Summer 2005 Nevada Wilderness Project Newsletter


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Summer 2005 Nevada Wilderness Project Newsletter

  1. 1. Nevada Wilderness Project Summer 2005 River Boating in Nevada? Nevada’s wilderness has a funny way of revealing itself toyou. When I think about my own personal experiences inNevada’s backcountry, I realize how fortunate I’ve been tohave so many unique experiences. A snapshot of trips in thepast year: a day hike in the Schell Creek Range in WhitePine County, footsteps flushing out bobcat, elk, raptors, andthe occasional Peruvian ranch hand slumbering creekside;muffled snowshoe hike to a frozen waterfall in Big Den Can-yon in Churchill County’s Desatoya Range; rainbows appearagainst a darkened skyin southern Nevada’sHighland Range. Themore time you spendout in Nevada, the moreyou expect to see the a gentle class I-II run with a couple of technical rapids.unexpected. The river winds through desert badlands, at one point passing through a spectacular canyon with granite out-Nevertheless, no ex- crops rising above the river.perience I’ve had inNevada quite prepared The two rafts and three kayakers in our party all had ame for a trip that 15 of us took on July 3rd. On short notice grand time on the day long trip, and especially gainedand after little planning, we realized a rare opportunity to an appreciation for the segment of river that is sur-float a wilderness river in Nevada: the East Walker River! rounded by our wilderness proposal on both sides.We are fortunate to have an incredible stretch of this wild Truly a wild stretch of river, you can find out more river within our proposed about our Bald Mountain Proposed Wilderness by go- Bald Mountain Wilderness, ing to our website with the river forming part of our proposed wilderness A special thanks to Jim Fitzsimmons from UNR’s Rec pro- gram for the equipment and the guiding of our party to safe boundary and for a few passage! All boating photos by Jim Fitzsimmons. spectacular miles, it is within the boundary. The East Walker winds its way In this Issue: from the Bridgeport Reser- Boating in Nevada - pg. 1 voir in California, between Volunteer Spotlight - Chuck Levitan - pg. 2the Pine Grove Hills and Wassuk Range, and north into Yer- Business Highlight - Grounds for Change - pg. 2ington, where it meets the main Walker and continues to Wilderness Profile - Burbank Canyons - pg. 3Walker Lake. Wilderness Value Trips - pg. 4Normally water levels in July don’t permit a full fledged river Board Bio’s - pg. 5trip on the East Walker. However, a big snow year upstream Fundraising - pg. 5has kept the river flowing. On the Sunday we ran it, the river WILD Calendar - pg. 6flowed at 600 cubic feet per second, good enough to make it
  2. 2. Nevada Wilderness Volunteer Spotlight: Chuck Levitan Project A fixture at Sierra Nevada College for many years, Chuck’s role as a profes- 8550 White Fir Street sor and educator has put him in a great position to introduce his students, and Reno, NV 89523 himself, to the unique basin and range that make up all “that” land to the east of Incline Village. Through field trips with students, Chuck (and some of his 775.746.7850 contemporaries at SNC) has been instrumental in helping to dispel the that Nevada is a wasteland. Both Chuck and the rest of the Sierra Nevada 501 (c) (3) non-profit College community deserve our thanks and praise. corporation Currently Chuck teaches a seemingly endless variety of subject matter, from calculus to limnology (the study of freshwater bodies). Yet they are all connected as they add to the students gaining an appreciation of the natural world (Yes, even calculus!). Thanks to Chuck’s intellectual curiosity and NWP Board of Directors sense of humor, he is at home staring into the purple sulfur-oxidizing bacteria near some salt flat or Bret Birdsong, Board Director high up on the ridges and peaks of central Nevada. Out on a hike with Chuck you are likely to en- Kim Jardine, Secretary gage in conversations as wide in appeal as the classes he teaches. He also knows how to read a map, which is ALWAYS helpful on an outing to the Nevada backcountry! Chris Todd Morlee Griswold According to Chuck, the mountain ranges in Nevada are “spectacular”. He is particularly inter- Tori King ested in the short, ephemeral streams that are lined with riparian vegetation that can be found Brian O’Donnell throughout the state. The places he wants to get to know better: the Shoshone Range AND the Toi- yabe Range. NWP Staff Since he began volunteering for Nevada’s wild places, Chuck has found himself inquiring about John Wallin, Director road networks in rural county seats and hiking the granite bulbs and outcrops of Lava Beds in Per-Kristie Connolly, Associate Director shing County. He has a keen sense of how to use