Winter 2007 Nevada Wilderness Project Newsletter


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Winter 2007 Nevada Wilderness Project Newsletter

  1. 1. Nevada Wilderness Project Winter 2007 Looking back and moving forward On December 9, 2006 Senators Harry Reid and during the campaign. Neil Frakes and Neil March-John Ensign ushered the White Pine County public lands bill ington of Ely, Peter Druschke of Las Vegas, andthrough Congress and into law on the back of the Tax Ex- Roxanne Sterr of Reno all received many thankstender Bill (HR 6111). The bill permanently protects over and praises from the entire coalition staff for their558,000 acres of public land in White Pine County as wilder- continued hard work and support over the years.ness forever! The South Egan WSA remained in one piece,and places like Shellback Ridge will not be exploited throughthe oil and gas leasing process. All of this is due to your hardwork, collective efforts and unified voice. Here’s a list of youraccomplishments:• Becky Peak Wilderness - 18,119 acres• High Schells Wilderness - 121,497 acres• Mt. Grafton Wilderness 78,754 acres• Mt. Moriah Wilderness Additions - 11,261 acres• South Egan Range Wilderness - 67,214 acres• Government Peak Wilderness - 6,313 acres• Highland Ridge Wilderness - 68,627 acres• Currant Mountain Wilderness Additions - 10,697 acres• Red Mountain Wilderness Additions - 20,490 acres• Bald Mountain Wilderness - 22,366 acres• Shellback Wilderness - 36,143 acres• White Pine Range Wilderness - 40,013 acres• Goshute Canyon Wilderness - 42,544 acres• Bristlecone Wilderness - 14,095 acres This is a true cause for celebration and opportunityfor all of us as the staff to say, “Thank You!” We could nothave done this without you and look forward to continuing towork with each of you on future campaigns throughoutNevada.White Pine County Hootenanny! In this Issue: On February 2nd, the Nevada Wilderness Coalition White Pine Wilderness and the Hootenanny - pg. 1came together to throw the long overdue celebration partyfor White Pine County. Over 200 people came to the Tan- Volunteer Spotlight and Director’s Corner - pg. 2nenbaum Alpine Lodge on Mount Rose Highway in Reno Awakening into Spring - pg. 3for a night of dancing to our friends Jelly and sharing in Gold Butte Update and Job Opportunity - pg. 4the celebration of White Pine County’s new wilderness ar-eas. Bart Koehler from the Wilderness Society serenaded Wild Legacy Club and the Caption Contest - pg. 5us all with several tunes about the areas, while four WILD Calendar - pg. 6awards were given to special volunteers for their efforts
  2. 2. Nevada Wilderness Volunteer Spotlight: Roxanne Sterr Project Northern Office In many ways, this is the most difficult column in the entire news- letter to write. Singling out one volunteer for special recognition is never 8550 White Fir Street an easy choice, and inevitably, I always think of several who are just as Reno, NV 89523 deserving of the recognition. 775.746.7850 One volunteer that I have never thanked enough is Roxanne Sterr. How does one thank a friend and volunteer for always being on Southern Office hand, and for her encouragement, camaraderie and patience? Rox has4220 S. Maryland Pkwy seen NWP go through all of its various growth spurts and transforma- Suite 402B tions. She’s braved the Walker River during our first descent, gotten lost Las Vegas, NV 89119 in the Schells as the sun was setting and our cabin was filled with hanta, come to happy hour when no else did, and tabled at Earth Day when no one else 702.369.1871 would. She writes letters to the delegation and editors, works phone banks and fixes copier for me when it decides to freak out. Our grassroots base would not be where it is today without pillars like Roxanne, people we can lean on and look to for action. Thank A 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation you Rox, we are all grateful for your hard work, dedication and friendship. NWP Board of Directors Director’s Corner Bret Birdsong, President With the passage of the White Pine County public lands law, Brian O’Donnell, Vice President we’ve now played a leading role in protecting 2.5 million acres of Lynn Schiek, Secretary wilderness and 500,000 acres of National Conservation Areas in Chris Todd Nevada since 1999. We’ve seen what the combination of focused Tori King advocacy and a burgeoning grassroots wilderness movement can do when it combines the many talents, energies and expertise of groups NWP Staff like the Nevada Wilderness Project, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, The Wilderness Society’s Wilderness Support Center, and the Campaign John Wallin Director for America’s Wilderness. We are grateful for the support of these great allies and look forward to new challenges we can tackle together in the future. Kristie Connolly Associate Director We’ve