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Spring 2003 Friends of Nevada Wilderness Newsletter


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Spring 2003 Friends of Nevada Wilderness Newsletter

  1. 1. FRIENDS OF NEVADA WILDERNESS SPRING 2003 Washington’s assault on Wilderness by Shaaron Netherton The most recent example was the Wee Thump The Bush administration and members of Con- Joshua Tree Wilderness in southern Nevada. In gress (including Nevada Rep. Jim Gibbons) are 1980, the BLM said Wee Thump didn’t have any working to dismantle the BLM’s policy regarding wilderness values. In 2002, Congress clearly dis- land use planning and wilderness. agreed. It is now the Wee Thump Wilderness. Currently, BLM considers wilderness when Across the West, the BLM has identified at their land-use plans are updated. This means least 25 areas as having wilderness values through groups like Friends of Nevada Wilderness can their planning process that were not identified in present new and updated wilderness information to their original inventory. Over 23 BLM land-use the BLM and ask them to consider additional po- plans currently underway are addressing additional tential wilderness areas in their land-use planning potential wilderness areas. Yet anti-wilderness ad- process. Many potential wilderness areas were vocates within the administration and Congress missed during the somewhat subjective, political are saying that wilderness values should NEVER and rushed inventory the BLM completed in 1980. be looked at again, that the BLM looked ONCE at Congress has designated many areas that the wilderness values on our public lands and should Eastern Nevada Campaign BLM did not recognize as wilderness study areas. never review or update that information. Clearly, resources and values change over time, and no inventory is perfect, which is why Earth Day by Brian Beffort land-use plans are updated. A perfect example of 2003 As we head into spring, the wheels rolling to- this is the growing threat of off-road vehicle im- ward wilderness designation in eastern Nevada pacts on our public lands. Twenty years ago, BLM are beginning to turn faster. land-use plans in Nevada said that virtually ALL Las Vegas For over a year, Friends of Nevada Wilderness public lands were open for off-road vehicles toSaturday, April 19 staff and members of the Nevada Wilderness Co- drive anywhere, anytime they wanted. With to- at Sunset Park alition have been meeting with locals and agency day’s booming population and burgeoning use of 10 am - 4 pm representatives in White Pine and Lincoln coun- motorcycles, quads and other off-road vehicles, ties, trying to build local support for wilderness in our public lands are being roaded at an alarming Reno the area, taking inventory of wilderness-quality rate. The BLM and other land-management agen-Sunday, April 27 lands in the area, and addressing concerns brought cies have responded by addressing restrictions in at Idlewild Park up by locals. The Coalition’s Eastern Nevada Wil- 10 am - 5 pm their land-use plans. derness Proposal is due out by May. What you can do to help: see page 5 Volunteers Twice since December, representatives from wanted to help the offices of Senator Harry Reid, Senator John From the front lines Page 2 at event! Ensign and Congressman Jim Gibbons have also Activist weekend at Wee Thump Page 3 Inside: visited the counties to begin discussing the details “Forever Wild” concert Page 4 of possible legislation. The recent Clark County Trek the Fortification Range Page 5 Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resourc- Volunteers needed at Black Rock Page 6 es Act of 2002, which combined wilderness desig- Sloan Canyon dedication Page 6 Harry Reid speaks in Reno Page 7 1 (continued on page 2)
  2. 2. d From the front lines by Shaaron Netherton, Executive Director Las Vegas Members Board of Directors Not only do we have to worry ability to consider wilderness as a about war with Iraq, but the resource in their land use plans. Theo Byrns administration and some Amid the doom and gloom on David Charlet members of Congress are a national front, Friends of Hermi Hiatt waging war on potential Nevada Wilderness continues to John Hiatt wilderness make progress locally Macaire Moran areas around to protect wilderness I ask you all to Reno Members the county. In areas. Our eastern the last issue of make a personal Nevada Wilderness this newsletter commitment to our Campaign is moving Karen Boeger planet and to Henry Egghart we talked forward and there is a about the Nevada’s wild potential for signifi- Corey Lewis attack on places and get cant wilderness Ron Hunter wilderness involved. protection in White Roger Scholl Marge Sill study areas by Pine and Lincoln Executive Director the Bush administration in an counties. attempt to get rid of over half of With Earth Day coming up, I Las Vegas Staff Shaaron Netherton the BLM’s wilderness study ask you all to make a personal areas. This attack has been commitment to our planet and Jeremy Garncarz broadened with some members Nevada’s wild places and get Reno Staff Dino Fulgencio of Congress pushing for involved. Come to the Walkin’ Jim wilderness study areas to lose Stolz concerts and find yourself re- Brian Beffort their protection. energized, come on out to the Pat Patera Much of the impetus seems to Earth Day events, write letters (see Richard Knox come from