GIS and aerial photos to answer on-the ground Kevin Mack, DC Representative questions that traditional field inventory has problems with. As a compliment to our ongoing field Erika Pollard, Nat’l Outreach Dir. inventory of Nevada’s wild places, Chuck has been a great asset. Cameron Johnson, Outreach Dir. Taking a group of college students into the field is one daunting task, but Chuck does not shy fromMackenzie Banta, Development Dir. the challenge. Nor does he shy away from the challenge of seeking wilderness status for some of his favorite places. By the way, the non-wilderness spot that most intrigues him in the state? Find a Coalition Partners map and take a look at 119’ W 40’N, and let your imagination take over. His favorite place is probably no surprise, Mt. Rose Wilderness. Everyone’s favorite backyard Wilderness with a stag-Campaign for America’s Wilderness gering diversity that one day may reveal a bobcat or white-headed woodpecker, the next the glorious Friends of Nevada Wilderness sound of silence only broken by wind through the balsamroot.Nevada Outdoor Recreation Assoc. Red Rock Audubon Society Like so many volunteers, Chuck came to work on behalf of Nevada’s wild places for a very simple Sierra Club - Toiyabe Chapter reason- “to do good for the state and meet great people.” Well, Chuck has certainly done good for The Wilderness Society the state. Nevada Wilderness Project is proud to call him a friend and a great resource that is always willing to lend a helping hand. Thanks Chuck! NWP Mission Statement If you’re a coffee drinker and you haven’t yet heard of Seattle-based Grounds for Change, you just found a great new place to buy your coffee. The Grounds for Change mission is, “To support social equity and environ-Experiencing the beauty Business mental responsibility through fair trade, organic, shade grown coffee.” of unspoiled wild lands As a family owned business, Grounds for Change believes “it is our responsi-is a precious opportunity Supporter bility to make our purchase decisions wisely, taking into account the environ- deserved by every hu- mental, social and economic impacts of our spending.” Highlight: man being, present and What does this have to do with Nevada wilderness? Well, Grounds for future. The Nevada Wil- Change has engaged the Nevada Wilderness Project in their affiliate program. derness Project is com- They generously donate 10% Purchases of their coffee through our website— mitted to saving spec- providing Nevada Wilderness Project members with another great way to tacular, rugged-and im- support our work, while drinking sustainable coffee products from around the world. periled-public lands in Nevada as permanent Since we started in the affiliate program last year, coffee purchases on our Wilderness, the strong- website have generated over $1000 in additional revenue for our work. We love their coffee, and we really appreciate their help in our work to protect est protection possible. Nevada’s wild. Thank them and help us by purchasing coffee at http:// 2 Summer 2005
  3. 3. Wilderness Area Profile: This little gem of a potential wilderness area (it is only 13,395 acres as identified by the BLM), is just north of Smith Valley, also very near the communities of Minden and Gard- Burbank Canyons nerville. While Burbank Canyons is not too far off the beaten path, it does take some effort to get to, and once there you Wilderness Study Area will find lush canyons, wildlife and breathtaking views. Douglas & Lyon Counties Golden eagle, mountain lion, black bear and bobcat are just a few of the critters that call this area home. While some are just visitors, the Burbank Canyons area is a retreat for wild- life that are finding it increasingly difficult region to find a quite place. Whether in the valleys below or along the rest of the Pine Nut Mountains, people are having a big impact on this part of northern Nevada. Off-road vehicles are increas- ingly common in the Pine Nut Range and given the growth in the surrounding communities, it would seem that this use will only increase. Unfortunately, the BLM does not rec- ommend this area for wilderness desig- nation. Rather, they feel the area and its surrounding country is better left to the off-road vehicles and mining interests. Photo © Andrea Laue Given the small size of this area and the disproportionate amount of land in the Pine Nut range already in use by mining and off-road vehicle interests, it seems another case of the federal managing Photo © Kurt Kuznicki agency not seeing an opportunity to do the right thing and protect the remaining wild chunk of a heavily used mountain range. Roughly 400,000 acres in size, wilderness designation of the Burbank Canyons area would protect a miniscule 3% of the Pine Nut Mountains. Rather than allow the last few acres to be