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Spring 2005 Friends of Nevada Wilderness Newsletter


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Spring 2005 Friends of Nevada Wilderness Newsletter

  1. 1. FRIENDS OF NEVADA WILDERNESS Keeping Nevada Wild Since 1984 Keeping Nev Wild SPRING 2005 After a sixteen-year wait White Pine Co. wilderness campaign begins By Brian Beffort In 1989, the Nevada Wilderness Protection Act designated 14 Forest Service wilderness areas across the state, including Mt. Moriah and Currant Mountain in White Pine County. However, the bill did not designate certain other wild gems – namely the Schell Creek Range and Highland Ridge in the southern Snake Range. Friends of Nevada Wilderness has been waiting for Congress to return to the region and give these beautiful mountain ranges the protection they deserve. Sixteen years later, the opportunity is here. Photo by Scott Smith Celebrate On February 7, 2005, the White Pine County Commission sent a letter to Nevada’s Congressional Earth Day delegation, expressing their interest and desire for a White Pine County public lands bill. In their letter,with Friends of the commission specifically mentions wilderness as Nevada one of the opportunities they wish to address with legislation. continued on page 5 Wilderness Bristlecone pine in Mt. Grafton WSA in Union Pacific Dynamites Inside Reno Wilderness Page and Severe floods in January washed away roads, Front Lines 2 bridges and railroad tracks and bridges in Lincoln Las Vegas. County near several new Wilderness areas. While Earth Day events schedule 2 repairing the railroad, Union Pacific ignored the Details on Clover Mountain Wilderness boundary and blasted Hike the South Egan WSA 3 page 2. away 5 acres of beautiful cliff in the Wilderness to Wildlands deserve a fresh look 4 get rock. Had they bothered to contact the BLM, a rock source outside the Wilderness could have been Keeping Mormon Mtns wild 6 found easily. Ely BLM personnel discovered the BLM planning updates 6 damage on March 14 and ordered the Railroad’s contractor, Las Vegas Paving Corp., to stop work Threats to White Pine County 7 immediately. Stewardship trips schedule back page continued on page 3 1
  2. 2. From the front lines White Pine and Lyon County bills expected, Board of Directors stewardship opportunities & Earth Day As Spring comes to Nevada, scoping meetings for the Sempra Coal Northern Nevada Members wilderness is blooming all over. White Plant, water pipelines in eastern Nevada, Henry Egghart Pine and Lyon counties show the Sloan Canyon NCA and others. See page 6 Ron Hunter potential for public lands bills this year for a partial schedule. Corey Lewis (more on Lyon next issue). I chose to Roger Scholl feature some of the wonderful wild Earth Day events will be held all over Marge Sill places in White Pine County for this Nevada. Please visit us at one of the Earth Rural Nevada Members Earth Day Newsletter. Please take the Day events listed below, and please Karen Boeger time to write your Congressional commit to doing something positive for Peter Bradley delegation about protecting our wild places. This some of these special places is a great season to Southern Nevada Members write letters, visit as wilderness. Theo Byrns areas on the ground Geoff Frasz I hope you are as outraged and work for a Hermi Hiatt as I am with the blatant healthy environment. John Hiatt destruction in our new Clover Macaire Moran Mountain Wilderness by the I bid a fond Bart Patterson Union Pacific Railroad farewell to Pete Company. Friends of Nevada Dronkers who Wilderness will make brought energy and Staff restoration of this wilderness Shaaron Netherton enthusiasm to his a high priority. work with Friends. He will be missed Northern Nevada Office Shaaron Netherton Several wilderness stewardship trips here. I wish him well in his expeditions Brian Beffort are scheduled this spring and early around the world. Richard Knox summer, and I hope to see some of you PO Box 9754 out there giving back to the land. For Be Wild, Reno, NV 89507 those of you who don’t want to get (775) 324-7667 down and dirty doing restoration, we will need wilderness supporters to attend Shaaron Netherton Eastern Nevada Office several meetings. There will be EIS Executive Director Pam White PO Box 150374 Ely, NV 89315 (775)289-8898 Earth Day 2005 Events Schedule Earth Day, Idlewild Park — Reno. Sunday, April 24 — 10 AM to 5 PM Southern Nevada Office Come out to Idlewild Park for a great day celebrating Mother Earth and stop by to talk Susan Potts wilderness with us in the big tent. 1700 E. Desert Inn #406 Las Vegas, NV 89109 UNLV Earth Day Friday, April 22 — Times arranged too late for this newsletter. (702) 650-6542 Summerlin Earthfaire – Summerlin Centre Community Park Saturday, April 23 — 10 AM to 3 PM. Earth Day Weekend — Spring Mountain Ranch State Park Sunday, April 24 — 8 AM to dusk. Volunteers needed for all Earth Day events — Please call Friends’ Las Vegas or Newsletter published quarterly Reno office to sign up. It’s fun, and you get to meet a lot of folk who want to learn more about saving Nevada’s wild places.2
