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Nevada Wilderness Project

Winter 2007

Looking back and moving forward

On December 9, 2006 Senators Harry Reid and during the campaign. Neil Frakes and Neil March-
John Ensign ushered the White Pine County public lands bill ington of Ely, Peter Druschke of Las Vegas, and
through Congress and into law on the back of the Tax Ex- Roxanne Sterr of Reno all received many thanks
tender Bill (HR 6111). The bill permanently protects over and praises from the entire coalition staff for their
558,000 acres of public land in White Pine County as wilder- continued hard work and support over the years.
ness forever! The South Egan WSA remained in one piece,
and places like Shellback Ridge will not be exploited through
the oil and gas leasing process. All of this is due to your hard
work, collective efforts and unified voice. Here’s a list of your
• Becky Peak Wilderness - 18,119 acres
• High Schells Wilderness - 121,497 acres
• Mt. Grafton Wilderness 78,754 acres
• Mt. Moriah Wilderness Additions - 11,261 acres
• South Egan Range Wilderness - 67,214 acres
• Government Peak Wilderness - 6,313 acres
• Highland Ridge Wilderness - 68,627 acres
• Currant Mountain Wilderness Additions - 10,697 acres
• Red Mountain Wilderness Additions - 20,490 acres
• Bald Mountain Wilderness - 22,366 acres
• Shellback Wilderness - 36,143 acres
• White Pine Range Wilderness - 40,013 acres
• Goshute Canyon Wilderness - 42,544 acres
• Bristlecone Wilderness - 14,095 acres
This is a true cause for celebration and opportunity
for all of us as the staff to say, “Thank You!” We could not
have done this without you and look forward to continuing to
work with each of you on future campaigns throughout

White Pine County Hootenanny!

In this Issue:
On February 2nd, the Nevada Wilderness Coalition White Pine Wilderness and the Hootenanny - pg. 1
came together to throw the long overdue celebration party
for White Pine County. Over 200 people came to the Tan- Volunteer Spotlight and Director’s Corner - pg. 2
nenbaum Alpine Lodge on Mount Rose Highway in Reno Awakening into Spring - pg. 3
for a night of dancing to our friends Jelly and sharing in Gold Butte Update and Job Opportunity - pg. 4
the celebration of White Pine County’s new wilderness ar-
eas. Bart Koehler from the Wilderness Society serenaded Wild Legacy Club and the Caption Contest - pg. 5
us all with several tunes about the areas, while four WILD Calendar - pg. 6
awards were given to special volunteers for their efforts
Nevada Wilderness Volunteer Spotlight: Roxanne Sterr
Northern Office In many ways, this is the most difficult column in the entire news-
letter to write. Singling out one volunteer for special recognition is never
8550 White Fir Street an easy choice, and inevitably, I always think of several who are just as
Reno, NV 89523 deserving of the recognition.
775.746.7850 One volunteer that I have never thanked enough is Roxanne
Sterr. How does one thank a friend and volunteer for always being on
Southern Office hand, and for her encouragement, camaraderie and patience? Rox has
4220 S. Maryland Pkwy seen NWP go through all of its various growth spurts and transforma-
Suite 402B tions. She’s braved the Walker River during our first descent, gotten lost
Las Vegas, NV 89119 in the Schells as the sun was setting and our cabin was filled with hanta,
come to happy hour when no else did, and tabled at Earth Day when no one else
702.369.1871 would. She writes letters to the delegation and editors, works phone banks and fixes the copier for me when it decides to freak out. Our grassroots base would not be where it is
today without pillars like Roxanne, people we can lean on and look to for action. Thank
A 501 (c) (3) non-profit
corporation you Rox, we are all grateful for your hard work, dedication and friendship.

