Thursday, October 28, 2010

Restoration: Before and After

Jett Canyon, June 2009

Before Friends of Nevada Wilderness begins eliminating an illegal off-road track from the wilderness area

After the FNW team finishes

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Wild: Kurt Kuznicki and the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club on the South Loop Trail

By Kurt Kuznicki

We partnered with the US Forest Service and another volunteer along with the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club to work on the South Loop Trail in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness. Five of us camped overnight before the trip in the Cathedral Rock area.

We hiked up the South Loop Trail with the intentions of restoring the big switchback cuts just below the ridge, but turned around because of slippery, snowy slopes.

We came back down to around 9700 ft and started repairing switchback cuts on the way down. It was pretty chilly and the trail was wet and muddy but we were rewarded with beautiful view of a cloudy valley and a very snowy Mt. Charleston.

A great big "Wild Thank You" to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club for coming out on a chilly damp day to make a difference by doing some trail work in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Silver State Blazes Gold

By Brian Beffort

Friends of Nevada Wilderness Stewardship trips have taken me into the North Black Rock Range and the Pine Forest Range for years. Each of these mountain ranges hides majestic aspen stands you cannot see from the highway. Glorious, cool and quaking in summer, with emerald leaves and burbling streams bouncing over the rocks.

But to see them in fall--ablaze with gold, orange, even red--is one of the fairest views Nevada affords. Luckily, on the weekend of October 16-17, I was lucky enough to coincide my trip with a blaze of color.

These But they're so darn remote, the roads are rough; and an unlucky brush with a winter storm could leave me stranded deep in the mountains. Lucky again, I enjoyed warm, calm days and nights--just in time as the first fierce winter storm howls outside as I type.

Two hours of dirt north of Gerlach, Mahogany Creek rises from Summit Lake into the northern drainages of the North Black Rock Range. In this small watershed lives the purest-remaining strain of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. In fact, when the LCT died out in Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River, replacement fish were relocated from Summit Lake. Stradling this stream rarely deeper than a few inches, I had trouble imagining 12 and 20-inch fish swimming up over these rocks to spawn.

Somewhere in the combination of shorter days and colder nights of autumn, deciduous leaves pull the cyhlorophyll out of their leaves and beging shutting down for winter. The sugars that remain can turn brilliant colors.

The next range to the northwest likes the Pine Forest Range, which rises to 9,377 feet. The Blue Lakes and Alder Creek wilderness study areas comprise about 25,000 acres of forested slopes, cool lakes, stunning granite outcrops and yes, more aspen.

On Monday morning, October 18, the Humboldt County Commission voted unanimously to support wilderness. It was a wonderful feeling to enjoy my morning cup of coffee while taking these pictures, knowing that a bunch of people from diverse backgrounds put aside all other possible disagreements to agree that this beautiful place deserves to be protected as wilderness. In this age of negative advertising and partisan politics, t's not often we see people come together like that. It's what makes America great. That's good news, by any measure.

Wild Nevada 2011 Calendars Still Available!

Have you picked up your Wild Nevada 2011 calendar? Check out our website for a special deal, but hurry, the offer ends Nov. 15!



Click here for more of the gorgeous photos of natural Nevada featured in the calendar.

Are you a retailer interested in carrying our calendar? Join Barnes and Noble, Patagonia, Sundance Books, REI, and others - email for details!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Removal: Before and After

Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, June 2009

Volunteers remove barb wire (photo by Kurt Kuznicki)

After the team finishes for the day (Kurt Kuznicki)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why We Love the Clean Water Act

Waterfall in the Calico Mountains (Kurt Kuznicki)

On October 18, 1972, a variety of amendments modified and reorganized the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Now known as the Clean Water Act, it allows the Environmental Protection Agency to establish programs to set wastewater standards for the industrial sector as well as water quality standards for all surface water contaminants.

The statute employs a variety of regulatory and nonregulatory tools to sharply reduce direct pollutant discharges into waterways, finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and manage polluted runoff.Environmental Protection Agency
The CWA aims to restore and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of America’s waters. With clean water, fish, shellfish, and wildlife can maintain healthy population levels, and plants can flourish in their natural habitats.

Marshes and shallow lakes form the American Avocet’s habitat (photo by Diane McAllister)

Nevada wilderness areas contain a variety of surface waters that are monitored for contaminants and protected from non-permitted pollution discharge thanks to the Clean Water Act.