  3. 3. Hike the South Egan Range WSABy Peter Druschke With its sheer limestone cliffs towering over the town of Lundand the stately pine forests in the higher elevations, the SouthEgan Range is an obvious contender for wilderness designation.You can help by visiting the area, getting to know it, then sharingyour love of the area with senators and the public as the WhitePine County public lands bill moves forward in 2005. This hike up Ninemile Canyon will give you a sampling ofwhat the South Egan Range has to offer: soaring limestone cliffsriddled with caves, springs with thickets of chokecherry andcottonwood, and lots of wildlife.Getting to the South Egan Range WSA From Las Vegas take I-15 east to 93 north. A few miles northof Ash Springs, turn left onto highway 318 toward Lund. FromEly drive south on Hwy 6, then south on 318 to Lund. Access tothe WSA is via an unsigned two-track on the east side of the high-way. It begins at a gate and corral about 23 miles north KirchWildlife Management Area near Sunnyside, or 9 miles south ofLund. Please close the gate! A tank and windmill (Sheep Passwell) are visible in the distance. Take the two-track to the rangefront. A rough portion of thetrack climbs the slope (4WD recommended). Park at the first The South Egan WSA is richly endowed withjunction to the right. Hike the trail (pack-trail on the USGS map) stunning scenery, impressive cliffs, lush ripariansouth up Ninemile Canyon. You will be treated to views of lower vegetation, diverse wildlife and opportunities forNinemile Canyon, lush with cottonwood and wild rose, thanks to solitude. Photo by Peter Druschke.perennial water. Where the trail crosses the wash, the adventur-ous can continue hiking up the canyon, take the first large right-fork and climb to the ridge. Bushwhacking is involved, but thepay-off is the open, windswept crest of the South Egan Range, Action you can takewith peaks over 9,000 feet cloaked with fir and limber pine. From Please invest a few moments to contact ourNinemile Mt. views stretch across a huge swath of east-central Congressional delegation and voice your support forNevada. Precipitous cliffs and canyons are visible to the south. protecting the South Egan Range as wilderness. Agency: BLM Ely at (775) 289-1800; Facilities: None on hike; nearest in Lund, 9 miles north. Delegation addresses and phone numbers are shown on Maps: DeLorme’s Gazetteer, page 56, grid B4; USGS Sheep page 5. Pass Canyon 7.5” quad.Union Pacific Dynamites wildernesscontinued from page 1 You can help Union Pacific has a history of disregarding wilderness Please write Union Pacific and tell them to restore theprotection, and this latest violation is outrageous. Union damage they did to the Clover Mountains Wilderness.Pacific needs to be held accountable for their illegal actions. Richard Davidson, CEOFriends of Nevada Wilderness is working with the BLM to see Union Pacific Railroad Companythat Union Pacific rehabilitates the damage done to the Clover 1400 Douglas StreetMountain Wilderness. Omaha, NE 68179 (402) 271-3298 - fax 3
  4. 4. BLM’s original process was rushed Nevada’s wildlands deser ve a fr esh look Nevada’s deserv fresh By Shaaron Netherton and Brian Beffort In the late 1970s, the Bureau of Land management was a foreign concept for many Management inventoried its lands in Nevada to in the BLM. see which qualified as wilderness, then The BLM’s wilderness inventories and recommended to Congress those the agency recommendations reflect the attitudes and felt were most suitable for wilderness knowledge of the times, but Nevada has designation. changed a lot since then. For “There are some Although the BLM did a fair nearly 20 years, Nevada has who can live without job at the time, 25 years of been the fastest-growing state wild things and hindsight show that the BLM’s Wilderness in the Union, and side effects some who cannot. original inventories missed have included increasing Like winds and numerous wildland gems, and management was pressures on Nevada’s lands. sunsets, wild things their recommendations do not a foreign concept Americans have also come to were taken for meet the demands and values of for many in the appreciate the recreational and granted until the 21st Century. Since that time, BLM. biological values of our unique Friends of Nevada Wilderness desert ecosystems. progress began to and the wider Nevada Wilderness do away with them. Coalition have worked to give More thorough proposals Now we face the Nevada’s wild landscapes the greater Friends of Nevada Wilderness has worked question of whether protection they deserve. with the Nevada Wilderness Project and others a still higher to inventory Nevada’s wildlands more‘standard of living’ is A rushed process thoroughly and to generate