eaten up by ma- chines, should we not give this southern corner of the Pine Nut Range a chance to remain wild? The BLM has claimed that they need “flexibility” in managing this area and claim that by not protecting the area as wilderness they can still manage for vehicle and non-vehicle recreation. Would the BLM still not have "flexibility" if Burbank Canyons is desig- nated Wilderness, and the remaining 97% of the Pine Nut Mountains remain open to all uses? Nothing short of Wilderness designation for this area will suffice. To do otherwise would be an insult to the hundreds of thousands of people living in northern Nevada and an in- sult to the Pine Nuts, where for far too long, the mountains have been given short shrift. Nevada Atlas & Gazetteer Page 50 Section A4 Photo © Andrea LauePage 3 Summer 2005
  4. 4. Wilderness Value Trip Highlights Photo © Ron Hunter Rock Art in Gold Butte - Southern NV Photo © Kristie Connolly Hiking through Big Den Canyon in Desatoya WSA Photo © Kevin Day Happy Hikers on the top of Mt. Limbo Photo © Gotzone Garay Highland Range Photo © Cameron Johnson Photo © Gotzone Garay Burbank Canyons WSA - Artist at work Hiking up Mt. Limbo We have covered some serious ground over the past six months, ten trips that lead us through frozen canyons, over alpine ridges and peaks, and to dry desert playas. Sometimes we were cold, other times we were empty- ing scree from our boots, but all trips were filled with laughter. Thanks to everyone for coming along and not deserting us when we made those wrong turns or had to climb those steep canyon walls. Please tell your friends and encourage them to come out with us, your support and par- ticipation are crucial to our success and sanity! Photo © John WallinPage 4 Summer 2005
  5. 5. NWP Since the fall of 2003, the Nevada Wilderness Project has had a fantastic group of dedicated board members helping us with everything from fundraising to organizational development to merchandising. The board is a Board diverse group of individuals who all care about Nevada’s wild places and remain committed to our mission. Each of them brings a unique perspective to the board along with incredible skills to help us succeed. Thank Member Bio’s you to each of our board members for your help in making the Nevada Wilderness Project a stronger organi- zation and for selflessly working to protect more of Nevada’s incredible wilderness!Bret Birdsong - Board Director - Las Vegas, NV Morlee Griswold - Ventura, CAProfessor Birdsong teaches Environmental Law at the William S. Boyd Morlee is a 4th generation native Nevadan who spent her youth exploringSchool of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He earned his wild Nevada. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ne-J.D. degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law vada, Reno and an MBA from UC Davis. Her career path includesin 1993. After clerking for a judge of the United States District Court launching a catalog company selling videotapes, working for a catalogfor the Southern District of New York, Bret joined the U.S. Department creative agency and becoming the first managerial hire for a startup com-of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, as a trial attor- pany, SelfCare catalog, which sells health and fitness items. She wasney focusing on public land and natural resources litigation from 1994- recruited and hired by Patagonia in 1998, where she is Director of Direct2000. Since moving to Las Vegas in 2000, he has learned to point his Marketing. Morlee is an avid whitewater kayaker, a competitive kayakcar away from the Strip, where he enjoys the public lands with his part- surfer, and a skier.ner, Anne, and his son, Jacob. He is an avid flyfisher. Tori King - Las Vegas, NVKim Jardine - Secretary - Reno, NV Originally from southern California, Tori has lived in Las Vegas for tenBorn in California, raised in Northern Nevada, and veteran of a few years. She is a key account manager for Pepsi Bottling Group in the LasMontana winters, Kim is a Patagonia employee and works in the envi- Vegas Valley and also owns Revolution, an interior design and flooringronmental giving program. In the summer of 2003, Kim completed a company that provides custom design, consultation, and installation.Patagonia internship for the Nevada Wilderness Project in which she Tori was instrumental in the passage of the Clark County Lands Bill inmapped over 200,000 acres of potential wilderness. She enjoys x- 2002. When she’s not busy at one of her jobs, Tori enjoys belly dancingcountry skiing, quilting, gardening and working on her house with her and spending time with her two cats, Toby and Trixie.partner Marcial, and many other interesting hobbies. Brian ODonnell - Durango, COChris Todd - Ventura, CA Brian leads Trout Unlimited’s (TU) Public