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 Cedars South unit is located directly northeast of State highway 305. These lands comprise the southern-most extent of the Shoshone Range. This long chain of mountains runs north/south across central Nevada, terminating just northeast of the Reese River. While there are no actual Cedars within the unit, much of the area is composed of rolling hills and bluffs, which are covered by a beautiful juniper forest.
This foreboding landscape is arid and ledgy, capped by tall mesas and rugged rock. Further north, the landscape becomes more rolling and hilly, with highpoints across the LWC reaching elevations above 6000 feet. Scattered junipers cover the landscape, and this beautiful forest becomes denser further north. Wooded hills continue into the adjacent North Cedars LWC, which is a separate area but feels very connected.
Wild natural forces have shaped the landscape, and have covered any other traces of past human intrusions. A perfect example of this is the unit’s northern boundary, which has nearly been reclaimed by vegetation growth and flooding. Wind and water have continually molded this desert environment, cutting through the cliffs and bluffs to create dramatic canyons and wild scenery. In addition, dense juniper forest covers much of the area’s interior and lends it a remote and untamed feel. Elsewhere, the rocky landscape is carpeted by sagebrush, rabbit brush, great basin wild rye, and other native vegetation.
Wildlife that inhabits these hills include a wide array of species, ranging in size and disposition. Most common are small rodents and reptiles, including numerous jackrabbits and cottontails, mice, lizards, and snakes. Birds of prey also exist here, finding plenty of food in the form of these small creatures. Cliffy terrain, bluffs, and thick forest provide a home for these spectacular creatures, which can be frequently spotted circling high above the hills. Smaller birds are also common here, especially within the thick shrubs and vegetation found along the Reese River and other canyon bottoms. This unit is also host to general Greater Sage Grouse Habitat. Larger mammals also call this area home, with antelope and mule deer frequently spotted amongst the valley flats or hiding within the regions forest. Although elusive, it is also likely that the regions forested yet rocky terrain provides a habitat for foxes, bobcats, and mountain lions.
The region is mostly silent apart from the wind in the trees, or occasional birdsong. Visitors are unlikely to have company within this area, apart from the wild beasts that inhabit the lands. Time also seems to slow down, and the cares of modern society are easily forgotten. This is a primeval place, dominated by natural forces and rich in beauty. Visitors will revel in the dramatic topography and deep gorges that grace the southern portion of the unit, and quickly realize that they are entirely alone. This is an arid and desolate landscape which blends in to the surrounding desert, and is capable of making visitors feel small compared to the scale and remoteness of the Great Basin.
The southern end of the unit, adjacent to the Reese River Narrows provides outstanding opportunities for exploring rugged terrain, interesting canyons, and rock climbing and scrambling on the numerous nearby cliffs and rocky outcrops.
Archeological lithic fragments can be found within this unit. Although intermittent, the Reese River has provided water for many generations of different people and has also played an important role in travel throughout the area. This canyon cuts the Shoshone Range and Shoshone Mountains, and shows signs of historical use including a very old railroad grade. This railroad was used extensively during the boom days of Austin, Nevada, transporting people from nearby Battle Mountain.