speak in a loud voice to get the bi-partisan support needed to get the resolution passed, and help convince Congress that Nevada values our wildlife, our unique desert environment, and open access to our public lands.

It’s crunch time! We want to pack these hearing rooms, so please join us if you possibly can. We need your help to stop this destructive military takeover and save the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and public access!

Read the Resolution: SJR 3 - Senator Melanie Schieble sponsor

Below is the actual language from the resolution directed to our members of Congress:

RESOLVED  BY  THE SENATE  AND ASSEMBLY  OF  THE STATE  OF NEVADA, JOINTLY, That the  members  of  the  80th  Session  of  the Nevada  Legislature  strongly  oppose  the  range  of  alternatives  and sub-alternatives   set   forth   in   the  final  legislative  environmental impact statement, especially Alternative 2 and Alternative 3C given that their approval by Congress would result in an unacceptable loss of  public  access  to  and  in  the  degradation  of  the  Desert  National Wildlife Refuge; and be it further RESOLVED, That the members of the 80th Session of the Nevada Legislature urge Congress to work collaboratively with all interested parties to develop a compromise alternative that would both enhance training  opportunities  for  the  United  States  Air  Force  and  continue to provide essential protections for Nevada’s wildlife and outdoor recreational experiences for Nevadans and visitors;

 

NOTE:

Our elected officials are on a time constraint and will not be able to hear everyone's comment during the hearings. We urge you to send in a personal comment using the state legislature's website.

Submit your comment online:  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/80th2019/

Type in SJR3, then select “In Favor” and you can also add additional comments and your personal information.


As the military proposal to takeover much of the Desert Refuge grinds on, we've been working hard with our elected leaders, state and federal, to educate them on the issue. We've been providing tours to the Refuge so they know exactly what is at stake. It's likely that Congress will be taking this issue on this spring and will keep you posted. Meanwhile, check out our new video "Refuge" below. 

October 17, 2018: 

The military JUST dropped the final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. This bomb of a proposal was ironically released during National Wildlife Refuge Week; what a way to celebrate the destruction of one of the largest, most intact and wild refuges in the lower 48. I hope you are as outraged as we are! At first glance it does not appear that the military listened to the 32,000 comments submitted during the draft process or at the public meetings, rejecting their expansion proposals and opposing the shutting down of public access. 

Here are the links to the military proposal:

Final LEIS Documents:  http://www.nttrleis.com/final_documents.aspx

General Website:  http://www.nttrleis.com

Save The Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Save The Desert National Wildlife Refuge Pt. 2

Donate to help Backcountry Pictures produce more webisodes on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

October 31, 2018: The Desert Refuge makes NPR's State of Nevada

Our Southern Nevada Director, Jose Witt, appears on NPR's State of Nevada expert panel to express how military expansion into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge will impact the public and why it must not be allowed.

Read full article and download the audio on the NPR State of Nevada Website here.


DON'T BOMB THE BIGHORN UPDATE: The desert bighorn sheep thank you for your outpouring of support for them and for their home in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge!

In total, 32,000 of us sent comments to the Air Force in favor of keeping the Desert National Wildlife Refuge as it stands today! This amazing accomplishment is thanks to people like you. The comment period and public meetings are over, but our work to protect the refuge still has a long way to go. We will continue working with our Nevada Congressional delegation, the media, local elected officials and others to show strong support for permanent protection of the Desert Refuge as Wilderness. "Don't Bomb the Bighorn!"

The Desert National Wildlife Refuge,  just outside the city lights of Las Vegas, is nearly 1.6 million acres and home to one of Nevada’s largest desert bighorn sheep populations. In 1971, about 1.2 million acres of the Desert Refuge were proposed as Wilderness by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Immediately threatened by this round of military expansion is the broader Sheep Range proposed Wilderness (Sheep Range, Las Vegas Range, Gass Peak).

Yucca trees and the Sheep Range

On December 7, 2017, the military released their Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) with details on how much more of the refuge and proposed Wilderness they want to take over - it is a LOT!  Hundreds of you turned out to the military's public meetings in January and 32,000 comments went into the military opposing their expansion by the end of the comment period in March. We have been working feverishly to ensure that the word is out about what is happening just north of Las Vegas in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

The Air Force still wants to withdraw an additional 300,000 acres of the Desert Refuge to add to their monstrous 2.9 million acre Nevada Testing & Training Range! We will need to continue the fight! 

The Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS)  for the proposed expansion of the Nevada Testing and Training Range into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge was officially released October 26, 2018. Since it has been released, a motion for a congressional vote on which alternatives to pass can be introduced at any time! We are determined to put the pressure on our Nevada elected officials to stand up for the Desert Refuge by exercising the status quo alternative which keeps the refuge open for public access. 

If you haven't already, please sign our Save The Desert petition to our Nevada Congressional Delegation.  We're also urging all opponents of this expansion to directly contact your elected representatives.  Let's tell them #DontBombTheBighorn!!

Wild Washoe Under Attack by Washoe County Commissioners

granites_west1_bbeffort.jpg

Urgent Action is needed NOW. Washoe County Commissioners and their proposed legislation would strip away meaningful conservation protections from our beautiful Wilderness Study Areas in the county.

The 600,000 acres of Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in Washoe County are immediately threatened by actions proposed by Washoe County Commissioners. They are proposing to get rid of about 400,000 acres of these Wilderness Study Areas and designate only about 150,000 acres of them as Wilderness.

Please write or email your Washoe County Commissioner:

Washoe County Commissioners, 1001 E. Ninth St. Building A, Reno, NV 89512

Not sure who your commissioner is?  Find out here.   

 

Pershing County Public Lands Bill

PershingCounty_ReconMarch16_kkuznicki_8099_copy.jpgFriends of Nevada Wilderness is proud to work with members of the Nevada delegation to advance a comprehensive lands bill for Pershing County that aims to conserve important areas as wilderness and provide economic development for the County. This bill will ensure the permanent protection of 136,072 acres of wilderness, while also providing tools to help resolve the checkerboard land issue. Take action to support a Pershing County public lands bill by clicking here!

Clark County Public Lands Campaign

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has been participating with Clark County staff along with other conservation organizations, to provide information on Wilderness quality lands that need protection in Clark County.

Clark County developed a draft resolution on what they would like to see in a public lands bill. On June 5, 2018 they held a public open house to allow the public to review their draft proposal. The county had a 7-day public comment period that ended on June 12. On June 19th, Clark County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass that resolution to urge the Nevada Congressional delegation to begin drafting legislation regarding public lands development and conservation.

The County Commission has agreed to include about 82,000 acres of high value Wilderness in their proposal. This includes the Mt. Stirling Wilderness Study Area as well as expansions of a number of existing Wilderness areas such as Eldorado, Ireteba Peaks, South McCullough, and Muddy Mountains.

The resolution requests that our federally elected leaders consider expanding the disposal boundary of the Las Vegas Valley by about 44,000 acres and protect about 290,000 acres of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) in the valley to help balance development.

Shortly after passage, Senator Cortez-Masto released a press release stating, “I look forward to working with the Commission, members of our Congressional delegation, and stakeholders across Nevada to develop balanced federal legislation that meets the county’s needs, prioritizes smart growth, and invests in conservation.” Friends of Nevada Wilderness and other conservation organizations have been working with county staff to identify conservation measures and appreciate their outreach and partnership. You can read her full statement by following this link.

Protect the Integrity of the Wilderness Act

mtn_bikecropped.PNGIn a recent push to undermine one of our most bedrock conservation laws, the Wilderness Act of 1964, some congressional representatives are seeking to open Wilderness areas up to mountain bikes - an activity specifically prohibited by the Wilderness Act. Learn more how you can take action to maintain the integrity of the Wilderness Act here.

 

In Defense of National Monuments

Monument-ads-Gold-Butte.jpgFrom the Statue of Liberty to the California Coast, National Monuments protect our nation's history, cultural heritage, threatened and endangered wildlife, scenic vistas, and thriving oceans. The Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, gives presidents the authority to safeguard and preserve federal lands as National Monuments for all Americans to enjoy. Sixteen presidents from both parties have used this authority to protect stunning lands and oceans across America including right here in Nevada. Great Basin National Park was originally designated as a National Monument in 1922 and in 2016, Nevada received two more National Monuments - Basin and Range and Gold Butte. However, threats to this bedrock conservation law and to national monuments across the country continue to grow. Learn more about the campaign to defend Nevada's National Monuments and how you can take action!

Keep Public Lands in Public Hands

BitterRidgeSouth_LWC_kkuznicki_7101.jpgAmerica’s 640 million acres of federal public lands are the backbone of our rich outdoor heritage. However, some extremist politicians would like to sell off YOUR public lands to the highest bidder and close off access forever. Please join us in the continued fight to keep public lands in public hands. Continue reading for more information on recent public land victories in the Nevada State Legislature and in Congress to #KeepItPublic.

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