been so busy winning legislative victories for wilderness that we’ve rarely Nancy Beecher taken time out to do something that seems simple: celebrate. In this issue you’ll read Conservation Director about the Famous Reno Wilderness Hootenanny and enjoy some festive pictures of what Mackenzie Banta was an absolute blowout good time and a clear marker that we must do a better job of Development Director celebrating our successes! Cameron Johnson Northern NV Outreach Director As you are looking through the list of wilderness values trips and events, please Cynthia Scholl consider becoming a Wild Legacy Club member. The Wild Legacy Club is our growing Membership Coordinator group of monthly donors who make secure donations off a credit card or withdrawal from a Nancy Hall bank account. Your monthly donation is a great way for you to maximize your gift, and Gold Butte Organizer planning for your gift helps us use those funds as wisely as we can so that more of Ne- vada’s wild heritage is protected. Thanks for acting today to sign up for the Wild Legacy Coalition Partners Club today—it makes an incredible difference in our work. Campaign for America’s Wilderness And finally, a personal note. At the Hootenanny on Feb. 2, I was honored Friends of Nevada Wilderness for my work to protect Nevada wilderness with three extraordinary gestures from Nevada Outdoor Recreation Assoc. people I greatly respect: A letter of commendation from Senator Harry Reid and a Red Rock Audubon Society letter of commendation from Yvon and Malinda Chouinard, owners of Patagonia, and Sierra Club - Toiyabe Chapter a Conservation Leadership Award from the Wilburforce Foundation. The Wilderness Society Without Senator Harry Reid, protected wilderness in Nevada almost wouldn’t exist, and he remains a passionate and committed wilderness voice of a strength and clarity not NWP often heard in Congress these days. Yvon and Malinda have provided both the inspiration and financial and moral support for me to quit my job at Patagonia and join with others to Mission Statement: protect Nevada’s outback. And no organization has provided such support and vision forThe Nevada Wilderness understanding the urgency of protecting biodiversity on desert landscapes as has the Project is committed to Wilburforce Foundation. I am humbled and honored that these esteemed partners in our work recognize my work among the many incredible efforts made throughout the countrysaving spectacular, rug- to protect America’s wild legacy. I am a passionate believer in the old saying, “successged-and imperiled-public has many fathers,” and I accept these generous expressions on behalf of our wonderful lands in Nevada as team here at the Project, our coalition partners and you—the people who make our world aWilderness, the strongest better place to live. protection possible.Page 2 Winter 2007
  3. 3. Awakening into Spring! My toes peeped out from the covers. Normally they would have snuck back under my cozy down com-forter, happy to fall asleep for ten minutes longer. This morning, though, my toes just hung out, wriggled a little,and checked the air around them. As the air felt acceptably warm, my heart sped up and my left eye opened,confirming what I already knew -- that daylight had begun. Awake and energized, I was ready to get the day andmy life going after such a long period of hibernation. Spring is coming, and creatures all over will be waking up and taking notice. How do all of these crea- Globemallow tures know that it’s time to get the heck up, start paying attention and start doing something with their lives? The answer lies in something very simple, very reli- able and very real for many living beings on earth: Daylength. To understand this, though, we need to take a step back. Animals and plants (and even some bacteria) have biological clocks, or “circadian rhythms”. These genetic rhythms keep us on our 24-hour cycle and determine our daytime and nighttime activity levels, such as when to sleep and when to awaken. Even if you are trapped inside a completely dark room with no outsideinteraction, your body still has a “day” and a “night”. The environment can influence our internal clocks, which is where day-light becomes very important. Daylight allows all of us to keep in pace with theoutside world and reliably respond to seasonal changes by adjusting hormone Green Tailed Towheeproduction inside our bodies. When it’s dark your human brain produces thehormone melatonin; when sunlight hits your face in the morning, the production of melatonin stops.Please allow me to explain this wickedly cool process. The next morning when you lie in bed with your toes peeking out of your covers, imagine this: Your eyesare closed (ahhhh, very nice), but the sunlight passes through your skin and reaches your eyeballs. Being verygood receptionists, your eyes translate and pass