Friday, December 08, 2006

For more wilderness information:

For facts and information on wilderness ethics and management, wilderness news, and other volunteer opportunities around Nevada, check out the following sites:

Public Lands Institute

Get Outdoors Nevada

Monday, November 20, 2006

Table Mountain- Barley Creek Trail Project

Friends of Nevada Wilderness organized a trail restoration project along the Barley Creek trail in the Table Mountain Wilderness during the weekend of November 4-5th. Friends transported and carpooled with four volunteers from Reno to the site, which was about 5 hours away.

The volunteers camped at the Spencer Hot Springs Friday night, and then continued on to the project site Saturday morning. The crew worked along the trail filling in severely washed out areas with rocks, brush, and dirt, pruning and lopping where the vegetation had crowded in the trail, and building rock walls where switchbacks were being cut and social paths were resulting in negative impacts on the wilderness resources. The crew began at the trailhead and worked about ¾ of a mile in to a point where the original trail had been completely submerged by the Barley Creek, due to a beaver dam that had flooded the area. A social path had already been formed along one side of the creek to avoid the flooded area, so the Friends volunteers concentrated on widening this path into the permanent tail, then joining back with the original path at a point where hikers and stock could easily cross the creek. The volunteers then blocked off the old section of the trail where access had been cut off due to the flooding and revegged this section so that it can eventually recover back into a natural setting.

After a long day of hard work, the crew successfully cleared the Barley Creek trail, filled in all the eroded washed out sections, and built a new trail around the flooded area and joining back with the original trail further down. The crew camped Saturday night outside the wilderness boundary, after enjoying a delicious veggie stir fry dinner provided by Friends, and then took off for the long drive back to Reno the following morning.

The weekend’s work produced very satisfying results. The Barley Creek trail is now restored and fully cleared of obstacles and brush. Thanks to the hard-working volunteers of Friends of Nevada Wilderness, visitors will now be able to enjoy this beautiful trail and appreciate a special part of Nevada’s public lands for many years.

* There were a total of 90 volunteer hours recorded for time spent on project and travel.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mt. Rose- Hunter Lake Road Project

On Saturday, October 21st, Friends of Nevada Wilderness Forest Project Coordinator Angie Dykema and 6 Friends volunteers went up the Hunter Lake Rd. through Mt. Rose Wilderness to restore an area that had been impacted by illegal off-road vehicle trespass.The crew met at the Friends of Nevada Wilderness office at 6:30 in the morning and carpooled to the site in two vehicles, accessing the Hunter Lake Rd. from the Garson Rd. entrance out of Boomtown. There were three sites that needed restoration from illegal vehicle trespass into the north wilderness area, all located along the Hunter Lake Rd. The Hunter Lake Rd. divides the Mt. Rose Wilderness into two sections- the North and South.

Upon arrival at the first site, the crew hiked the illegal route up to the boundary sign, where it then continued past the sign well into the wilderness, in order to assess the damage and get an idea of the kind of restoration work that needed to be done.The crew set to work at the first site using the vertical mulching method, and also created natural barricades with fallen limbs and boulders from the surrounding area. While at work, the crew took note of about ten ATVs driving along the Hunter Lake Rd., a couple of which could be heard driving off-road a distance away.

After restoring the first intrusion site with sagebrush and other materials, the crew took a lunch break, and then went to work at the second site, which was down by the actual wilderness boundary sign. The crew inventoried a campsite at this spot and then dismantled the campfire pit, since it was only about 15 ft. from the Hunter Creek.

After hard work moving boulders and creating rock barriers on the route, the crew moved on to the last intrusion site and continued the restoration. Since there were no materials for revegging at this site, the crew placed logs and large rocks in the way to create obstacles and block access to the route from the Hunter Lake Rd.

After a long day’s work, the crew drove back down to Reno and enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by Friends of Nevada Wilderness. The new volunteers each received a Friends of Nevada Wilderness Warrior t-shirt and the second, third and fourth-time around volunteers each got a Nalgene water bottle with the Friends sticker. It was a very satisfying and rewarding project. The volunteers enjoyed the chance to get out and enjoy the wilderness on a beautiful autumn day while also working to restore the natural character of the land.

*There was a total of 80.5 volunteer hours recorded for this project.

Volunteers restoring an illegal vehicle route into Mt. Rose Wilderness along the Hunter Lake Rd.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mt. Rose- road restoration project

On Thursday, September 21st, a crew of five volunteers from REI joined Friends of Nevada Wilderness’ Forest Project Coordinator Angie Dykema for a road closure project in the north section of the Mt. Rose Wilderness. The project entailed blocking off a vehicle intrusion extending from Forest Service Rd. 462C past the western boundary of the North Mt. Rose Wilderness and well into the wilderness area.

