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Buy shoes — save wilderness!

South McCullough Rubbish Rodeo

Water for horses and wildlife

Want a job? (On the Sheldon)

Upcoming events and volunteer projects

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May 10, 2012

Buy shoes — save wilderness!

graphic: Patagonia Footwear Advocate program

Patagonia, that great conservation-and-environment-oriented retailer, once again has selected Friends of Nevada Wilderness as beneficiary of their Patagonia Footwear Advocate Weeks event. Between May 3 and May 16, 2012, for every pair of Patagonia shoes purchased on, Patagonia will donate $10 to Friends of Nevada Wilderness.

As of this posting, quite a few Patagonia shoes are on sale at — so you can get a great deal AND help Nevada's wild places. All the money received by Friends will go directly into wilderness programs to make Nevada an even better place for us all.

Just think — by buying Patagonia shoes at by May 16, you will help assure there will still be a great outdoors to wear them in!

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South McCullough Rubbish Rodeo

graphic: volunteer group shot at McClanahan clean up (c) Kurt Kuznicki
People power. Volunteers taking a stand for the South McCullough Wilderness. (c) Kurt Kuznicki

For far too long, the old corral near McClanahan Spring in the South McCullough Wilderness has been mired in shooting trash, beer cans, broken glass, old TVs and other garbage. Last Saturday, a group of Southern Nevadans decided it was time for a change.

These hard-working volunteers picked up more than 85 cubic yards of trash, not to mention 20 old tires that someone dumped in the desert.

graphic: volunteer working at McClanahan clean up (c) Kurt Kuznicki
Super-volunteer Crystal cleaning up other people’s trash. (c) Kurt Kuznicki

Longtime Friends of Nevada Wilderness supporter, Crystal Dipietro, said she wanted to make a difference on her day off and, “clean up the big mess left by folks who obviously don't care.

“Wilderness provides the opportunity for me to get away from a busy modern world and return to a simpler time,” Crystal added, “one without trash."

Not only did these volunteers clear up a popular wilderness portal, this was also the first volunteer project with the Bureau of Land Management in southern Nevada in many years (and we plan many more soon). Perhaps most important, we served notice to those who do not care about wild places: We have returned to the South McCulloughs, and we are here to put the "wild" back into wilderness.

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Water for horses and wildlife

Horses need to drink 8 to 10 gallons of water each day. If a stream or spring has enough water, the horses will come, drink their fill, then leave — an activity that does little damage to the area.

But if the spring doesn’t have enough water, horses will stay in the area, drinking what they can, then digging at the mud and destroying the fragile soils and plants in the area trying to get more. If this continues, springs and streams can quickly be damaged.

photo: volunteer group shot at Mustang Springs water project (c) Brian Beffort
It’s amazing what a small group of people can accomplish when they work together. (c) Brian Beffort

A dedicated team of volunteers teamed up with the BLM in the East Fork High Rock Wilderness on Saturday to repair a small, earthen catchment at Mustang Springs. The goal is to catch enough water to provide for horses, bighorn, pronghorn and other wildlife, while allowing the soils and plants around the spring to recover.

photo: mother and son working to improve water supply at Mustang Springs (c) Brian Beffort
A family united for wildlife: Rita and son Levi working together to improve water for horses and wildlife. (c) Brian Beffort

Rita Smyth brought her kids, Levi and Alyson, to help with the project. “It think caring for the Earth is something that’s really important, but they don’t learn it in school,” she said. “My daughter is in Earth Sciences class at school, and most of the kids have no clue about the Earth, and that’s what sustains us. Camping and volunteering in the wilderness is good for our hearts and minds. We’re happier when we’re out here

“This was a great project for horses and for wildlife,” said Sandi Gracia, the BLM’s project coordinator. “We never would have been able to do this work without volunteers. Thank you.”

Do you care about Nevada’s wild places? Want to help?

If so please visit for information on how you can get involved.

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button: summer field jobs

Want a job? (On the Sheldon)

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is still looking for someone who’s fit, enjoys working outdoors, and wants to be part of history, as we remove the last of the barbed-wire fence from inside the wildly beautiful Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. We’re seeking someone to round out our full-time, seasonal crew removing fence and performing other restoration projects. This is a seasonal job.

If you’re interested, please email Pat Bruce or call him at (775) 815-5598.

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You are invited: events and wilderness volunteer projects

Friends of Nevada Wilderness offers up lots of fun opportunities to help your Nevada wildlands heal and prosper.

May 11 - 13   Tom Basin burn area restoration project (1 hour north of Winnemucca. FAMILY FRIENDLY) - email Brenna to RSVP or call (775) 623-5656.

May 25 - 28   Black Rock Rendezvous (Black Rock Desert - north of Reno. FAMILY FRIENDLY) - email Brian to RSVP or call (775) 324-7667.

June 1 - 2   Backcountry Trails Training (Central Nevada - four hours southeast of Reno) - email Wes to RSVP or call (775) 762-6730.

June 2   National Trails Day (Spring Mountains - west of Las Vegas) - email Jose to RSVP or call (702) 203-1720.

June 9   Hunter Creek day trip (Mount Rose - just west of Reno) - email Wes to RSVP or call (775) 762-6730.

June 15 - 17   Black Rock Fence/Exclosure Project (Four hours north of Reno. FAMILY FRIENDLY) - email Pat to RSVP or call (775) 815-5598.

June 22 - 24   Trail restoration and maintenance (in the Santa Rosa Range - 1 hr north of Winnemucca. FAMILY FRIENDLY) - email Brenna to RSVP or call (775) 623-5656.

New projects will be announced in later emails. See also the stewardship events page.