this message on to your biological clock’s “control center” -- agroup of brain cells. Though these brain cells are in charge of giving orders to speed up or slow down your REMcycle, heart rate and metabolism, they will take advice from your eyeballs. Hearing about the sunlight, they moveswiftly into action and tell a very important gland in your brain that it’s time to stop producing the hormone mela-tonin. Whoa, that’s big news! (Trust me.) Thanks to this eloquently evolved process, your body can now trackevery day, every season and every year. In many animals, circadian rhythms direct seasonal behaviors such as when it’s time to reproduce or migrate. During wintertime, when nights are longer and melatonin levels are higher, winter-like behaviors are triggered. When this process reverses in the spring, spring-like behaviors are triggered. In the winter season, for example, the testicles of some male mammals and birds shrink by 10-95%, preventing reproduction. Yep, that’s right, you heard me. Luckily this process reverses itself in the spring, huh?! (Don’t worry, I don’t think this happens in humans.) So the next time you hear male birds chirping on a pretty spring morning, remember that it was their circadian rhythm that directed them to migrate... and that their reproductive biology is really, really raring to go. While morning birdsongs are delicious to the ear, wildflowers that “spring up” in March and April delight the eyes. Plants know that spring is here much like we do. Although they don’t have melatonin, they do have biological clocks, produce hormones according to light and dark cycles, and respond to daylength by deter- ring or encouraging growth and reproduction. As days get longer under the warm spring sun, seedlings grow, photosynthesis increases, leaves develop and flowers canDesert Marigold bloom. In Southern Nevada, March 15 is a great time to start looking for spring flora, with you northerners lagging a bit. So get out there this spring and search for beauti-ful flowering plants such as Indian Paintbrush, Globe Mallow, Desert Marigold, Purple Lupine and Prickly PearCactus. My guess is that you’ll never look at spring quite the same way again.Page 3 Winter 2007
  4. 4. Gold Butte Update - Nevada’s Piece of the Grand Canyon Puzzle The Transportation Plan for selected Areas ofCritical Environmental Concern {ACEC} in northeastClark County Preliminary Environmental Assessmenthas been released to the public for comment and review.Usually, most folks do not find formal government docu-ments too exciting, but this one is different. It featuresmaps! Route designations, such as this, are increasinglycommon on public lands, as motorized recreation hasbecome widespread, colliding with other users and im-pacting irreplaceable natural and cultural resources.Public land managers are now addressing the situation. The goals for this process are biological - reducefragmentation, prevent route proliferation and improve theecological process of desert tortoise habitat; cultural - pro-tect cultural resources and historic trails; socio economic– allow for reasonable access while accomplishing the bio-logical goals and compatibility with adjacent areas; en-forcement and monitoring – create a user-friendly routesystem easily enforced and a monitoring system based onland stewardship ideals. After reviewing the maps of the Gold Butte ACEC; alarge portion of the Citizens Wilderness Proposal is easilyrecognized. It is imperative that we protect the wildernesscharacteristics identified in our previous inventories.It is important to comment to the BLM! 1) Support the proposed road closures in Wilderness Study Areas and those leading to cultural re- sources. 2) Support Alternative B as a good starting point for the reduction of duplicate roads and reducing fragmen- tation in sensitive desert tortoise habitat. 3) Designate one route through Red Bluff Springs for access to the designated National Park Service road; keeping the route out of flowing water and restoration efforts in the area. Do not designate roads that lead to illegal Na- tional Park Service routes, specifically the two routes in Mud Wash south of Bitter Ridge.The Environmental Assessment is available at: can be submitted electronically at: or in writing at:Bureau of Land ManagementLas Vegas Field OfficeC/O Marc Maynard4701 North Torrey Pines DriveLas Vegas, NV 89130The ACEC map of Gold Butte go to: Opportunity— Southern Nevada Outreach Director Do you like people, wild places, and bringing the two together? If so, NWP may have just the opportunity for you. We are currently accepting applications for the position of Southern Ne- vada Outreach Director in our Las Vegas office. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website,, or email 4 Winter 2007