The crew noted the remains of a destroyed Forest Service carsonite sign at the entrance of the illegal road and replaced it with a new sign which clearly designates the wilderness boundary and displays “no motorized vehicles.” The crew then went to work rolling boulders and large logs into the two-track in order to block off access by off-road vehicles. Because the intrusion has occurred in a place where there is not much material available for revegging, the volunteers had to focus mostly on placing obstacles in the path to discourage future access.

The hard work of the volunteers paid off by the end of the day, when the two-track was so blocked off by logs and boulders and minimal vegetation that it was almost impossible to walk down. The crew successfully blocked all the visible portions of the intrusion, and all in all stopped access on about a half mile of the route. Motorized vehicles will be discouraged from trying to drive down this route again, and the wilderness will be left to heal from the motorized scar.

*There was a total of 51 volunteer hours recorded for this project.

Arc Dome- North Twin trailwork

Friends of Nevada Wilderness organized another project to finish up the trailwork along Arc Dome’s North Twin River Trail over the weekend of September 16th-17th. Friends transported two volunteers from Reno and met two other volunteers from Las Vegas at the trailhead.

The volunteers started working at the point along the North Twin trail where the previous Friends crew had left off a month earlier. The crew worked quickly and efficiently with the goal of connecting to where the Sierra Club service group had left off with their work almost a month earlier. After a long afternoon, the crew quit for the day and set up camp outside the South Twin trailhead. Friends provided dinner and transportation to the nearby Spencer Hot Springs in the northeast part of the Smoky Valley.

The following morning, after coffee and breakfast, the crew set to work again. They hiked all the way to the point where the Sierra Club had stopped working, in order to assess how much work was left. From that point, the crew began working backward toward where they had stopped the day before. There were a couple sections where the crew moved some rocks out of the trail and also along a stream bank for stabilization. There were numerous sections of the trail where the wild rose was very thick and overgrown, but the crew persisted and cleared the brush back from the trail, making it accessible for future visitors. Eventually, the volunteers found themselves at the point where they had stopped the day before, and with the satisfaction of a job well done, began the hike back to camp.

The weekend’s work produced very satisfying results. The North Twin trail work is now finished and fully cleared of obstacles and brush. Thanks to the hard-working volunteers of Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Sierra Club, visitors will now be able to enjoy this beautiful trail and appreciate a special part of Nevada’s public lands for many years.

* There was a total of 94 volunteer hours recorded for this project.

Mt. Moriah- Hendry's Creek


Friends of Nevada Wilderness organized a road restoration project along the Hendry’s Creek trail at Mt. Moriah over the weekend of September 9-10th. The project entailed restoring a two-track that began halfway down the Hendry’s Creek trail and led up to the wilderness boundary.

Two Friends volunteers left from Reno early Sat. morning with Friends’ Forest Project Coordinator Angie Dykema. After a seven-hour drive, the crew from Reno arrived at the site and met up with three other Friends volunteers from Ely, Friends’ Southen Nevada Conservation Director Susan Potts, and April Johnson from the Forest Service Ely Ranger District.

After a safety talk and a short hike out to the site, the crew of 8 set to work revegging the two-track back to a single tread path. After a few hours of work, the group went back to the campsite to enjoy a veggie stir-fry dinner provided by Friends. Susan and Angie talked to the volunteers about the current White Pine County public lands bill and encouraged letter-writing to the Senators. A hand-written letter was collected Sat. night and two other volunteers signed formatted letters.

Two volunteers had to leave Sunday morning to head back to Ely, but the rest of the group got up and was ready to go after enjoying breakfast. The remaining crew hiked the trail to the wilderness boundary and then set to work restoring the two-track. Although the entire site was not completely revegged during this project, the volunteers successfully covered up approximately 909 linear feet of the two-track. The efforts of Friends of Nevada Wilderness and volunteers will ensure that there are no future intrusions into the Mt. Moriah Wilderness from the Hendry’s Creek trail.


*There were a total of 101 volunteer hours recorded for this project.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

North Black Rock Range Wilderness, August 4-5, 2006

It's amazing what a few people can do with a little determination and muscle-power.

On August 5, I got the pleasure of covering for Pat, who was visiting family in Scotland, and participate in a restoration project in the North Black Rock Range Wilderness.

