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March 19, 2010

Walkin Jim on his 2009 Nevada trek
Walkin Jim on his 2009 Nevada trek

Walkin' Jim's return engagement to Reno

Hiking minstrel inspires audiences with sights, live music and tales from the wild — Saturday, April 17

Walkin' Jim Stoltz has hiked nearly 28,000 miles along the wilderness trails of North America. Trekking inspires all of his funny, touching and revealing tales and songs from the heart.

Jim's show is much more than a concert. It combines live music and poetry with stunning, multi-image slides to create a stirring celebration of the natural world.

This is your chance to spend an evening with this most remarkable troubadour and lover of places wild. You will feel the sand, hear the rattlers and encounter bear and other wildlife en route to an extraordinary wild adventure.

April 17, 2009, live at the Maytan Music Center, you are invited to laugh, cry and become re-inspired about the wild that is right here just outside your Nevada backdoor.

Maytan 50th logoPlace: Maytan Music Center
777 South Center Street
Reno, Nevada 89501

Date: Saturday, April, 17

Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Tickets: $15.00 each — are available by:

phone: (775) 324-7667
fax: (775) 324-2677    order form for FAX or MAIL
Friends of Nevada Wilderness
PO Box 9754
Reno, NV 89507
in person: 1 Booth Street (at Idlewild), Reno
also at: Maytan Music Center, 777 S Center St, Reno Google map to Maytan Music Center

Hope to see you there!

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TWO Seasonal Wilderness jobs with Friends: these are paid positions


Position 1: Spring Mountains / Las Vegas, Nevada

Application deadline: April 2, 2010

Length of employment: May to end of September 2010
Details and apply for LAS VEGAS JOB.


Position 2: Mt Rose / Reno, Nevada

Application deadline: May 3, 2010

Length of employment: End of May to October 11, 2010
Details and apply for RENO JOB.

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Invasive weed training

Learn how to identify invasive weeds
Free for committed volunteers

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is offering interested volunteers the chance to get trained in weed identification, taught by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. This spring, in the Mt Rose Wilderness and other areas around the state, volunteers and staff will be hitting the trails to identify and eradicate non-native invasive plants. We need more volunteers, and if you commit to spending some time in Mt Rose assisting the Carson Ranger District to document invasive weeds, then we will pay for this training. Both trainings are open.

The classes will be held in Reno, with videoconference options in Carson City and Gardnerville. Please take a look at the flyer for more details. RSVP with Wes Hoskins Forest Project Coordinator at 775-324-7667 or by email.


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Spring at Wall Canyon
Spring at Wall Canyon © Brian Beffort

Home Camp ranch acquisition helps Wall Canyon WSA

Long-term protection for the Wall Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA), just moved a little closer with the BLM's purchase of the Home Camp ranch located in northern Washoe County. At 14,824 acres, this wildlife-rich area is the second-largest land acquisition made under the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act. Friends of Nevada Wilderness would like to thank everyone at the Nevada Land Conservancy and the BLM for their years of hard work to make the Home Camp acquisition possible. We would also like to thank our members who have written support letters for this critical acquisition, a process that started in 2003.

The Wall Canyon WSA was never recommended "suitable" for wilderness by the BLM because of the large number of private inholdings. With the acquisition of these parcels, wilderness designation is much more likely in the future. Public ownership of the Home Camp ranch with its springs, wet meadows, and streams like the headwaters of Mountain View Creek will help protect specially designated species like the greater sage grouse, Wall Canyon sucker, California bighorn sheep and pika. This acquisition also will improve public recreational access.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness looks forward to working with the BLM and other interested parties to ensure these newly acquired lands are managed appropriately to conserve Nevada's wild heritage.

sage grouse
Sage grouse © Jim Yoakum

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Starry sky
Starry sky © Brian Beffort

It was a good week for stars

By Kate Prengaman

August: Notes from camping in the Big Rocks Wilderness, Lincoln County, Nevada.