  5. 5. Wild Legacy Club — 2006 ended on a strong note for the Nevada Wilderness Project with the passage of the White Pine CountyLands Bill protecting 558,000 acres in Eastern Nevada. Now, as we look to 2007, each of us has a clean slate to startagain. Perhaps you have some goals or resolutions for the New Year: eat more broccoli, do yoga, run a marathon,make an impact on your community. An easy and significant way you can help change the map of Nevada is by joining our Wild Legacy Club. Ourmonthly giving club ensures the Nevada Wilderness Project can be consistently proactive in keeping Nevada wild. Monthly gifts are also convenient for you because they can break down your gift into smaller chunks and cutdown on time, energy and paper use. As a monthly donor, you will never receive a renewal notice in the mail. If at anytime you need to change or cancel your contribution, you can do so with just a phone call or email. The benefits of our Wild Legacy Club are: Knowing you are helping to protect the most spectacular areas in Nevada Monthly email updates on our work Free t-shirt (with a minimum $5/month gift) 2007 wilderness map of Nevada Subscription to our quarterly newsletter As a proud member of our Wild Legacy Club, Tory Garrison in Henderson, Nevada isable to make a big impact on our work. In Tory’s words, her giving through our monthly member-ship program is “very convenient and easy. With my busy schedule, I know I am helpingout this great organization without even having to think about my gift. It automaticallycomes out of my account and supports the wonderful work NWP does, plus all my dona-tions are tax deductible!” After Tory joined us on a women’s day hike in Southern Nevada, sherecognized how much she appreciated the diverse beauty of Nevada. This appreciation was thedriving force in her decision to give monthly. “After living in the Las Vegas area for 15 years, Ilove what this state has to offer in the land, and I believe in the Project. I know that my dona-tion each month is going toward their effective and pragmatic work. I am proud to supportthe Nevada Wilderness Project each month.”It is easy to sign up for our Wild Legacy Club. Please just go to our website: www.wildnevada.organd select the Join or Give tab on the left hand side of the homepage. Click on the ‘donate now’link. On the ‘donate page’ you are able to enter your desired monthly donation amount. Yourcontribution to NWP on a monthly basis will be a great way to start off a new year and ensure wecontinue to protect wilderness in Nevada.Caption Contest In an effort to inject a little more hu- mor into our daily lives, we’re asking people to submit captions for our photos. To the right, you’ll find a photo. Submit the winning caption, and receive a prize, as well as your name and caption in print in the fol- lowing newsletter. Please email sub- missions to Enjoy! “This beats driving through Reno at 5pm.” Peter Schrey Your caption here! Minden, NvPage 5 Winter 2007
  6. 6. NEVADA WILDERNESS CALENDAR WILDERNESS VALUES TRIPS & EVENTS Join NWP staff and volunteers on trips to potential wilderness areas! You can see beautiful places and help protect them at the same time by writing letters and plugging in to our ef- forts in a way that’s interesting and fun. All outings are weather permitting. Please log on to for more information. Northern Nevada Events February 20 - Wilderness Happy Hour at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, 6-8pm Photo © Kristie Connolly March 13 - Wilderness Happy Hour at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, 6-8pm Please join us for our March 17 - Wilderness Values Trip to Petersen Mountain, Washoe Comonthly volunteer night at March 24 - Wilderness Values Trip to the Virginia Range, Washoe Co Reno’s Great Basin Brewery April 7-8 - Wilderness Values Trip to Lyon County ( April 17 - Wilderness Happy Hour at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, 6-8pm April 28-29 - Wilderness Values Trip to Lava Beds, Pershing County Southern Nevada Events February 17 - Wilderness Values Trip to Gold Butte February 24 & 25 - Gold Butte Campout and Service trip, please see the “Events” page at for more information. March 10 - Red Rock Springs Service Trip March 17 - Wilderness Values Trip to Gold Butte Feb 20, 6-8pm April 21 & 22 - Earth Day Weekend Service Trip, Campout and Hike to Gold Butte March 13, 6-8pm April 17, 6-8pm Cover Photo by Howard Booth HELP US PROTECT YOUR WILDERNESS It’s easy to help… Cut out this form and mail it to: NV Wilderness Project, 8550 White Fir St; Reno, NV 89523 Comments:Enclosed is my donation of: I would like to make a recurring donation: Monthly $35.00 Every 3 months $50.00 Annually $100.00 Please include check or money Name Phone Number $250.00 order payable to: Nevada Wilderness Project. Address $500.00 For secure credit card Other Amount: ____________ transactions, please visit Email address City State Zip Printed on recycled paper