the oil and gas the action items in this issue), Northern Nevada Office industry that wants more and realize that your involvement can more land open to exploitation. and does make a difference. In this issue, we discuss a new Do it for the earth! PO Box 9754 threat that has just raised its Reno, NV 89507 Southern Nevada Office head — an attack on the BLM’s (775) 324-7667 Eastern Nevada Campaign (continued from page 1) 1700 E. Desert Inn #406 Website nation with other public-land convey- Las Vegas, NV 89109 sional delegations have scheduled (702) 650-6542 ances, and which included input from more meetings for mid-April. The E-mail the full spectrum of interested parties, next newsletter will have more up- is expected to be the model for an dates. eastern Nevada bill. The Congres- > What you can do! see below Please help at this early stage of the process by Get on the list contacting your Senators and Congressman to To get Wilderness news and action alerts, express your support for wilderness in eastern subscribe to the Friends Nevada. If you can tell about particular areas of Nevada Wilderness you’ve visited, officials will appreciate your email list: Send post to comments. Your voice will go a long way to with subscribe as subject protecting our precious public lands out there.2
  3. 3. Keeping it Wild:dActivist weekend at Wee Thumpby Dino Fulgencio cause of the presence of fairly fresh garbage scat- Southern During a field work/camping trip on February tered in the vicinity. After collecting the trash in the Nevada14 -16 at Wee Thump Wilderness, members of area, we replaced the sign with the hope that peo- Happeningsthe Nevada Wilderness Coalition were joined by ple exercise their better judgment and respect theseveral volunteers to do a disturbance and sign in- authority these signs represent.ventory in one of Southern Nevada’s newest ad- As part of the trip, the group took advantage ofditions to the National Wilderness Preservation the occasion to make a colorful “Thank You” sign Volunteer NightSystem. to express their gratitude to our Congressional dele- every first Thursday The area is a dense old-growth forest of gi- gates and their staff for all their hard work in taking 4-8 pm at Moosegantic Joshua Trees. Wee Thump means “ancient a positive first step in ensuring the preservation of McGillicuddy’sones” in the Native-American Paiute language. Nevada’s wild lands with the passage of the Clark Happy HourScientists have learned that Joshua trees often County Public Lands Bill.grow as little as a half-inch per year. In this new- With a spankingly-designated wilderness area, a majority of them new wilderness sign instand over 30 feet tall. the foreground, the The main objective of the trip was to check on rugged McCulloughwhether the Wilderness signs posted a month ago Mountains in theby the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to background, and hugemark wilderness boundaries were still present. It Joshua Trees over-was also an opportunity to take note and report whelming the group,new and obvious human impacts and disturbances they proudly held upin the area to the federal agency. their thank you sign Volunteers and Coalition members used hand- and shouted, “Keep Itheld GPS units to locate the markers and pinpoint Wild!” as a picturewhere to replace those which were missing. For- was taken for posteri-tunately, only one BLM Wilderness sign was un- ty in the fascinatingaccounted for. Its location was in an old car wilderness area called Volunteers hold signs: “Thank You Harry Reid”campsite that could have been recently used be- Wee Thump. NorthernFriends welcomes new board members Nevada Friends of Nevada Wilderness extends a gra- an invited speaker at an international symposium. Happeningscious welcome to two new members of the board He spoke at academic institutions in Shanghai andof directors. Both live in southern Nevada. Beijing. Currently, he is working on the Clark Volunteer Night David Charlet received his M.S. in Biology County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan. every firstand his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conserva- Macaire Moran graduated from Michigan Wednesday,tion Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. State University’s James Madison College with a 5:30 - 7:00 atHe teaches biology and environmental science at bachelor of art in Political Economy. After college Silver Peak Brewerythe Community College of Southern Nevada. she moved back to Chicago and worked in interna- Happy Hour Dr. Charlet’s research is acutely focused on the tional trade. In 2001, with a business partner, shenatural history of the Great Basin and Mojave moved to Las Vegas, where they recently expand-Desert. He has worked in most of Nevada’s 314 ed their commodity business to include managednamed mountain ranges, and wrote a reference securities on the conifers of Nevada. He mapped the Macaire Moran became involved in wildernessvegetation of the Carson Range and much of the issues when she first moved to Las Vegas and dis-eastern Sierra Nevada under a National Perfor- covered the beauty of the surrounding area. She ismance Review grant sponsored by Vice President an active member of the Sierra Club. “I’m excitedGore’s Committee on Reinventing Government. about working with Friends to increase wilderness 3 Dr. Charlet gave a speaking tour in China, as all over the state,” said Moran.