On a beautiful sunny day, with enough breeze to keep things from heating up, a total of 15 people, comprising volunteers, BLM staff, and an crew of international volunteers affiliated with the Nevada Outdoor School in Winnemucca, put to rest a three illegal vehicle routes in wilderness. The BLM's Brian Murdock, volunteer George Barnes, and I had restored the most aggregious route almost two years ago to the day, but it was quickly driven over during hunting season. This time we put a lot more work into it (having more people helps) to make sure the restoration work would stay.

We also hiked out an old refrigerator from the peak of the North Black Rock Range, perhaps a mile from the boundary. It had served as a housing for radio equipment for a local rancher in the past, but it had long since become litter. We hiked it out.

Removing the refrigerator was nothing more than picking up litter, really. But it was deeply rewarding to be able to move this beautiful wilderness area somewhat closer to its original state. Now, anyone who hikes to that peak will say, "Wow, look at that view!" instead of "Jeez, what's a refrigerator doing up here?"

After a long good day of work, we drove back to our camp among the beautiful aspens of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Wilderness Study Area and enjoyed a wonderful dinner of Tamale pie, fajitas, and Dutch oven apple crisp. Despite all the work that day, I think we ended up gaining weight.

It was a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

Brian Beffort
Associate Director
Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mt. Rose Invasve Weed Removal Projects



As a result of the inventory/monitoring projects in Mt. Rose Wilderness, Friends and volunteers identified two sites along the Hunter Creek trail where an invasive weed had spread. The weed was Musk Thistle, a common invasive that grows between 4-6 feet tall.

The first infestation site took one project to successfully treat the area. The volunteers performed the work by lopping off the blooms of the weeds into large plastic bags. Each bloom of the Musk Thistle can produce 100 or more seeds. After collecting the blooms from each plant, the crew then pulled each plant by hand, including the short root system, to prevent further growth. Since the thistles simply wither up and die and cannot reproduce without the seeds from the blooms, the thorny stems were left away from the trail to die and only the blooms were bagged.

The second and larger infestation site spanned over three projects. This site covered the entire meadow located in the center of the north section of the wilderness area, which is about two to three acres. Although the entire site did not get finished before all the plants went to seed, the volunteers worked very hard and successfully removed hundreds of thistles over at least half the site.

A total of 8 volunteers participated in these weed removal projects and many trash bags full of thistle blooms were collected, representing thousands of seeds that would have spread and furthered the thistle infestation. Thanks to the hard work of these volunteers, Hunter Creek trail will no longer be covered by so many invasive weeds!

* There were a total of 97 volunteers hours recorded during these projects

Arc Dome North Twin trail project

On the weekend of August 5-6th, 2006, Friends of Nevada Wilderness did a trail restoration project along the North Twin trail in the Arc Dome Wilderness.

On Friday, August 4th, Friends of Nevada Wilderness Forest Project Coordinator Angie Dykema drove three Friends volunteers from Reno, NV to Austin, NV for the trail project in the Arc Dome Wilderness. The group camped at the Bob Scott campground outside of Austin on Friday evening and then regrouped at the Forest Service Ranger Station at 8:00 the next morning. After signing volunteer agreement forms and having a brief safety talk, the group set out to the North Twin Trailhead to begin the work.

The volunteers started working at the trailhead in toward the Werdenhoff Pasture, where the Sierra Club group had been staying for the previous week. The 13 Sierra Club women actually passed the Friends volunteers on their way hiking out of the wilderness on Saturday morning. The Sierra Club had finished about 7,685 linear feet of the North Twin Trail during the week they were there. The Friends volunteers worked hard over the weekend with the goal of getting close to the point where the Sierra Club group had left off.

The Friends volunteers worked hard from about 10:00am until 4:30pm Saturday, clearing large sections of the North Twin trail that were overgrown and hazardous for visitors. After a long day’s work, Friends provided a veggie stir-fry dinner and a trip to the Spencer hot springs located in the northeast Smoky Valley. After a relaxing soak in the hot springs and a good night’s rest, the group then set out Sunday morning to finish the trail work. The volunteers first hiked the entire trail to see the point where the Sierra Club had left off and to take in the beautiful scenic views. After the hike, the group put in a good couple hours worth of quality work before calling it a day and heading back to Reno.

Although there were only four volunteers on this project and a long stretch of brushing, lopping, pruning, and rock removal, the group worked hard and was able to successfully restore 4,488 linear feet of the trail. If left as it was, the North Twin trail in the Arc Dome wilderness would eventually have to be closed by the Forest Service due to overgrowth and neglect. Thanks to the hard-working volunteers with Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Sierra Club, visitors will now be able to enjoy this beautiful trail and appreciate a special part of Nevada’s public lands for many years.

