Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Removal: Before and After

Weepah, May 2007

A rusty unused water tank in Weepah (photo by Pat Bruce)

Volunteers deconstruct the debris (Pat Bruce)

The tank is loaded onto a flatbed so it can be disposed of (Pat Bruce)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Camp Cuisine: Apple Crisp In Honor of Crazy Steve

Did you get a chance to try Brian Beffort’s delicious Dutch oven Apple Crisp at the National Public Lands Day potluck in Black Rock? Now you can make it yourself!

Brian Beffort is ready to mix his "Apple Crisp in Honor of Crazy Steve" (photo by Darcy Shepard)

Apple Crisp In Honor of Crazy Steve
Serves 10-12
6 tart apples, chopped into 1" cubes
1 1/2 cups whole oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut butter into small cubes, then mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased Dutch oven or baking dish.
3. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through to maximize crispiness.
4. Served best with fresh, hand-cranked vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Project Update: Black Rock Dune Protection 2008

The fence completed by our wonderful volunteers over two years ago to protect one set of Black Rock playa dunes is holding strong! Plus, the scattered seeds have grown and turned the area into a mini-oasis, its natural state.

Holding strong... (photo by Darcy Shepard)

...and flourishing from our re-seeding! (Darcy Shepard)

Black Rock Desert Foothills: Before and After

For National Public Lands Day 2010 in the Black Rock Desert with Friends of Black Rock High Rock, Nevada Outdoor School and Mountain View Montessori School, one group worked to fence in sensitive habitat while another set of volunteers traveled into the foothills to clean up an abandoned residence that was on government land.

While there, our team of hard-working volunteers also erased an illegal vehicle track to prevent others from driving through and harming the sensitive habitat.

Before this illegal off-road track was worked on (photo by Brian Beffort)

Volunteers broke down road indicators to prevent off-highway vehicle travel (Brian Beffort)

After the volunteers finish erasing the illegal road (Brian Beffort)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Wild: Wes Hoskins in the Mt. Rose Wilderness

By Wes Hoskins

On September 10th-13th, Renee Aldrich, Miriam Smith, Buddy (Miriam’s Chocolate Lab) and I had a splendid three-night backpack through the Mt. Rose Wilderness. We were aiming to document some last-minute campsites and just get a last look at the wild interior of a place we may not see again for awhile.

Our group at the top of Relay peak

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has put on 9 monitoring and stewardship trips in Mt. Rose this year, and this may be the last one before the Aspen turns and the Truckee Meadows begins to tuck in its chin for the winter.

Renee, Buddy, and me at the rustic bridge crossing Gray Creek

As far as campsites go, we didn’t find much else other than what has been previously recorded. We did find some tracks from a motorized vehicle that ran through the meadow at the headwaters of Galena Creek. It’s frustrating to see that kind of needless damage in a sensitive place when the area has extensive signage prohibiting motorized use in Mt. Rose meadow.

Crushed corn lilies from vehicles driving off designated routes in the Mt. Rose Meadows

Backpacking on the Carson Range generally and Mt. Rose specifically is not as easy as one might think considering it is so close to Reno — a fair-sized population center.

Miriam swoops in and hangs the bear bag after I do the hard work

When a hiker gets into the depths of the range there is no real trail system, just a spider web of informal trails and old roads. Consequently, the first and second days of the trip for us required a little cross-country travel.

Sunday is hard for Buddy after the ascent and descent of Relay Peak. At least he has some awesome booties!

Friday: Thomas Creek Trail Head to Davis Meadow (10.1 miles, 2000’ gain)
Saturday: Davis Meadow to Bronco Creek (4.2 miles, moderate gain and loss)
Sunday: Bronco Creek to Gray Lake (7.7 miles, approx 2,000’ gain)
Monday: Gray Lake to Brockway Summit (10.4 miles, approx 1900’ loss)

If you have any questions about this hike or want to know more about the area you can drop me an email at

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 on our blog!

Black Rock: Before and After

Friends of Nevada Wilderness joined other conservation organizations to build a fence around sensitive habitat on the Black Rock playa to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Most sand dunes are formed when loose sand is windblown into an obstacle, forming a mound. However, the dunes on the Black Rock playa indicate springs below the surface. The water pushes the sediment upwards, forming a dune and creating a habitat for desert plants and wildlife.

Irresponsible off-highway vehicles driving through the area have began to slowly destroy the dunes. Volunteers worked a long, hot Saturday in the sun to build a fence around the area to prevent off-roading in the habitat.

Before: the smaller of the two dunes to be encircled. It was also re-seeded with greasewood, the natural foliage of springs on the playa (photo by Darcy Shepard)

Volunteers building the fence (Darcy Shepard)

After Friends of Nevada Wilderness and other participants finished at the Black Rock National Public Lands Day event (Darcy Shepard)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Removal: Before and After

Hunter Creek Trail, August 2006

Musk Thistle along Hunter Creek Trail before Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Volunteers working hard during the project

(Lack of) Musk Thistle along Hunter Creek Trail after Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Events for National Public Lands Day

In addition to the Sept. 17-19 trip to Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada and the Sept. 25 trip to the Spring Mountains in southern Nevada, there are two other conservation and restoration events happening.

The Joshua Trees of Gold Butte (photo by Brian Beffort)

National Public Lands Day with Friends of Gold Butte
Another option to give back to the Nevada Wilderness on National Public Lands Day! Friends of Gold Butte will be leading a day trip to Whitney Pockets in Gold Butte. Volunteers will be working on restoration, planting vegetation, and cleaning up the area. You can sign up at or call Nancy Hall at (702) 346-3723 for more information.

Alta Toquima trail maintenance trip in July 2010 (photo by John Fiske)

Alta Toquima Trail Maintenance for National Public Lands Day
A four-day, three-night trip to the Alta Toquima Wilderness. Volunteers will be brushing out trail tread and logging downed trees to maintain the Pasco Canyon to Pine Creek Connector Trail to ensure hikers and backpackers have a safe, designated route through the protected area. Interested? Contact Wes at or (775) 324-7667 for more information.

This Is Nevada...

Sun cups at Alta Toquima (photo by James Sippel)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Restoration: Before and After

Calico Mountains, September 2002

Illegal 0ff-highway vehicle trail on the Calico Mountains before FNW (photo by Brian Beffort)

The Calico Mountains after FNW (Brian Beffort)

National Public Lands Day Events

Sunrise on the Black Rock Playa (photo by Brian Beffort)

Friends of Nevada Wilderness will be participating in multiple events for National Public Lands Day across the state. In northern Nevada, FNW will be leading a restoration trip to the Black Rock area September 17-19. Nevada Outdoor School will be hosting a kids’ camp to teach the younger campers about conservation and the environment while FNW puts the grown-ups to work. To preserve the playa's natural beauty, we will be building fences to keep off-highway vehicles out of protected areas and removing debris. Interested in joining us? Call (775) 324-7667.

Spring Mountains in Fall (photo by Kurt Kuznicki)

For southern Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Kurt Kuznicki will be leading a trip to the Spring Mountains on September 25 from 8 am to 4 pm, the official date of National Public Lands Day. Trail maintenance and trail building for the Blue Tree Trail System will be the focus of this outing, which is open to adults, families, and seniors. Want to tag along? Call Kurt at (775) 745-3119.

Check back later this week for other National Public Lands Day events in your area!