Fishing at Baker Lake (photo by Jim Yoakum)

Kayaking in Black Canyon (photo by Brian Beffort)

Alder Creek in Blue Lakes (Brian Beffort)

You can read the entire text of the Clean Water Act here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Save the Date: 2010 Wilderness Wingding

Food, friends, and a good glass of red at the 2009 Wingding

We’re starting to plan for the Wilderness Wingding – our annual volunteer appreciation event that is open to the community. With a raffle and silent auction, live music, and great food from local businesses, Friends of Nevada Wilderness members, volunteers, sponsors, and staff are all looking forward to the event on Friday, Dec. 10 at the Grand Sierra Resort! In fact, we’ve devoted a blog to share the details with you. Visit the Wilderness Wingding blog to find out about food, prizes, and performances!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

StorySongs: A Benefit for Nevada’s Wild Places on Nov. 12

Experience the songs of award-winning musician Jim Eaglesmith blended with the award-winning photography of Mark Vollmer in an unforgettable live event to benefit Nevada’s wild lands. Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness Friday, November 12 at 7 pm in the Reno Patagonia Outlet’s employee cafe for this once-in-a-lifetime performance. Tickets are available now! Call 775 324-7667. ($15 adults, $10 seniors, $5 kids)

Capturing the Mt. Rose wilderness (photo by Mark Vollmer)

Aspens turn gold in northern Nevada (Mark Vollmer)

The gnarled trees of Mt. Charleston reach for the sky (Mark Vollmer)

Mark Vollmer has been a long-time supporter of Friends of Nevada Wilderness, and is also our cover photographer for the Wild Nevada 2011 calendar. His work has been displayed in galleries across Nevada and California, including the Truckee River Gallery, and he was honored with the 2007 Excellence in Teaching award from Truckee Meadows Community College.

Check out Jim Eaglesmith’s YouTube Channel to see more of the duo and hear about how they work together to pair scenic Nevada photography with moving music.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Restoration: Before and After

Calico Mountains, 2007

Friends of Nevada Wilderness works to remove traces of an illegal off-road track (photo by Brian Beffort)

After the team finishes (Brian Beffort)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Camp Cuisine: Black Forest Cake in a Dutch Oven

The perfect wrap up to a camp dinner, plus leftovers are great to dunk in morning coffee!

Double-layer dessert – to conserve coals and space, the Black Forest Cake cooks on top of Apple Crisp in Honor of Crazy Steve at National Public Lands Day 2010 in Black Rock (photo by Darcy Shepard)

Black Forest Cake in a Dutch Oven
1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix and its required ingredients
1 can cherries (whole, not in syrup), drained
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix cake according to box directions.
2. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries.
3. Melt butter in Dutch oven. Once oven is greased, pour cake mix in.
4. Follow cooking directions on cake box by placing the appropriate amount of coals over and under the Dutch oven to achieve desired temperatures.
5. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Do you have an awesome outdoor recipe? See it featured in our “Camp Cuisine” series! Submit your recipe to

Monday, October 11, 2010

Friends of Nevada Wilderness Receives the Golden Pinecone

Friends of Nevada Wilderness Executive Director Shaaron Netherton hard at work on National Public Lands Day 2010 (photo by Graham Stafford)

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has been honored with Nevada EcoNet’s 2010 Golden Pinecone Environmental Award for Non-Profit Organization. The award is presented each year to six individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to northern Nevada’s natural environment.

“The annual Golden Pinecone Celebration celebrates the good work of citizens to preserve and enhance the wonderful environment of northern Nevada.” -Nevada EcoNet
The ceremony will be held on Friday, November 12, 2010 at the McKinley Arts Center, tickets are $35 and available at and by calling (775) 323-3433.

This Is Nevada...

Waterfall in Goshute Canyon Wilderness (photo by Scott Smith)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Removal: Before and After

Thomas Creek, July 2006

Illegal fire pits were discovered along the trail.

Before Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Volunteers disperse the stones...

And leave no evidence afterwards.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Come Out to the Gear Swap at the Patagonia Outlet

Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness at the Patagonia Gear Swap at the Patagonia Reno Outlet. Browse for gently used outdoor gear Saturday, Oct. 9 from 9 am until 1 pm and stop by our table!