NWP Board of Directors

Director’s Corner
Bret Birdsong, President
With the passage of the White Pine County public lands law,
Brian O’Donnell, Vice President
we’ve now played a leading role in protecting 2.5 million acres of
Lynn Schiek, Secretary wilderness and 500,000 acres of National Conservation Areas in
Chris Todd Nevada since 1999. We’ve seen what the combination of focused
Tori King advocacy and a burgeoning grassroots wilderness movement can do
when it combines the many talents, energies and expertise of groups
NWP Staff
like the Nevada Wilderness Project, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, The
Wilderness Society’s Wilderness Support Center, and the Campaign
John Wallin
for America’s Wilderness. We are grateful for the support of these
great allies and look forward to new challenges we can tackle together in the future.
Kristie Connolly
Associate Director We’ve been so busy winning legislative victories for wilderness that we’ve rarely
Nancy Beecher taken time out to do something that seems simple: celebrate. In this issue you’ll read
Conservation Director
about the Famous Reno Wilderness Hootenanny and enjoy some festive pictures of what
Mackenzie Banta was an absolute blowout good time and a clear marker that we must do a better job of
Development Director
celebrating our successes!
Cameron Johnson
Northern NV Outreach Director As you are looking through the list of wilderness values trips and events, please
Cynthia Scholl consider becoming a Wild Legacy Club member. The Wild Legacy Club is our growing
Membership Coordinator group of monthly donors who make secure donations off a credit card or withdrawal from a
Nancy Hall bank account. Your monthly donation is a great way for you to maximize your gift, and
Gold Butte Organizer planning for your gift helps us use those funds as wisely as we can so that more of Ne-
vada’s wild heritage is protected. Thanks for acting today to sign up for the Wild Legacy
Coalition Partners Club today—it makes an incredible difference in our work.
Campaign for America’s Wilderness
And finally, a personal note. At the Hootenanny on Feb. 2, I was honored
Friends of Nevada Wilderness
for my work to protect Nevada wilderness with three extraordinary gestures from
Nevada Outdoor Recreation Assoc. people I greatly respect: A letter of commendation from Senator Harry Reid and a
Red Rock Audubon Society letter of commendation from Yvon and Malinda Chouinard, owners of Patagonia, and
Sierra Club - Toiyabe Chapter a Conservation Leadership Award from the Wilburforce Foundation.
The Wilderness Society
Without Senator Harry Reid, protected wilderness in Nevada almost wouldn’t exist,
and he remains a passionate and committed wilderness voice of a strength and clarity not
NWP often heard in Congress these days. Yvon and Malinda have provided both the inspiration
and financial and moral support for me to quit my job at Patagonia and join with others to
Mission Statement: protect Nevada’s outback. And no organization has provided such support and vision for
The Nevada Wilderness understanding the urgency of protecting biodiversity on desert landscapes as has the
Project is committed to Wilburforce Foundation. I am humbled and honored that these esteemed partners in our
work recognize my work among the many incredible efforts made throughout the country
saving spectacular, rug-
to protect America’s wild legacy. I am a passionate believer in the old saying, “success
ged-and imperiled-public
has many fathers,” and I accept these generous expressions on behalf of our wonderful
lands in Nevada as team here at the Project, our coalition partners and you—the people who make our world a
Wilderness, the strongest better place to live.
protection possible.

Page 2 Winter 2007

Awakening into Spring!
My toes peeped out from the covers. Normally they would have snuck back under my cozy down com-
forter, happy to fall asleep for ten minutes longer. This morning, though, my toes just hung out, wriggled a little,
and checked the air around them. As the air felt acceptably warm, my heart sped up and my left eye opened,
confirming what I already knew -- that daylight had begun. Awake and energized, I was ready to get the day and
my life going after such a long period of hibernation.
Spring is coming, and creatures all over will be waking up and taking notice. How do all of these crea-
tures know that it’s time to get the heck up, start paying attention and start doing
something with their lives? The answer lies in something very simple, very reli-
able and very real for many living beings on earth: Daylength. To understand
this, though, we need to take a step back.
Animals and plants (and even some bacteria) have biological clocks, or “circadian
rhythms”. These genetic rhythms keep us on our
24-hour cycle and determine our daytime and
nighttime activity levels, such as when to sleep
and when to awaken. Even if you are trapped
inside a completely dark room with no outside
interaction, your body still has a “day” and a “night”.
The environment can influence our internal clocks, which is where day-
light becomes very important. Daylight allows all of us to keep in pace with the
outside world and reliably respond to seasonal changes by adjusting hormone Green Tailed Towhee

