October 17, 2018: Breaking News!
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
#DontBombtheBighorn: Save The Desert National Wildlife Refuge (Trailer)
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).
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 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!!
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
- Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commissioner Vaughn Hartung email@example.com
- Commissioner Jeanne Herman firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commissioner Kitty Jung email@example.com
- Commissioner Bob Lucey firstname.lastname@example.org
Not sure who your commissioner is? Find out here.
Senator Dean Heller appears to be launching an all-out attack on Nevada’s Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs). He is planning on introducing legislation soon that will remove Congressional protection for most of Nevada’s wildest and most beautiful WSAs. Places like the Park Range, Robert’s Mountain, Goshute and Morey Peak could see mining, oil and gas leasing or power lines. These WSAs are some of the most remote, beautiful and sensitive landscapes managed for us by the BLM in Nevada. They are truly the best of the best and the BLM was directed by Congress to protect these areas' Wilderness values until Congress determined whether or not to designate them as Wilderness. Nevada has about 63 Wilderness Study Areas remaining, totaling 2.5 million acres scattered throughout the state. We must keep them as Wilderness Study Areas until a public lands process carefully reviews each and every area with full public involvement. Our Congressional delegation has done this many times in the past, working in a bi-partisan manner to involve us all. Heller’s attempt to circumvent public involvement is shameful!
Take Action now: Call Senator Heller’s office in Reno 775-686-5770 or in Las Vegas 702-388-6605 and tell him you do not want him to get rid of BLM’s Wilderness Study Areas!
The military wants your public lands! Please watch the Stealth Land Grab Video and be prepared to turn out for public meetings later this fall. More details coming.
The Fallon Range Training Complex is seeking to withdraw and reserve for military use approximately 604,789 acres of public land. Their expansion proposal overlaps several wild areas of northern Nevada including portions of the three wilderness study areas managed by the BLM: the Stillwater Range, Job Peak, and the Clan Alpine Mountains. The expansion would also include portions of the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and several Friends of Nevada Wilderness' proposals for lands with wilderness characteristics units currently managed by the BLM. Learn more about the proposed expansion and how it will affect YOUR public access.
Friends 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!
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.
Public Comment Period has Closed!
The BLM has closed the public comment period for the Revised Draft Southern Nevada District Resource Management Plan (RMP). This revision will focus on:
• Renewable energy
• Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
• Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
• Land Disposals
This page will be updated when the revised draft is released. More information can be found here. A map of the area covered by the RMP can be found here. All reports and documents associated with the update, including the Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Inventory can be found here.
In 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.
From 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!
America’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.