Visitor Center - Wilderness Legislation
The Wilderness Act of 1964 - This
visionary and poetic bill created the National Wilderness
Preservation System and defined what “wilderness” is. Jarbidge Wilderness in Elko County
became Nevada’s first wilderness. All subsequent bills add
additional wilderness areas to this national system. PDF of
The Nevada Wilderness Protection Act
of 1989 – This was Nevada’s first “Forest Service”
wilderness bill. It took our volunteer wilderness activists
years of hard work to see this passed. The bill created 13 new
wilderness areas (733, 400 acres) including Mt. Charleston, Mt.
Rose, Table Mountain, and Ruby Mountains Wilderness Areas. PDF
of entire bill.
The California Desert Protection Act
of 1994 – This bill largely involved designating wilderness
and parks in the California Desert but it did include about
44,000 acres of wilderness in the Death Valley National Park
that crosses into Nevada near Beatty. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
The Black Rock Desert - High Rock
Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area Act of 2000
– This mouthful of a bill created the Black Rock Desert-High
Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area in the
northwestern region of Nevada. It also created 10 new wilderness
areas (752,000 acres) managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Black Rock Desert Wilderness became Nevada’s biggest
wilderness area. This region will now always look like it did
when the early pioneers came through on their wagons in the
1846. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
Amendments to the Black
– The Black Rock bill was amended in November 2001. The changes were made to
clarify policies related to hunting, trapping, fishing, road maintenance, wildland
fire protection and the release of certain parcels not included in the wilderness
system. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
Clark County Conservation of Public
Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 – Explosive growth in
the Las Vegas Valley meant if areas weren’t protected fast, they
would be paved under. This bill protected 16 new wilderness areas
(452,000 acres) surrounding Las Vegas and Lake Mead. The new
wilderness is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest
Service and the National Park Service. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
Lincoln County Conservation,
Recreation and Development Act of 2004 – This bill added
some great Wilderness areas to protect our bighorn sheep and
precious archaeological resources including the Mormon, Meadow
Valley, and Delmar Mountains. About 768,000 acres and 14 new
Wilderness areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management were
added in this sparsely populated county. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
White Pine County Conservation,
Recreation and Development Act of 2006 - Citizens of White
Pine County knew they had some special places that were getting
damaged from irresponsible off-road vehicle use and they wanted
to protect their wildland heritage. Congress protected 12 new
Wilderness areas (558,000 acres) including gems like the High
Schells and Mt. Grafton. PDF of the wilderness portion of bill.
Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act of 2011 - This is
the Pine Forest Range bill as introduced in the Senate on November 2, 2011 by Senators
Reid and Heller. When passed, this bill will protect 26,000 acres of wilderness in the Pine Forest
List of all designated wilderness
areas by bill - (2 page PDF)
Congressional Grazing Guidelines –
Ranchers often want to know how wilderness affects their grazing
operations. Congress spelled that out in this document which is
referred to in all wilderness legislation in Nevada. (2 page
Congressional Wildlife Guidelines
– Similar to the grazing guidelines, this document gives
Congressional intent on how wildlife will be managed in