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The wilderness that has come to us from the eternity of the past we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future.
-Howard Zahniser

We'd like to pay special homage to Howard Zahniser, the principal author of the Wilderness Act, who was born on this day, February 25th. Zahniser's ceaseless dedication and hard work to preserve our nation's wilderness areas culminated in the Wilderness Act fifty years ago and created the National Wilderness Preservation System that we enjoy to this day. He lived and breathed wilderness and fought tirelessly for the Wilderness Act for almost ten years. Overall, he penned 60 drafts before the final language was enacted. He was so passionate about his work that he even commissioned a tailor to create a special coat with numerous pockets to carry copies his legislation - just so he could give them to everyone he met.

 Nevada's 68 wilderness areas would not have been designated without Howard Zahniser's relentless dedication and passion to wilderness. Happy Birthday, Howard!

save-the-date-bday.jpg Save the Date: Guess who else is having a birthday? Friends of Nevada Wilderness! We're celebrating 30 years of keeping Nevada wild and we want you to be there. We're hosting a very special birthday celebration at our Sparks office on March 21 from 6pm-9pm. Please RSVP so we know how much food & refreshments to provide!

Your Testimony to Wild Nevada

"We believe in the power of story to bypass political rhetoric and pierce the heart. We live in the geography of hope."
-Terry Tempest Williams and Stephen Trimble

Jarbidge: Nevada's first wilderness area designated 50 years ago,
thanks to Zahniser's work. Photo by Larry Dwyer

  In special tribute to the poetic language which formed the Wilderness Act, we are collecting stories...from you! Howard Zahniser proved that with enough passion, words can inspire millions.

Send us a few sentences (or a few pages!) as to why you love wilderness. Perhaps it's your favorite wild place in Nevada or wilderness in general...this is a great time to reflect on the past 50 years of wilderness in Nevada and give testimony to it. Let's have the power of story help shape the next 50 years of conservation in Nevada!

  Stories will be archived on our Testimony to Wild Nevada page and our favorites will be featured in our E-News & social media pages. You'll also have a chance to be included in PEW's "50 Years of the Wilderness Act" series while winning some great FNW & 50th Wilderness swag!

E-mail [email protected] to submit yours today!

Need some inspiration to get you writing? One of our very good friends in Las Vegas, Bill Huggins, sent us his very own testimony, VIVA LAS WILDERNESS! (click here to read the full story)

         "When I’m out in one of our protected areas I’m always amazed that there are so few people taking advantage of this opportunity. The diligent work of a hardcore group of wilderness lovers created something unique and magical (...)

            As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act, we should not allow ourselves to be idle in our advocacy. This is the work of generations. For without those small booted feet exploring these areas, who will take up the torch when it comes time to celebrate the legislation turning 100?"

Updates in Wild Nevada

Sweetheart "Love Seat" Removal

2-14-14_RED_ROCK__4.jpgPhoto by Jesy Simons

It was Ladies Day in the Red Rock National Conservation area where five industrious women made some great inroads in showing some love for wilderness. Jesy led up this fine team of women where they removed an old bench in White Rock Springs. The removal of the bench limits the number of structures in Wilderness and protects this sensitive riparian habitat from prolonged visits and litter. These ladies donated a total of about $440 of in-kind labor - way to go!! To view all the photos for this project, click here.

Full Moon Snowshoe Hike

Full_Moon_Snow_Shoe_4901_edited-1.jpgPhoto by Kurt Kuznicki

We couldn't think of a better opportunity to pledge our hearts to wilderness than on Valentine's Day! These intrepid snowshoers braved the biting wind and cold to join us on this unforgettable evening under the full moon near Mt. Rose Wilderness. Attendees learned about the work of Howard Zahniser and how his Wilderness Act led to the creation of Mt. Rose Wilderness 25 years later.

Getting the Youth Outdoors!


We are generating another force, never to be wholly spent, that, renewed generation after generation, will be always effective in preserving wilderness. - Howard Zahniser

This past Saturday, our Northern Nevada team hosted a guided hike for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, a non-profit organization designed to make meaningful matches between adult volunteers ("Bigs") and children currently facing adversity ("Littles"). We led 12 of these matches into Galena Forest, one of the gateway trails to Mt. Rose Wilderness, to discuss the ecology of the Humbolt-Toiyabe, teach Leave No Trace principles, and - most importantly - expose them to the benefits of spending time in wilderness areas. 

