Group Excellence: Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Winnemucca District Office, NV
Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW), a partner organization that supports the BLM’s Winnemucca District, is comprised of skilled and dedicated volunteers who embody public lands stewardship at its finest. Almost all FNW members live in Reno, so Winnemucca District projects are at least two hours away by car; yet these stalwart volunteers are willing to spend their time, money, and gas to serve on remote BLM-managed lands, devoting their weekends to enhancing the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (BR NCA). In 2016, the Friends tended to Soldier Meadows Cabin and campground, installing cabin steps, painting walls and benches, and cleaning fireplaces. Thirteen FNW volunteers also participated in the first annual Desert Dace Days, a project to improve habitat for the threatened desert dace, a fish species found only in springs and creeks at Soldier Meadows. FNW also maintained the Upper High Rock Canyon Trail, installed wilderness boundary markers, removed debris from wilderness areas, and hauled hundreds of pounds of trash from public lands. The Friends joined other partners to plan and conduct activities at the Black Rock Rendezvous, a large public education and service event. FNW members also volunteered at the famous Burning Man arts festival, where they assisted BLM staff teaching visitors about the playa’s cultural, historic, and natural features, including the threatened fairy shrimp that hatch during spring floods. FNW volunteers also monitor recreation sites and report issues to the BLM in this sparsely staffed area. Their efforts have truly made a difference, ensuring that the BR NCA remains a treasure for future generations to enjoy.
Learn more about volunteering with the Bureau of Land Management here: blm.gov/get-involved/volunteers
Photo by BLM.