  4. 4. V Forever Wild: a Wilderness celebration One of America’s most unique folksingers and vironmental Pro- backcountry travelers, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, on tour tection Agency’s Support from the mountains of Montana, will bring his Outstanding Nevada’s moving multi-media show, Forever Wild, to Reno Achievement Mission and Las Vegas. Award for his Wilderness Statement The photography, sto- sharing of nature Come out ries and music make this and wilderness to see one-of-a-kind concert an across America. inspiring journey into our Edward Ab- Walkin’ nation’s last wilderness bey, the late author Jim Stoltz areas. of so many nature Friends of Nevada Walkin’ Jim gets his classics, described Wilderness is name from over 25,000 Stoltz as “a music dedicated to miles he has walked man of exuber- preserving all through the wild country ance and passion, qualified Nevada of North America. Carry- with more to say in public lands as ing a guitar and writing his songs along the way, one song than Wilderness, his lyrics express a great love and respect for the Frank Sinatra ever protecting all Earth and the wild places he knows so well. managed in apotential Wilderness Known for his powerful baritone and emotion- whole bloody con- from ongoing packed vocals, his Forever Wild show combines cert.” threats including live music and poet- This event is a mining, over- ry with stunning, benefit for Friends grazing, road multi-image slides. of Nevada Wilder- construction, and The mix of photos ness to help theiroff-road vehicle use, and music results in efforts to protect Nevada’s wild places.educating the public a stirring celebration Event sponsors include the Atlantis Casino Re- on the values of – of wilderness. Stoltz sort and Patagonia, Inc. For more information, call and need for – is a veteran of 30 (775) 324-7667 or (702) 650-6542. Wilderness, and years of performing. Hear a sample of Walkin’ Jim’s music improving the In this year’s show, online at management and he will share images restoration of these Reno and songs from his public lands. recent Yellowstone Atlantis Casino Resort to Yukon walk, the Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 Nevada and Utah Doors open at 7:00 wildlands, the North- Las Vegas Tickets Friends of ern Rockies, the Pa- CCSN West Charleston Nevada cific Crest Trail Campus, D-152 from Mexico to Thursday, April 17 at Wilderness at Canada, and wild 7:00 pm (775) 324-7667 places all over (702) 650-6542. America. Walkin’ Jim has Prices in advance: toured extensively adults $15, students with valid ID $10, for over 18 years children under 12 are $7.50. and has been pre- Tickets will be $5.00 more at the door. sented with the En-4
  5. 5. WTrek the Fortification RangeBy Brian Beffort If you happen to be driving U.S. 93 south of termined hikers should aim for Fortification PeakEly as the sun is setting toward the horizon, you’ll rising to over 8,200 feet to the south of the can-learn quickly how the Fortification Range got its yon. An unnamed peak over 8,000-feet tall makesname. Glowing steep and bright in the setting sun, a good goal to the north. Both will reward youthe range’s sheer western cliffs indeed resemble a with stunning views of the range’s wonderful ter-great golden castle. But this is the just beginning of rain, the valleys below, and Mount Grafton risingthe beauty the Fortification Range has to offer. On to the east.the range’s northeastern flank, Cottonwood Can- Anyone who visits the area will learn the truthyon will give you a good sense of the area’s true about what wonders wait here and why it’s worthdiversity and beauty. protecting. Once you’re on the jeep track leading into Cot-tonwood Canyon, it will quickly become apparentwhy this canyon is different from so many othersin the area. Thanks to water draining from thehigher reaches of the canyon, and from Cotton-wood Spring, the drainage is choked with a thriv-ing tangle of ash, willow and cottonwood — abeautiful respite from the normally arid terrain. Park your vehicle at a convenient turn-aroundspot, grab some food, water, sunscreen, sunglassesand sun hat, and maybe a windbreaker in case youplan to hike to the top of the ridge, and set out fora wonderful hike up the canyon. The tight pinyon-juniper forest can get disori-enting. Luckily, the canyon is relatively narrow, soyou shouldn’t worry about