wilderness worth its cost in Mandated by the Federal Land Policy and proposals that reflect modern science and things natural, wild Management Act (FLPMA) in 1976, Nevada values. We’ve advocated our citizens’ and free.” BLM spent eight months evaluating its 49 proposals to local officials, agency personnel million acres for wilderness values by using and Congressional representatives. Congress— Aldo Leopold “existing information.” The agency has responded by designating numerous arid-A Sand County immediately eliminated 33 million acres from land wilderness areas in the Black RockAlmanac, 1949 further wilderness consideration. The BLM Desert, Clark County and Lincoln County, then spent six months on “intensive” on-the- often ignoring the BLM’s outdated suitability ground surveys of the remaining 16.1 million recommendations. Congress has also acres. Assuming they worked seven days a designated a few citizen-proposed wilderness week, BLM personnel had to inventory about areas (places that original BLM inventories 88,000 acres per day. About 11 million more missed), such as Wee Thump, Mt. Irish and acres were dropped from further wilderness the Big Rocks wilderness areas. consideration after this “intensive” inventory. In 1980, the BLM in Nevada designated Ultimately, wilderness is not about 100 Wilderness Study Areas, totaling 5.1 about the past but the future. million acres. These areas all had high wilderness potential. Over the next few years, Ultimately, wilderness is not about the past the BLM “studied” these areas, gathered public but the future. It’s about ensuring that we pass input, the recommended to Congress a on to future generations wildland resources pathetic 1.9 million acres as wilderness. and experiences that we’ve enjoyed. As Nevada moves forward with public lands BLM’s bias legislation to address wilderness, it’s important Before FLPMA, the BLM’s mission was to to give our unique wildlands the fresh look manage grazing and coordinate land surveys they deserve and not rely on inventories and and pioneer settlement. Wilderness recommendations from 25 years ago.4
  5. 5. wilderness beginsW hite Pine County wilder ness campaign be ginscontinued from page 1 “I love White Pine County,” said Marge Sill, founding water will remain to nourish the land and the people of theboard member of Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Nevada’s region.unofficial Mother of Wilderness. “It’s the first rural county I Protecting the region’s natural water supply is one ofencountered when I came to Nevada in 1953, and it’s one of the reasons Baker resident Roberta Moore supportsthe most beautiful. To me, White Pine County is the epitome wilderness in White Pine County. “Water sustains theof what is magnificent in Nevada.” delicate balance of natural resources in an arid climate,” Located in the heart of the Great Basin, White Pine County Moore said. “And wilderness preserves these naturalis a place where rugged limestone cliffs are dotted with resources and gives us refuge, inspiration, rest and hope inmysterious caves and ancient fossils, where crystal-clear a world gone haywire with modern contraptions.”streams cascade through twisting canyons, where deer and Friends of Nevada Wilderness looks forward toelk browse among evergreens and aspen, and where 5,000- working with the residents of White Pine County andyear-old bristlecone pine trees stand sentinel high on Nevada Congressional delegation to preserve White Pinewindswept peaks. County’s resources, habitat and way of life for generations In June, 2003, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the to come.Nevada Wilderness Coalition published the Citizens’Wilderness Proposal for White Pine County. This proposal is a Help Protect White Pine Co. wildernesswork in progress, and here are just a few of the reasons why Write Congressional representatives and urge themwe’re so excited about White Pine County wilderness: to support wilderness designation in White Pine County. Schell Creek Range. Peaks nearly 12,000 feet tall, Please mention your favorite areas, or those mentionedstately aspen, perennial streams, elk, deer, and soaring views. here, in your letter. Highland Ridge. Just south of Great Basin National Please contact the White Pine County CommissionPark, towering limestone cliffs, aspen forests, and amazing and express your support of wilderness.opportunities for solitude. White Pine County Commission South Egan Range WSA. A 10,000-foot ridgeline 801 Clark St.with towering cliffs, ponderosa pine forests and wonderful Ely, NV 89301wildlife. Attend one of the restoration or Leave No Trace Mount Grafton WSA. The tallest BLM peak in trips scheduled in the area (back cover).Nevada (10,990 feet), home to deer, elk, bighorn, cougar and Learn more about these places by callingbobcat, as well cascading streams, quaking aspen and (775) 324-7667 or logging ontosweeping views. Goshute Canyon WSA. Home to GoshuteCave, 