A very special thank you to our partners for making this day extra special: The Galena Visitor's Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the U.S. Forest Service, and our volunteers!

Arrow Canyon

Happy Birthday, Wilderness! Photo by Jose Witt

Our Southern Nevada team had a very busy weekend at Arrow Canyon! 24 volunteers - from all over the country - came out for the project, places as close as Las Vegas and Logandale, and as far as Salt Lake City, the California Bay Area, and even Wisconsin! The Sierra Club volunteers camped the night before in a Birthday celebration for the Wilderness Act and the next day, all of the volunteers worked to install 70 posts and actively restore .23 miles of old road. They finished the work with enough daylight to take a hike down to the old dam and see the petroglyphs in Arrow Canyon. Volunteers donated $3,720 of in-kind labor - what an incredible birthday present for the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act!

To view all the photos from the event, click here.

News from Sage-Grouse Country

Buffalo Hills: one of the several Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) under consideration.
Photo by Brian Beffort

   Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller bi-partisan solution to the potential listing of the greater sage-grouse on the Endangered Species List is quickly gaining momentum and we want to help keep it going!

We'd like to commend both Nevada Senators for coming to the table to find a solution that would provide regulatory certainty to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, in hopes of preventing the bird being listed or, at the very least, lessen the impacts to our State if a formal designation went through. The Senators have shown that Nevada takes the sage-grouse listing very seriously and that we're proactive in finding means to conserve its habitat and, therefore, its numbers.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is working hard to identify, map, and research all of the potential wildernesses which overlap quality sage-grouse habitat. We want to work with all stakeholders to ensure potential wilderness boundaries make sense.

Let's continue growing the momentum for this bill - Please take a few moments to sign this thank you letter to our Nevada Senators!

Upcoming Events


March 1 & 8, Spring Mtns. We are looking for volunteers to join us in the beautiful Spring Mountains National Recreation Area where we will be meeting new folks and introducing them to all we do at Friends of Nevada Wilderness.  If you've never tabled before, don't worry - there are no skills necessary...just a love for the outdoors!  For more information, contact Jesy at [email protected] or 530-598-0121.

March 17-21, Alternative Spring Break Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and students from UNLV for our 4th annual Alternative Spring Break.  Volunteers will spend 4 days camping on the Desert Refuge, doing restoration projects by day and listening to local educational speakers by night. This event is open to the public! For more information, contact Jose at [email protected] or 702-203-1720.

March 24: Lunar Crater Signing Project Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Palisade Mesa WSA as you help place Carsonite signs along its boundary. The excursion will also include hiking into the WSA to monitor wilderness characteristics. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

April 15, 19, 26 Desert Refuge Planting Now that volunteers have removed the invasive weeds in the area, we are offering a three-part series in helping plant native Prince's plume and screwbean mesquite trees. Join us for this all-ages, family-friendly event! RSVP for the first date here!


February 26, Wild Wednesday Our monthly Wild Wednesday event will once again be held tomorrow at Craft Wine & Beer in Midtown. This month's theme is all about the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act - join us in raising a glass to Howard Zahniser and the determined men and women who have shaped these last 50 years for a better wilderness preservation system.

March 21: 30th Birthday Bash Join us at our Sparks office for our kick-off 30th birthday celebration! With guest speakers, live music, delicious hors d’oeuvres and a very special birthday cake, this event will be sure to get you excited about what our volunteers have accomplished in the past 30 years and what's next for wild Nevada! RSVP today!

March 24: Lunar Crater Signing Project Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Palisade Mesa WSA as you help place Carsonite signs along its boundary. The excursion will also include hiking into the WSA to monitor wilderness characteristics. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

April 2: Tapas Night Big Horn Olive Oil Company is throwing us a birthday bash and you’re invited! Chefs from Reno’s top restaurants will create tapas appetizers using delicious Big Horn Olive Oil products and pairing them with unbelievable wine, beer, and champagne. Please purchase tickets in advance as this event will be sure to sell out!

For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.

Become a Member Today

"Philanthropy is the rent we pay for the joy and privilege we have for our space on this earth" - Jerold Panas

Become a member of Friends of Nevada Wilderness and support clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and opportunities for people to get out and enjoy the wonders of nature. Your generous donation will go towards getting volunteers on the ground in wilderness areas and providing critical protection for Nevada's wilderness areas. Membership levels begin at $25 per year.


Thank you!

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Friends of Nevada Wilderness · 1360 Greg St, Suite 111, Sparks, NV 89431, United States
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