Friends Receives National Recognition for Advocacy & Stewardship Programs

September 27, 2021 - On behalf of our small army of dedicated volunteers, Friends has accepted three awards so far in 2021 for our work advocating for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and our stewardship of wild lands in Nevada.

Earlier this month, the Coalition for Recreational Trails chose the Griffith Peak Trail Rebuild project as the winner of the CRT’s Annual Achievement Award for Outstanding Use of Recreational Trails Program funds in the Public-Private Partnerships and Access to/Use of Public Lands category.  A virtual awards ceremony will be held November 10th to celebrate award winners in all categories.

CRT is a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations. Its members work together to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, which returns federal gasoline taxes paid by off-highway recreationists to the states for trail development and maintenance.

In April, Friends of Nevada Wilderness Executive Director Shaaron Netherton and former Southern Nevada Director Jose Witt received coveted national recognition for their advocacy of permanent protection for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Nevada.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) announced that Netherton and Witt are receiving the annual Refuge Advocate of the Year Award for their leadership in creating and leading a coalition of organizations opposed to further expansion of the Nellis Test and Training Range into the Refuge. They were nominated for the award by Refuge Complex Manager Kevin DesRoberts. An awards ceremony is planned in November in Washington, D.C.

Then in May, Friends the 2021 “Group Excellence” award in the Bureau of Land Management’s annual Making a Difference National Volunteer Award competition. The Southern Nevada BLM district office nominated Friends in recognition of our partnership to conserve wild public lands and keep them accessible to the public.

According to the BLM, the annual awards recognize exceptional volunteers who have contributed to improving our public lands. “These exceptional volunteers help…care for cultural artifacts   and provide environmental education, interpretation, and visitor services, as well as countless other tasks vital to the BLM and our public lands.”

Congratulations to the Southern Nevada crew and all of the tireless, passionate volunteers who continue to give back to their public lands.

The award-winning volunteer crew on the Griffith Peak Trail
Photo by Grace Palermo

Southern Nevada Director Grace Palermo and Southern Stewardship Coordinator Peter Sbraccia
accept the BLM’s “Group Excellence” award

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