10,000-foot peaks, deep canyons, toweringcliffs and 4,000-year-old bristlecone pines. Nevada’s Congressional Leaders Mail to DC may face serious delays. Use Nevada addresses or fax instead. Mount Moriah additions. Forested canyons,slopes, and streams with endangered Bonneville Senator Harry Reid Senator John Ensign Las Vegas Carson CityCutthroat Trout. Lloyd D. George Building 600 East William St., # 304 Currant Mountain additions. Diverse and 333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, # 8016 Carson City, Nevada 89701forested rolling hills along the base of this gorgeous Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 Las Vegaswilderness area. Phone: 702-388-5020 333 Las Vegas Blvd. South, # 8203 Reno Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 By conserving these and other wild and beautiful 400 So. Virginia Street, # 902 Phone: 702-388-6605landscapes in White Pine County, we will be able to Reno, Nevada 89501 DC fax: 202-228-2193ensure that wildlife will have the habitat it needs to Phone: 775-686-5750thrive, that outdoor recreational opportunities will not Fax: 775-686-5757 Representative Jim Gibbonsdiminish under the onslaught of motor vehicles and Reno Rural Nevada Mobile Office 400 South Virginia Street, # 502development, that the rural way of life that makes Phone: 775-772-3905 Reno, Nevada 89501Nevada special will continue, and that clear, clean DC fax: 202-224-7327 Phone: 775-686-5760 DC fax: 202-225-5679 5
  6. 6. Keeping the Mor mon Mountains W ild eeping Mormon By Susan Potts Projects to protect and restore wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas comprise an important aspect of our work. We recently completed two such stewardship projects in southern Nevada. The ‘Search for the Missing Springs’ project was undertaken to help the Las Vegas BLM develop a management plan for the South McCullough Wilderness area. On several outings, volunteers Mission hiked this lovely area south of Las Vegas, and we Statement located and verified the presence of many springs. This project is continuing and if you would like to Keep help, call Susan Potts at (702) 650-6542. Nevada Easter weekend, volunteers teamed up with the Wild! Ely BLM to close a road in the newly established Mormon Mountains Wilderness. We built a hiker- Friends of Nevada accessible fence across the route and converted the Wilderness is two-track into a hiking trail by planting vegetation, Susan Potts and Nancy Hall placing signs on dedicated to raking gravel, and placing rocks to make it look the Mormon Mountains Wilderness boundary. preserving all natural. Finally, we installed boundary signs that Photo by Vicky Hoover. qualified Nevada inform visitors of the important cultural sites being These outings are a fun way to help protect our protected. beautiful wild places. Please join us for the next one! public lands as Wilderness, See the back page for a trip schedule. protecting all present and BLM planning updates potential Wilderness May 11, 2005 6:00-8:00 PM The squeaky wheel theory of politics says that from ongoing Paseo Verde Library Democracy belongs to those who show up at the threats, educating 280 S. Green Valley Parkway meetings and submit comments to planning efforts. Henderson, Nevada the public on the Please help direct the BLM as it develops the following values of – and plans. To discuss specific issues involved, please call Ely BLM water pipeline EIS need for – us at (775) 324-7667 or (702) 650-6542, and visit our Scoping meetings April 26 to May 11 at website for details. Wilderness, and various locations in Nevada and Utah The improving the complete schedule with dates, times and Sloan Canyon NCA/North McCullough Wilderness management and locations can be found on our website: The draft management plan / EIS is available at Click on restoration of these Mail comments to the “issues ” then “Attend meetings.” public wild lands. BLM at Las Vegas address below. Deadline: June 23, 2005. Public hearings will be at these locations: Comment deadline: June 15. Mail your comments to: May 10, 2005 6:00-8:00 PM BLM Las Vegas Field Office Ely BLM 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive HC 33, Box 33500 Las Vegas, Nevada 89130 Ely, Nevada 89301 Drink beer, save wilderness Moose McGillicuddy’s, Las Vegas Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness for our 4770 S. Maryland Parkway Wilderness Happy Hour. Look for the “KEEP IT First Thursday each month, 5 to 7 PM WILD” sign. (In May, will be first Weds., 05/04)6