Lands Initiative. Before join-Chris heads the online marketing efforts for Patagonia. His love of the ing TU in April, Brian worked for The Wilderness Society, where he leddesert and wilderness stems from growing up in several National Parks campaigns, including those in Nevada, that resulted in the protection ofwhere his father was a ranger. He spent five years in the U.S. Coast more than 2 million acres of wilderness. Brian also worked to safeguardGuard and is a registered radiological technologist. He graduated from Alaska’s wild places as Executive Director of the Alaska WildernessSonoma State University in Cotati, California with a degree in econom- League. He earned a B.A. in Economics from Rollins College inics. Chris currently lives in Ventura, California with his wife Kena and 1993. Brian, his wife Melyssa, and their dog Paco spend their free timetheir children, Diego and Delia. exploring the rivers and mountains near their home in Durango, CO. Mackenzie Banta is NWP’s new Development Director UPCOMING Nevada based in Reno. What does a Development Director do Wilderness Project you might ask? Well, Mackenzie will work with our Fundraising Event! current and future members to give them the kind of customer service that we think our members should ex- Hood to Coast Race: pect from us. Her role will include communicating with August 26 & 27 our members about opportunities for giving and getting more involved in the NWP community of activists.The Fred Meyer Hood To Coast Relay is the Mackenzie comes to us from a varied background ofultimate adventure run! The largest relay race work experiences that includes Patagonia (thank you Patagonia!) and the Smith-in North America, its stretches 197 miles from sonian Institute in Washington DC, where she helped coordinate the Smithsonianthe top of Oregons Mt. Hood, down to the Folklife Festival. (If you have to be in DC during the summer, this is the freePacific Ocean, in Seaside, Oregon, over event that you have to head to on the National Mall.)12,000 runners show up to experience this She grew up for some time in Yerington, Nevada and then headed off to college inannual event, now in its 24th year. Oregon, where she studied art history, art management and event management.The Nevada Wilderness Project will have a She has also spent time living abroad in Denmark and Asia, among other places.relay team of 12-people participating in the We are not sure if she enjoys reading Babette’s Feast and eating leverpostejmad-event as a fundraising and outreach opportu- der, but we are certain she is a great addition to our team.nity for the protection of more Nevada wilder- Mackenzie enjoys travel, yoga, cowgirl boots, connecting to the land and can driveness. Stay tuned for more info and check our a Lincoln TownCar straighter than Shirley ( shortly formore info on the race and making a donation Please join us in welcoming Mackenzie back to Nevada and toto the event…. Nevada Wilderness Project!Page 5 Summer 2005
  6. 6. NEVADA WILDERNESS CALENDAR WILDERNESS VALUE 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 - Wilderness Value Trips July 30th: Bald Mountain Day Hike Photo © Kristie Connolly Join us for a day hike to summit Bald Mountain, a proposed wilderness in Lyon County with spectacular 360 views of the Sierras, the Wassuk Range, the White Mountains, and Please join us for our more. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous (Group limit 10)monthly volunteer night at August 20th - 21st : Highland Ridge Car Campthe Great Basin Brewery Leave Reno or Las Vegas on Friday night, and join us for two days in the Snake Range of ( Eastern Nevada. This spectacular proposed wilderness is on a combination of BLM and FS every second Tuesday of lands, and forms the southern boundary of Great Basin National Park. Difficulty: Moderate each month at 6pm. (Group limit 10) Southern Nevada - Wilderness Value Trips August 20th: Fletcher Canyon Day Hike Beat the heat with an early morning hike in beautiful Fletcher Canyon, an easy out-and- back hike in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness. Approximately four miles in length, the hike features tall pines and stunning canyon scenery. Difficulty: Easy to moderate (Group limit 8) September 24th: Echo Overlook Hike Another higher elevation gem, the Echo Overlook in the Spring Mountains is a short, steepPlease join us at our booth hike under trees the entire way. Hike takes about 4.5 hours on this well maintained, popu- at the Sparks Farmer’s lar trail segment. Difficulty: Strenuous (Group limit 8) Market on August 11th from 4-9pm! 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 $25.00 Every 3 months $50.00 Annually $100.00 Please include check or money or- Name Phone Number $250.00 der 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