Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District
Current LWC Status: Proposed
State Region: West Central
Bureau of Land Management
Battle Mountain District Office
50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820
This unit comprises an incredible diversity of landscape, from the dry and parched alluvial fans of the Fish Lake Valley, to bouldered-granite formations throughout the unit, to ancient, sedimentary desert hills within the core of the unit. Elevations range from 4800 feet on the margins of Fish Lake Valley to nearly 7600 feet atop the black-capped, basalt mesas in the center of the unit. The plant community of this unit is equally diverse with low saltbush vegetation cholla cactus on the lower alluvial fans to low sage brush communities in the mid-elevations levels, to Mojave cactus including prickle pear, chollas, fishhook, and Joshua trees, to cliffrose and big brush sage and grassland communities of the highest elevations. This unit supports both pinyon trees and extensive stands of Joshua trees. This unit hosts larger animals such as mule deer and big horn sheep. Raptors are plentiful as are rodents and other prey species.
The vast spaces, varied topography, and open woodland vegetation provide many outstanding opportunities for solitude throughout this unit. Pockets of scattered pinyon trees can be found in the higher elevations and intermix with Joshua trees in the lower elevations. The drainage systems of this unit are plentiful and complex, creating isolated avenues into this unit from the surrounding valleys. Canyons twist and turn in unexpected directions creating innumerable opportunities for finding secluded spots. The extremely rugged terrain in the core is comprised of numerous convoluted ridges offering adding to the opportunities to find secluded spots.
The nearly 3000 feet of elevation difference across this unit multiplies the opportunities of solitude by the presence of vertical relief. The uppermost elevations of this unit are comprised of broad flat ridges separated by shallow valleys. These areas offer truly outstanding opportunities where a visitor can be alone with just the surrounding peaks, the open sky, and in the company of small stands of pinyon trees.
Birds and wildlife are present as well, providing opportunities for viewing and excellent hunting for skilled backcountry hunters. Mule deer, bighorn sheep, and chukar are some of the animals available for game. The area offers outstanding desert hiking and exploration opportunities, including excellent rock scrambling, bouldering, route finding, and peak bagging. The colorful ancient sedimentary formations in the core of the unit combined with enigmatic granite formation, the rugged terrain and steep vertical relief, pinyon trees, Joshua tree, grasslands and cactus create outstanding opportunities for photography, painting and sketching throughout the unit. This area presents spectacular outstanding vistas at every turn and stunning views of the alpine White Mountains are visible from most of the upper elevation of the unit. The geology of the unit, encompassing granite and ancient sedimentary outcrops creates outstanding opportunities for rockhounding and geological sightseeing. Hiking, orienteering, backpacking, rock hounding, bird watching, primitive camping, horseback riding, burro and llama packing, hunting, and general sightseeing complete the possibilities for outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation within this unit. The steep, rugged, and arid terrain of this unit provide visitors with a high degree of challenge. The 2016 FNW Inventory found this area has outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation in hiking, geological exploration, route finding, hunting, natural studies and appreciation, exploration, bouldering, and photography.