  7. 7. Threats to wildlands in White Pine CountyBy Pam White The threats to our wild public lands nationally and in WhitePine County keep mounting. Oil and gas exploration and development may threatenpotential wilderness lands in the White Pine Range and othernearby ranges. Wilderness designation is the only sure way toprotect some of these wild lands from the road building andpads associated with oil development. The creation of new roads is at an all time high in White PineCounty and mule deer populations are at all time lows. Wildlifeneeds large areas of land free from roads in order to thrive andmaintain acceptable population levels. Irresponsible off roadvehicle use is mostly to blame for the huge number of pioneeredroads throughout White Pine County. Wilderness designationallows for vehicle access on boundary roads and at key accesspoints while keeping vehicles from driving all over the Hiker enjoying the beauty of the South Schell Creek Rangebackcounty. proposed wilderness just outside of Ely, Nevada. Lastly and maybe most importantly, White Pine County’swild mountains provide key watersheds for residents — human Minimizing new roads, providing wildlife habitat andand wildlife alike. Wilderness designation will help keep these protecting our watersheds are essential to the future. Wildernesswatersheds in good shape. We all count on clean water to is the best answer for a healthy future which will maintain thesurvive. current rural quality of life in eastern Nevada. Without enough wilderness America will change. Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by the regular contact with out- door growths — animals, trees, sun warmth, and free skies — or it will dwindle and pale. —Walt Whitman I want to join Friends of Nevada Wilderness Leave a legacy of wilderness Name:________________________________________________________ By bequeathing a memorial gift to Address: _____________________________________________________ Friends of Nevada Wilderness, you will City: _____________________________State:_______Zip:_____________ help ensure that Friends can protect Phone: (day) ______________________ (eve)________________________ wild places in Nevada into the future. E-Mail:_______________________________________________________ Your bequest, whether large or small, helps Friends weather economic ups ___$500 or more Benefactor ___$50 - $99 Friend and downs and is one of the best gifts ___$250 - $499 Patron ___$25 - $49 Supporter you can leave to future generations, an ___$100 - $249 Superfriend ___$15 - $24 Starter enduring legacy of wilderness. Payment by: ___ check ___ charge Visa or Mastercard only Please consider making a bequest or Card no. ___________________________________ __________ memorial gift to Friends of Nevada Signature ___________________________________________________ Wilderness. For information, call ___I want to help! Please contact me, I am interested in: Shaaron Netherton at (775) 324-7667. ___ Letter Writing ___ Tabling ___ Outings ___ Other Mail to: Friends of Nevada Wilderness, PO Box 9754, Reno, NV 89507 7
  8. 8. Thank you, Jackson! Nevada Stewardship 2005 Jackson Hume spent his childhood Leave No Trace roaming White Pine County’s spectacular June 11-12: Parsnip Peak** mountain ranges and now volunteers with July 23-24: Goshute Canyon** Friends of Nevada Wilderness to protect October 15-16: Little High Rock Canyon* these treasured areas as wilderness. He is Restoration a Nevada native who moved from Elko April 30-May 1: Black Rock Rendezvous to Ely before he was a year old. “Ely is Volunteer Orientation/Campout* my first home,´ Jackson says, “and as I May 14-15: Mormon Mountains Wilderness** travel and live outside of Nevada, I May 14-15: Soldier Meadows*realize how important it is to protect this area.” June 4: National Trails Day, Spring Mountains# June 11: Mt. Rose Wilderness*** Jackson spent a year in Germany and attended college in Maine. June 25-26: So. Jackson Mtns Wilderness*His time away helped him appreciate the wide open spaces and majes- August 13-14: Pahute Peak Wilderness*tic mountains of the Great Basin. Making fresh ski tracks in the Schell September 24-25: National Public Lands Day,Creek Range is just one of the many benefits of living out here. As an Soldier Meadows*Ely local, he understands and respects rural ways of life, and he knows September 24-25: Parsnip Peak Wilderness**how important it is to protect watersheds and public lands in order to For more information about these trips call:maintain the current quality of life in White Pine County. * Brian Murdock at Winnemucca BLM, “Water is vital,” he said, “and protecting our peaks and watersheds (775) 623-1761.will assure healthy water for the future, which benefits everyone.” **Stephen Leslie at Ely BLM, (775) 289-1867. Jackson will participate in letter writing campaigns and wilderness ***Brian Beffort at Friends of Nevada Wilderness,stewardships events. He asks that everyone do their part to protect (775) 324-7667.White Pine County wilderness by writing our Congressional delegation # Susan Potts at Friends of Nevada Wilderness,and getting out on the ground to visit these beautiful wild places. (702) 650-6542. Schedule of events on page 2. Earth Day! where every day is Wilderness ... Requested PERMIT NO. 318 Return Service RENO NV PAID Reno, NV 89507 U.S. POSTAGE PO Box 9754NONPROFIT ORG. Friends of Nevada Wilderness