Yelp Helps Las Vegas (and Friends of Nevada Wilderness!)

Restaurant review website Yelp is hosting an event to help Las Vegas-area nonprofits! On Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7 until 9 pm, southern Nevadans are encouraged to stop by the Atomic Testing Museum for volunteering and membership information from local nonprofits. Not only can you find out how to help your community, complimentary cocktails from Bombay Sapphire and VnC Cocktails and light food will be provided. 21 and up only - sorry little ones!

You must RSVP at, so get your name on the list and stop by and say hi to Friends of Nevada Wilderness!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Camp Cuisine: Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings

Need something hearty at the end of a long day's hike? Try Sheena Britschgi's Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings!

Sheena is almost ready to put the dumplings in while preparing for the potluck at Black Rock National Public Lands Day 2010 (photo by Darcy Shepard)

Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings
2-1/2 to 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks)
3 cups water
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage or marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup thinly sliced carrot (2 medium)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 package of Bisquick (use the ‘just add water dumplings’ recipe) or your favorite dumpling recipe

1. Combine 3 cups water, onion, salt, sage/marjoram, pepper, bay leaf, celery, carrots and mushrooms in Dutch oven. Bring to a boil
2. Chop chicken pieces, add to broth mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is done.
3. Prepare dumplings according to instructions. Add to top of mixture.
4. Cook until dumpling dough is cooked all the way through.

Monday, October 04, 2010

REI and FNW Team Up in the Spring Mountains

Volunteers got dirty Sunday, Oct. 3, in Blue Tree when Friends of Nevada Wilderness teamed up with REI to perform trail maintenance in the Spring Mountains.

Heading up the trail (photo by Kurt Kuznicki)

Making the sweeping vistas accessible to everyone (Kurt Kuznicki)

Even the kids helped out! (Kurt Kuznicki)

The whole group after a productive day (Kurt Kuznicki)

Thanks again to everyone who gave up a precious Sunday to support Nevada’s wild places!

This Is Nevada...

Boundary Peak framed in fall colors (photo by Kurt Kuznicki)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Wild: Wes Hoskins on the Pasco Canyon Trail

By Wes Hoskins

Friends of Nevada Wilderness ended its 2010 series of projects in Alta Toquima on Sept. 24-26, 2010 with a big logging and lopping event. We have adopted de facto the Pasco Canyon and Pine Creek trails which are adjacent to each other and sit on the east side of the Alta Toquima range.

The scenery at Alta Toquima (photo by John Fiske)

We first identified this trail-clearing project when while scouting the area in August, trying to find an erstwhile connector between Pasco and Pine Creeks so that we might create a nice loop section out of the two drainages. But we were thwarted during the scouting trip by wild rose, thick as kudzu, lashing our skin and downed willow trees blocking every turn. The connector, even though it is on the Forest Service visitor maps is not a viable route right now. We may still try to conquer the connector but that will have to be left for next year. The connector was not a viable one-weekend volunteer project so we moved on to look at Pasco Canyon.

The obstructed trail before Friends of Nevada Wilderness (John Fiske)

Hiking up 2 miles we found that an intense weather event had demolished the trail. Aspen, willow, and water birch trunks and limbs lay scattered around the area for over one mile.

The trail after the team cleared it (John Fiske)

Clearing out this trail to aid access for hunters and horse users was a perfect project, we decided to get it done the last weekend of September and we did it in a day with 6 volunteers. We logged out 217 dead, downed, and hazard trees, in addition we created a 500 foot re-route in an especially impacted area. This project was highly needed and the satisfaction level at the end was super-high.

Big thanks to Larry, John, David, Mike, and Phil (John Fiske)

I have to put in a good word for Phillip Breslow. An honors student at UNR, he came out to satisfy some required service learning hours, but he worked as hard as anybody on the trip. He loves to be in the backcountry and I truly hope that he sticks around. Soon, my generation will need to find wilderness champions from the next generation, if they are like Phil, Nevada’s public lands will be in good hands.

Phil earns some relaxation time after working hard! (John Fiske)

Just so you all know, the Pine Creek Trail out of Pine Creek campground is now cleared out and leads up to the Jefferson complex of peaks. Length of the trail is approx 12 miles roundtrip.

Would you like to see your trip on the blog? Write up a description of your hike and include a photo or two and email it to and your adventure could be featured!