getting lost. As youhike, you’ll get glimpses of tangled rock formationsrising above the trees. Soon, you’ll see a crown ofgolden rock along the top of the canyon. Although Towering cliffs mark the Fortification Rangethe climbing is steep at spots, you should be able to What you can do about . . .pick your route up to the crest of the range. De-FORTIFICATION RANGE - COTTONWOOD CYN Washington’s assault on WildernessJust the facts:DIRECTIONS: Roughly 18 miles south of Major’s (story on page 1) Honorable Jim GibbonsPlace (the intersection of U.S. 93 and U.S. 50/6), Please write Representative Gibbons 440 S. Virginia St.,and ½-mile north of the Lake Valley Summit, turn (address at right) and let him know you Suite 502east onto a well-graded dirt road. A sign will point to support BLM’s Wilderness Inventory Reno, NV 89501Atlanta. Drive about 15 miles southeast, then south Honorable Harry Reid Handbook and that you demand the BLMalong the east of the range. After about 12 miles, 440 S. Virginia St., continues to look at Nevada’s wilderness Suite 702the road will split at a fence. Continue driving values as well as other resource values Reno, NV 89501straight south three miles until you find a jeep trailheading west (right) up into Cottonwood Canyon. during the planning process. Honorable John EnsignEnter the canyon, then park at a convenient place For a copy of the letter that Gibbons 440 S. Virginia St.,where you’ll be able to turn around. The route signed to Secretary of the Interior Gale Suite 738quickly gets too narrow to turn around. Reno, NV 89501 Norton, log on to the Friends web site atFACILITIES: None. and go to theDETAILS: Ely BLM at (775) 289-1800 action 5
  6. 6. z Dedication Ceremony conveys improvisation, inspiration Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area by Jeremy Garncarz On Monday, February 17, Nevada’s Congres- California, members of the Nevada congressional sional delegation, along with tribal members, for- delegation addressed the crowd. mally dedicated America’s newest National Con- Senator Reid thanked Sherm Fredericks from A heartfelt servation Area, the Sloan Canyon National Con- the Las Vegas Review/Journal for introducing Thank You servation Area, located at the southern end of the him to the area years ago and really proving to Las Vegas valley. About 200 people attended, in- to all the him that the area needed some form of permanent cluding members of the Nevada Wilderness Coali- protection. Friends of tion, Friends of Sloan Petroglyphs, Friends of Red Senator Ensign, Representative Gibbons, and Nevada Rock, and local area residents. Representative Porter all gave fine speeches, Wilderness The ceremony began with a bit of improvisa- each recognizing the area’s unique quality and new members, tion, due to technical difficulties — the sound sys- Senator Reid’s relentless efforts to seek appropri- tem that was supposed to play the National An-renewing members, ate permanent protection for the area. them failed, which led to an unknown audience The event was a huge success. Looking back, Life Members member chiming in and leading the crowd in an ac- I cannot help but think about the future. I realize and Patrons. capello singing of the National Anthem. After a how beneficial this National Conservation Area moving introduction prayer and speech from Wally will be to the quality of life of those living in south- Special thanks Antone, Quechan spiritual leader of Winterhaven, ern Nevada and in all of these United States. Wilderness volunteers needed on the Black Rock Desert toThe Pew Charitable Trusts The weather’s getting warm, but not too hot. There will be other opportunities to volunteer throughout the summer, as well. Wilburforce Now is the time to get out in fresh air, flex your muscles and enjoy Neva- If you’re interested, you can regis- The dates: Foundation da’s wonderful wilderness. ter (it’s free — we just need to know April 12-13, Wyss Foundation The Bureau of Land Management how many people are coming) by call- April 26-27, Patagonia and the Nevada Conservation Corps ing Brian Beffort at (775) 324-7667. May 10-11 have crews working in the Black And don’t forget to mark your cal-Tortuga Foundation Rock Desert on the following dates. endars now for National Public Lands They are inviting members of the Day, September 20-21, when we’ll public to join them. This is a great