* There was a total of 204 volunteer hours recorded for the project over the weekend.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Pine Forest Range



On August 25th through August 27th , Friends of Nevada Wilderness, the BLM, and the Nevada Outdoor School, joined forces to decommission two areas of illegal trespass in the Alder Creek WSA near Onion Reservoir and Knott Creek Reservoir.This Wilderness Study Area is located near Denio,Nevada in Northern Humboldt County. The elevation at the campsite was approximatly 7,500 ft. and we actually got a frost on Saturday morning, but the daytime temps were pleasent.
Friends of Nevada Wilderness provided the meal on Friday night, Gerald Gulley of the Winnemucca BLM, provided the breakfast fare and George Collier, a “Friends” volunteer created an incredible vegetarian rice dish on Saturday after the project.
Seven “Friends” volunteers and staff, two BLM staffers and seven volunteers from the NOS spent all day on Saturday de-compacting the road surfaces, and transplanting native vegetation into the damaged areas. The end result was amazing! The roads virtually disappeared.
This was one of the most satisfying projects that I have been involved with, the sense of accomplishment was incredible. This was a moving experience for me, and I feel as though we have made a lasting difference in the Alder Creek WSA. I have to tell you though, none of this would have been possible without the work of our dedicated volunteers. A special thanks to Jane, George, Wes, Max, the NOS crew, and Will and Gerald from the BLM. Angie and I cannot thank you enough!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

logo update

Here is our slick new logo. Our thanks to Las Vegas Graphic Designer, Sharon Schafer!

Delamar and Meadow Valley

Another project that we were able to complete this year, with the help of our dedicated volunteers
On Feb. 18th through the 20th 2006, ten volunteers from the Friends of Nevada wilderness and the Sierra Club completed a restoration project in the Delamar wilderness and Meadow Valley north of Las Vegas.
The project included; 1) the restoration of three areas of motorized trespass, with the transplanting of native vegetation. 2) Trash collection and removal and 3) The reseeding of a burn area from 2005.
A total of 191 volunteer hours were logged, in the completion of this project.

Wee Thump Van-dang-go


On Feb. 2nd 2006, fourteen volunteers from the Friends of Nevada wilderness and the Nevada Conservation Corps completed a multifaceted restoration project in the Wee Thump Wilderness south of Las Vegas. Wee Thump is one of the smallest wilderness areas in the state. At the time of designation there was an abandoned van that had been shot to pieces, a bit of an eyesore to say the least. Using the minimal tool requirement for wilderness, our volunteers cut the van to pieces and hauled it out. Great work guys and gals!
The project included; 1) the restoration of two areas of motorized trespass, with the transplanting of native vegetation. 2) Trash collection and removal. 3) The reduction of an abandoned van to pieces, by Friends volunteer Bill James, using a Plasma Cutter, and 4) the removal of the vehicle pieces by the volunteers.
A total of 225 volunteer hours were logged, in the completion of this project.
Here is some info on a project in the Black Rock Desert conservation area in May.
On May, 6th and 7th 2006, about thirty volunteers, agency staff from the Friends of Nevada wilderness and the Nevada Conservation Corps, and the BLM, completed an educational program, outreach program and restoration project in the Black Rock Desert NCA Cassidy Mine Site north of Gerlach.
The project included; a full day of outreach and educational programs concerning the NCA, Desert travel, and upcoming opportunities for restoration projects. Saturday night the volunteers camped at the south end of the Black Rock Playa. On Sunday, eighteen of the volunteers traveled to the Cassidy Mine Site at the southwest end of the NCA. The mine site has been used since the turn of the century, and shows signs of use as a modern destination for OHV users. Recent trash and debris are mixed with historic artifacts in an area of approximately two square miles. Under the direction of Winnemucca District Archaeologist, Dave Valentine; the crew removed a large quantity of trash and approximately 100 plastic marker posts from expired mining claims.
A total of 225 volunteer hours were logged, in the completion of this project.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

So Angie and I spend the bulk of our time in the field, working on route restorations, survey, campsite inventories and invasive weed documentation and removal. We work in conjunction with the BLM and the USFS in wilderness quality lands all over the great state of NEVADA. We are on the ground trying to maintain the wilderness character of our protected public lands with the help of dedicated volunteers and members, folks like you that are willing to get out in these incredible wild lands and work to keep them healthy. If you or your group are willing to help and you want to see some of the incredible things our state has to offer contact Angie Dykema or Pat Bruce (that's me in the red shirt) by calling Friends of Nevada Wilderness (775) 324-7667.