I believe that star-gazing is good for the soul. Maybe it's just my soul, but feeling like a tiny speck on a tiny planet beneath a sparkling, infinite sky can heal most of what ails me. It's calming, inspiring, a way to feel connected to a world larger than I can really know. And while you can do almost anything in Vegas, you really can't star-gaze. The shine of the Strip and the sprawling lights of suburbia are so bright that even on a good night, you'll never see more than a handful of stars. To really appreciate the rest of the universe, you've got to head for the hills.

Nevada's wilderness can be an excellent place to star gaze. It's easy to find campsites with a good view of wide sky, since we don't have the continuous, dense canopies of deciduous forests. In our dry climate, it's rare to have low-hanging clouds ruin your view. There are few mosquitoes and low odds for a sudden rain storm, so you don't really need to hide from the elements in your tent. With so many protected wilderness areas, we still have plenty of places that are well beyond the glow of towns and cities. Head out on a camping trip with a constellation chart and some patience, and you could see more constellations than you ever knew existed. And those are just the stationary stars. While you are mapping out those Greek gods, you'll undoubtedly catch a few flashing meteors.

Seeing a good shooting star makes you feel special. Good luck, make a wish, etc... But as it turns out, there are millions of meteors flashing across the sky, throughout the day and night, caused usually by sand-sized grains of astronomical grit, burning up with friction through the air molecules of the atmosphere. According to, we can usually only see .005% of the sky at one time, bringing our eye's share of shooting stars to an average of 12 per hour. If you are watching with constant vigilance. For the casual, fire-side star-gazer, catching a few big, brilliant ones is cause for celebration. Until I started spending my summers sleeping without a tent in Nevada's wilderness, I saw only a few shooting stars a year. Now I see a few a night.

In August, I was camped out in the Big Rocks Wilderness in Lincoln County. As I lay in my sleeping bag, dwarfed by the boulders of Pahroc Canyon, the milky way was shining clear. July's monsoon clouds had cleared, the half-moon rose late, and the high canyon walls block any faint light pollution from spoiling the view. In the hour or so before I'd drifted to sleep, I usually saw more than 15 shooting stars, big sweeping flashes across the sky. Sleeping out every night in the desert, I am used to seeing a few before I close my eyes, but this show was above and beyond. I later found out that the Earth was passing through the Perseid Meteor Shower, an annual rotation through a cloud of debris that usually occurs in mid-august and provides a spectacular sky show.

The next night, the sky-show got even better. A big electrical storm hung over the Delmar Valley to the south of us. We could barely hear the thunder, but the sky flashed and glowed with lightning strikes every minute or two. Far enough away to be free from the fears of rain (and putting up a tent in a wet, 2am panic) and lightning-strike fire, we just enjoyed the light-show. Shooting stars dove across the sky into the huge cloud of flashing light and got swallow by the storm. A show so good it was hard to close my eyes.


Kate Prengaman is a Field Botanist with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who also writes and volunteers for Friends of Nevada Wilderness.

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Upcoming volunteer projects and events

For northern and central Nevada, we have some awesome stewardship trips coming up for the volunteer within. Soldier Meadows could use your help in March, and central Nevada will benefit from your efforts on a group monitoring trip in May. But for real inspiration without having to break a sweat, come to Walkin' Jim's Reno concert on April 17. It is better than being in the wild, because you have Walkin' Jim's great baritone belting out songs and tales by the minute.

Click the links to find out more.


Friday, March 26 — Sunday, March 28   Soldier Meadows restoration project

Stewardship — several activities are planned as part of this weekend project. Help restore the wild character of this popular area in northwestern Nevada. Details


Saturday, April 17, 2010   Walkin' Jim Stoltz - Live in concert

Special event — prepare to be completely amazed and inspired by Walkin' Jim, his stories, songs and photos. Truly an event you want to experience. Details


Monday, May 10 — Saturday, May 15   Central Nevada monitoring tour

Stewardship — join us for car-camping and day-hikes to help the Forest Service manage beautiful wilderness in central Nevada. Details


Many trips through the year are listed at Friends' website. If you want to help keep these great opportunities coming, please click the button to donate:

Visit our website's TAKE ACTION pages for other ways to get involved with Friends of Nevada Wilderness.