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
This unit lies in the Simpson Park Range in Lander County, Nevada. The unit is dominated by the Bates Mountain plateau in the center of the area. Two large drainages within the unit, in Ackerman and Steiner Canyons, support perennial streams. A pinyon-juniper woodland surrounds the two drainages. Numerous springs can be found throughout the unit. The high plateau of Bates Mountain supports numerous groves of aspen trees. Long, linear stands of aspen creep down the drainages cutting through the volcanic stair-step mesas along the west side of the central plateau. The low sage community of the western slopes and alluvial fans of the unit provides high quality habitat for pronghorn while the wide-open, big-brush community atop the plateau creates prime mule deer habitat. Elevations within the unit vary from 6,000 feet to over 9,000 feet atop the Bald Mountain Plateau.
Wildlife is abundant here, as evidenced by ample scat and other signs. Mule deer and wild horses seem to be the predominant herbivores, while smaller animals are also plentiful. The inventory crew reported seeing a mountain lion atop the Bald Mountain plateau. Reptiles, rodents, and predators all exist here in this rich ecosystem. Birds of prey can often be seen soaring high above. Smaller sage birds nest here as well, in addition to the numerous common song birds along the riparian areas
The volcanic tablelands comprising the lower elevations provide opportunities for visitors to vanish by climbing over the numerous rim rock formations. The majority of the unit is comprised of convoluted landscape characterized by twisting canyons and drainages. This is truly a remote and isolated place.
Nearly every inch of this unit is accessible to the visitor with the determination and skills to traverse trackless wilderness. The numerous springs, groves, and hills provide outstanding destinations for hiking and backpacking. Many birds and wildlife are present as well, providing opportunities for viewing and excellent hunting. Mule deer, chukar, and antelope are some of the animals available for game. Scrambling routes also exist throughout the unit in the numerous volcanic rims and formations. Days of exploration could be spent wandering these mountains and taking in the magnificent scenery. The area is extremely photogenic, especially in fall when the aspen forests cover the landscape with hues of red, gold, green and chocolate brown. Winter activities for primitive and unconfined recreation are truly outstanding. The broad, high-altitude plateau where deep snows can linger long into the spring provides visitors with outstanding opportunities for multiday, winter expeditions. This high, remote landscape is perfect for crosscountry skiing, snowshoeing and winter orienteering.
The southern portion of the unit is adjacent to the Hickison Summit Petroglyph Site and is known to contain archaeological sites. The southern portion of this route also contains the historic Pony Express route and a very old abandoned historic constructed route. A historic wild horse corral has been found within this unit.