Bureau of Land Management
Introduced in the Draft Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act; April 7, 2023
The Granite Banjo Wilderness is part of the traditional homelands and life-ways of the Nuumu (Northern Paiute) people.
Anyone who has ever driven along the State Route 447 or Highway 34 in northern Washoe County near Gerlach cannot help but be awed by the legendary landmark mountain massif called the Granite Range. As you travel more closely to this extremely scenic and wonderfully rugged range, the beautiful sheer granite walls and towering peaks along the high ridge line appear to rocket into the bright blue sky. Granite Peak leaps skyward over five thousand feet from the valley floor to the highest rampart. Granite Peak, at nearly 9,000 feet, is the highest point of this range. A natural and historic feature called "the Banjo" can be found in the northern part of the range. The Granite Range supports high altitude drifts and pockets of snow well into the hottest summer days. The Granite Range is one of the most revered and iconic mountains in all of Nevada and forms a scenic backdrop and the first welcome evening-shadow from the blazing summer sun for the throngs of Burning Man participants.
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Winnemucca Field Office
Address: 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard Winnemucca, NV 89445
Phone: (775) 623-1500
On April 7, 2023, Senator Rosen released a working draft of the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act. A portion of this act includes Wilderness protection for 30,004 acres of the Granite Banjo with an additional 10,983 acres of the Granite Range withdrawn from mining, leasing, and all forms of development to protect the wildlife habitat and the ecological integrity if the area (see Map).
The May 1979 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Draft Initial Inventory outlined the Granite Mountain unit as "115,840 acres of which 13,440 acres are private" (NV-020-011) for intensive wilderness study. By the April 1980 Proposed Wilderness Study Areas Inventory Report, the Granite Range has simply vanished from the inventory list, the area is believed to have been dropped because of the high number of private acres. The Jaksick purchases that were acquired in the Granite Range in 2008 with Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) funds, led the BLM to reevaluated the Granite Range in 2009 and identified 42,700 acres as meeting the criteria for Wilderness Character. Friends of Nevada Wilderness will continue to work for Congressional protection of the Granite Range and continue their commitment to stewardship for this incredible area through resource and dark sky monitoring, along with various mapping projects in the region. Learn more about the conservation of the Granite Range in the Additional Resources tab to the left.