Monday, November 29, 2010

Restoration: Before and After

Alder Creek, August 2006

Despite a sign barring off-road vehicles, an illegal track has formed (photo by Pat Bruce)

Friends of Nevada Wilderness and volunteers work to remove the traces of the track (Pat Bruce)

After the team is finished and a new sign post up, the lack of a track will deter off-highway riding (Pat Bruce)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can you name these tracks? Answer!

Did you correctly guess which animal created these prints in the snow?

A coyote! (photo by Philip DeManczuk)

A bear! (photo by Philip DeManczuk)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can you name these tracks?

Snow in Nevada offers a lot of delightful past times, but can be especially helpful to animal watchers and photographers! Can you name the creatures that made these tracks? Check back Monday for the answers!

Photo by Brian Beffort

Photo by Kurt Kuznicki

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Removal: Before and After

North Black Rock

Before Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers clean up an abandoned campsite

The team dissassembles a rusted-out fridge...

...and loads it onto a flatbed to take to dispose of.

After the team is done, no trace is left

Monday, November 15, 2010

StorySongs Benefit a Success!

The audience waits for the show to begin (photo by Darcy Shepard)

Thank you to everyone who came out to StorySongs: A Benefit for Nevada's Wild Places on Friday night. Mark Vollmer and Jim Eaglesmith performed for a full house, and all proceeds will go towards conserving and maintaining Nevada's public lands!

A special thanks to Patagonia Reno for hosting the event, and New Belgium Brewery and Cepage Selections of Reno for their generous beverage donations.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Removal: Before and After

North Black Rock, August 2008

Volunteers wind up yards of barb wire

After a long day of work

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Help Get Volunteers’ “Boots on the Ground”

Get your own boots on the ground when you donate! We will be giving away four gift certificates for a pair of Keen shoes or boots through the month of November – no minimum donation required!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Constructing the Birdsong Trail: Before and After

Desert National Wildlife Refuge, November 2010

Daybreak over the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (photo by Kurt Kuznicki)

Volunteers carry supplies along the trail (Kurt Kuznicki)

The team puts in steps on an incline (Kurt Kuznicki)

After the group finishes (Kurt Kuznicki)

The group after a hard day's work (Kurt Kuznicki)

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped for one, two, or all three days - the Birdsong Trail in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is now complete thanks to you!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Trail Building: Before and After

Toiyabe Crest Trail, July 2009

Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers begin working on an obstructed portion of the Toiyabe Crest Trail

After the team clears the trail

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

Wilderness: A Beacon of Hope in a Changing Climate

Two recent articles have underscored the importance of wilderness areas—and in particular Nevada’s areas—as refugia to help species survive the onslaughts of climate change.

The myriad micro-environments nestled among Nevada's mountain ranges provide greater options for plants and wildlife trying to survive in a changing climate (the High Schells Wilderness, photo copyright Norman Herterich).

On October 27, the Washington Post reported on an article published in the online scientific journal, Nature:

“A growing number of creatures could disappear from the earth, with one-fifth of all vertebrates and as many as a third of all sharks and rays now facing the threat of extinction, according to a new survey assessing nearly 26,000 species across the globe.

“In addition, forces such as habitat destruction, over-exploitation and invasive competitors move 52 species a category closer to extinction each year, according to the research, published online Tuesday by the journal Science. At the same time, the findings demonstrate that these losses would be at least 20 percent higher without conservation efforts now underway.

"We know what we need to do," said Andrew Rosenberg, senior vice president for science and knowledge at the advocacy group Conservation International and one of the paper's co-authors. "We need to focus on protected areas, both terrestrial and marine."

In short, wilderness and other protected areas help minimize species extinction. A recent article, “Dancing with Climate Change” in High Country News explains the why:

“Mountain climate is patchy, explains [Forest Service ecologist Connie Millar]. The American West is warming more rapidly than other parts of the U.S., but that's just on average. Within the 11-state region lie tens of thousands of cooler pockets, due, in large part, to the presence of mountains. Biologically, this translates into resilience. On the flat, for example, an organism might have to travel several hundred miles to find a suitable niche, whereas in the mountains, a hop, skip and jump will often do the trick. "Because mountains are so topographically rough, so heterogeneous, they provide incredible opportunities for movement," Millar observes.”

In short, Nevada’s mountainous wilderness areas hide niches, micro-climates, where species can survive while everywhere else is becoming unsuitable.

Unfortunately, we don't know which species, or how many, will be forced to move to adapt to a changing climate. But by protecting Nevada’s wild landscapes, we ut we can give a fighting chance to those here at home.

Journey to the Center of the Wild: Wes Hoskins on the Hunter Creek Trail

By Wes Hoskins

Renee, Michael, Sara, Paul, and Tim (photo by Wes Hoskins)

On Saturday, October 23, four volunteers from the UNR Freshman Honors program along with Renee Aldrich and I hiked up our favorite drainage, Hunter Creek. We installed 10 check steps and dams to help with eroded areas caused by: (1) the amount of people using the trail and (2) the fact that the trail resides on steep slope.

Paul hard at work on the trail (Wes Hoskins)

We also naturalized by revegetating 3 informal trails that led down to the creek. On this trail there are no designated routes down to the water.

Michael and Sara pause for a picture (Wes Hoskins)

We did leave a few places to access the water so that dogs and people may drink. We humbly ask that if you are on the Hunter Creek Trail and need to get to the water please don’t walk where a path has not already been developed. The paths that exist now have been consciously left there.

Tim and Paul create a designated path to the creek (Wes Hoskins)

I look forward to hiking the trail in the winter, but we won’t be doing any more work there until 2011. Thanks again to Tim, Paul, Sara, Michael, and Renee!

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!