op- combine the work with a big barbe- portunity to get out on the ground and give some- cue, campfire and celebration on the Black Rock thing back to your public lands. Plus, public involve- playa. ment in these projects also helps assure funding for Get out your pens, and mark a weekend in your these projects in the future — and there’s a lot of calendar, then call Brian for details about dates, work to be done out there! times, activities and how to prepare. Black Rock Desert management plan unveiled 1JIDAHA1JIDAHA The Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon or download the plan from: Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area plan/EIS is finally out for public comment. This plan will guide how the new NCA and Comments are due by June 5th. wilderness areas are managed. The BLM will have a meeting in Reno on Please visit the Friends of Nevada Wilderness Friday April 25 at the BLM Office from 4-7. website for potential talking points for your You can request a hard copy or CD from comments, a full list of public meeting times and the Winnemucca BLM — call (775) 623-1500 places and more. www.nevadawilderness.org6
  7. 7. zSenator Harry Reid speaks outby Ron Hunter Senate Minority Leader and Nevada’s senior for you, me, and every other resident of the Truckeesenator, Harry Reid, spoke at the Patagonia Ser- Meadows.vice Center on Feb.18. Before a standing-room- 2 He saved the Owyhee Canyonlands fromonly crowd, which included the media, the north- gratuitous military over-ern Nevada environmental community, and many flights.Patagonia employees, Reid introduced his Renew- 2 He recently helpedable Energy Development Incentives Act. This breathe life back into thebill gives a tax incentive to renewable energy pro- fight to save Walkerviders in Nevada and across the nation. By host- this event, Patagonia took the stance of a busi- 2 Senator Reid hasness leader that supports both renewable energy battled to protect theand protection of the environment. wonders of nature and Friends of Nevada Wilderness and other mem- wildlife at Yellowstonebers of the wilderness coalition took this opportu- from the pollution andnity to thank Senator Reid for his leadership in noise of unfetteredprotecting southern Nevada’s wild places. snowmobiling. For many years, Reid has been a champion on 2 He mastermindedenvironmental issues, including the Arctic Nation- the successful effort toal Wildlife Refuge, the Clean Air Act, and in the protect the Arctic Na-restoration of Lake Tahoe. tional Wildlife Refuge 2 He established Great Basin National Park. from oil and gas exploita- 2 He wrote the 1989 Forest Service Wilder- tion.ness bill for Nevada. 2 Senator Reid has 2 He helped create the Red Rock Canyon waged a valiant battleand Black Rock Desert National Conservation against those, includingAreas. President Bush, who 2 He passed the visionary Truckee River Set- would damage Nevadatlement Act, and in doing so, saved Pyramid Lake, by shipping nuclearand provided a more secure supply of clean water waste to Yucca Mtn. B Declare your equeath a future of Wilderness wilderness support with a “wild” T-shirt A wonderful way to honor a friend or family member who has loved the wild places of Nevada is to make a contribution in her/his name to the Friends of Nevada Wilderness Endowment Fund. This fund will grow as the years pass. Printed on 100% Friends of Nevada Wilderness has a long-range mission: to help Nevada’s wild places remain wild organic cotton. forever. Since you share this commitment, you may wish to make a legacy gift to Friends of Nevada Wilder- New styles Memorial gifts and bequests ness a part of your estate planning. For further information, call Shaaron Netherton (775) 324-7667. arriving soon! Check for styles on website: www.nevada We hope you will consider the Friends of Nevada Wilderness in your estate planning. Memorial gifts Please specify size: and bequests can permanently support conservation in Nevada. We welcome inquiries about bequests at S, M, L, XL (775) 324-7667. If you wish to make a provision in your will, the following general form is suggested: “I give, devise and bequeath to the Friends of Nevada Wilderness, a Nevada not-for-profit corporation, Cost: $10 + located on the date hereof at One Booth Street, Reno, NV 89509, the sum of $_______ (or specifically de- $2 shipping. scribed property)”. 7