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September 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary to the Wilderness Act

Forty-six years ago (September 3, 1964), the Wilderness Act established a process that has allowed people like you and me to protect the most sublime examples of America’s natural heritage — places like Jarbidge, the Ruby Mountains, Mount Rose, Mount Charleston, the Black Rock Desert, and many more.

These places have given us all so much, from clean air and water to wildlife habitat, important refuges for biodiversity, and opportunities for all of us to enjoy the beauty, solitude and adventure that exist only in the wild.

As we commemorate this anniversary, I ask you to think of your favorite wilderness areas (or potential wilderness areas) in Nevada and ask yourself “how can I give back to these incredible places?”

President Obama just issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring September as Wilderness Month. It begins:

For centuries, the American spirit of exploration and discovery has led us to experience the majesty of our Nation’s wilderness. From raging rivers to serene prairies, from mountain peaks slicing the skyline to forests teeming with life, our Nation’s landscapes have provided wonder, inspiration, and strength to all Americans.


photo: Santa Rosa Wilderness
A paradise moment: rainbow over the Santa Rosa Wilderness © Josh Hejl

I know that Nevada’s wilderness has inspired me on so many levels for most of my life, and I know it is important to you as well. During wilderness month, come join us on a restoration trip, visit one of Nevada’s fabulous wilderness areas, write a letter supporting wilderness (the asks will be coming later in the month) or give an extra donation to help us keep these areas wild for future generations to enjoy.

For the Wild,
Shaaron Netherton


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Friends invites YOU to National Public Lands Day September 17-19, 2010

“Healing the land, healing ourselves” through volunteerism

Photo: Kids at National Public Lands Day 2008 (c) Brian Beffort
Kids at National Public Lands Day 2008 © Brian Beffort

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers, nationwide. Now, 9 federal and many state and local land agencies and thousands of volunteers participate in this annual day of caring for shared lands all across the country. This year, Friends expects more than 100 volunteers to participate in the Black Rock event, alone.

Volunteers with Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Friends of the Black Rock, the Nevada Outdoor School and the Bureau of Land Management are participating in on-the-ground projects to support National Public Lands Day.

There will be a variety of projects over the weekend, including site cleanup and possible fence construction. All projects will take place in Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

This is a great weekend for the whole family. The Nevada Outdoor School will be running a “Kids Camp” on Saturday. This will include fun activities and educational components to teach the children about the wildlands of Nevada while their parents are out in the field working to help protect the desert.

For more information about specific camp locations and to sign up for National Public Lands Day, please contact Pat Bruce at (775) 324-7667 or by email.

More information about National Public Lands Day (note: this site shows September 25 as Public Lands Day — both dates are correct.)

More information about Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Hope to see you there!


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The life of a Wilderness Monitor

Photo: Katie LaCroix
Katie LaCroix, Spring Mountains Wilderness Monitor © Kurt Kuznicki

I am really enjoying my work in the Spring Mountains outside of Las Vegas. There certainly are many lesser-known gems outside of Las Vegas that, in my eyes, shine much brighter than the Strip.

On a typical “work day” I get to lace up my boots and head out into the wilderness to explore! I can’t think of anything better. Being from northern New England, the landscapes of southern Nevada take my breath away on a daily basis.

I am afforded the opportunity to chat with all sorts of folks on the trail and find out what the “Springs” mean to them, as well as the opportunity to roll up my sleeves with some of the most passionate and hard working volunteers I have ever met.

On a recent monitoring hike I even got to check out a mountain lion track! My “office” is beautifully decorated with bristlecones, ponderosas, aspens, Joshua trees, butterflies, chirping birds, lizards, and gorgeous flowers.

I can’t wait to see what is around the next bend in the trail as the season progresses!


Katie LaCroix has been doing a tremendous job as the Spring Mountains Wilderness Monitor, a seasonal position with Friends of Nevada Wilderness.

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Upcoming volunteer projects and events


Thursday, September 9 — Monday, September 13   Mt Rose Wilderness backpack

Recreation & wilderness values — Get to know the depth and breadth of the Mt Rose Wilderness while missing out on the rat race up to the summit. This “wilderness values” trip does not involve a specific restoration project. This is a moderately strenuous trip, and some previous backpacking experience is required. Details


Friday, September 17 — Sunday, September 19   National Public Lands Day in the Black Rock Desert

Stewardship — Project details are still being worked out. Public Lands Day is always a fun, informative and rewarding experience. Families are encouraged to join us. Kids programs will be provided by the Nevada Outdoor School. Details


Friday, September 24 — Monday, September 27   Alta Toquima Wilderness trail-maintenance project

Stewardship — Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Austin Ranger District will be brushing out trail tread and logging downed trees to maintain a loop trail from Pine Creek to Pasco Canyon. Basic hand tools such as saws and loppers will be used, and some backcountry hiking will be required. Details


Saturday, September 25, 2010   National Public Lands Day in the Spring Mountains

Stewardship — Please join Friends of Nevada Wilderness as we build new trail and maintain existing portions of the Blue Tree Trail system in the Spring Mountains NRA. This service trip is open to adults, seniors, groups and families. Details.


Saturday, October 9   Henderson Trails Day celebration

Special event — Come on down to southern Nevada’s largest trail event of the year. Stop bye the Friends of Nevada Wilderness’ booth and say “hello.” There will be activities for all ages, including an outdoor gear swap, and much more. Details


Thursday, October 14 — Monday, October 18   Central Nevada backpack

Recreation & wilderness values — Join Friends for a recreational backpack into the wilds of central Nevada. This “wilderness values” trip does not involve a specific restoration project. This is a moderately strenuous trip, and some previous backpacking experience is required. 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:

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