production inside our bodies. When it’s dark your human brain produces the
hormone melatonin; when sunlight hits your face in the morning, the production of melatonin stops.
Please allow me to explain this wickedly cool process.
The next morning when you lie in bed with your toes peeking out of your covers, imagine this: Your eyes
are closed (ahhhh, very nice), but the sunlight passes through your skin and reaches your eyeballs. Being very
good receptionists, your eyes translate and pass this message on to your biological clock’s “control center” -- a
group of brain cells. Though these brain cells are in charge of giving orders to speed up or slow down your REM
cycle, heart rate and metabolism, they will take advice from your eyeballs. Hearing about the sunlight, they move
swiftly into action and tell a very important gland in your brain that it’s time to stop producing the hormone mela-
tonin. Whoa, that’s big news! (Trust me.) Thanks to this eloquently evolved process, your body can now track
every day, every season and every year.
In many animals, circadian rhythms direct seasonal behaviors such as when it’s time to reproduce
or migrate. During wintertime, when nights are longer and melatonin levels are
higher, winter-like behaviors are triggered. When this process reverses in the spring,
spring-like behaviors are triggered. In the winter season, for example, the testicles of
some male mammals and birds shrink by 10-95%, preventing reproduction. Yep,
that’s right, you heard me. Luckily this process reverses itself in the spring, huh?!
(Don’t worry, I don’t think this happens in humans.) So the next time you hear male
birds chirping on a pretty spring morning, remember that it was their circadian
rhythm that directed them to migrate... and that their reproductive biology is really,
really raring to go.
While morning birdsongs are delicious to the ear, wildflowers that “spring up” in
March and April delight the eyes. Plants know that spring is here much like we do.
Although they don’t have melatonin, they do have biological clocks, produce
hormones according to light and dark cycles, and respond to daylength by deter-
ring or encouraging growth and reproduction. As days get longer under the warm
spring sun, seedlings grow, photosynthesis increases, leaves develop and flowers can
Desert Marigold
bloom. In Southern Nevada, March 15 is a great time to start looking for spring flora,
with you northerners lagging a bit. So get out there this spring and search for beauti-
ful flowering plants such as Indian Paintbrush, Globe Mallow, Desert Marigold, Purple Lupine and Prickly Pear
Cactus. My guess is that you’ll never look at spring quite the same way again.

Page 3 Winter 2007

Gold Butte Update - Nevada’s Piece of the Grand Canyon Puzzle
The Transportation Plan for selected Areas of
Critical Environmental Concern {ACEC} in northeast
Clark County Preliminary Environmental Assessment
has been released to the public for comment and review.
Usually, most folks do not find formal government docu-
ments too exciting, but this one is different. It features
Route designations, such as this, are increasingly
common on public lands, as motorized recreation has
become widespread, colliding with other users and im-
pacting irreplaceable natural and cultural resources.
Public land managers are now addressing the situation.
The goals for this process are biological - reduce
fragmentation, prevent route proliferation and improve the
ecological process of desert tortoise habitat; cultural - pro-
tect cultural resources and historic trails; socio economic
– allow for reasonable access while accomplishing the bio-
logical goals and compatibility with adjacent areas; en-
forcement and monitoring – create a user-friendly route
system easily enforced and a monitoring system based on
land stewardship ideals.
After reviewing the maps of the Gold Butte ACEC; a
large portion of the Citizens Wilderness Proposal is easily
recognized. It is imperative that we protect the wilderness
characteristics identified in our previous inventories.

It is important to comment to the BLM!

1) Support the proposed road closures in Wilderness
Study Areas and those leading to cultural re-
2) Support Alternative B as a good starting point for the
reduction of duplicate roads and reducing fragmen-
tation in sensitive desert tortoise habitat.
3) Designate one route through Red Bluff Springs for access to the designated National Park Service road; keeping
the route out of flowing water and restoration efforts in the area. Do not designate roads that lead to illegal Na-
tional Park Service routes, specifically the two routes in Mud Wash south of Bitter Ridge.

The Environmental Assessment is available at:

Comments can be submitted electronically at: or in writing at:
Bureau of Land Management
Las Vegas Field Office
C/O Marc Maynard
4701 North Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130
The ACEC map of Gold Butte go to:

Job Opportunity— Southern Nevada Outreach Director

Do you like people, wild places, and bringing the two together? If so, NWP may have just the
opportunity for you. We are currently accepting applications for the position of Southern Ne-
vada Outreach Director in our Las Vegas office. If you are interested in learning more, please
visit our website,, or email

Page 4 Winter 2007

Wild Legacy Club —

2006 ended on a strong note for the Nevada Wilderness Project with the passage of the White Pine County
Lands Bill protecting 558,000 acres in Eastern Nevada. Now, as we look to 2007, each of us has a clean slate to start
again. Perhaps you have some goals or resolutions for the New Year: eat more broccoli, do yoga, run a marathon,
make an impact on your community.
An easy and significant way you can help change the map of Nevada is by joining our Wild Legacy Club. Our
monthly giving club ensures the Nevada Wilderness Project can be consistently proactive in keeping Nevada wild.
Monthly gifts are also convenient for you because they can break down your gift into smaller chunks and cut
down on time, energy and paper use. As a monthly donor, you will never receive a renewal notice in the mail. If at any
time you need to change or cancel your contribution, you can do so with just a phone call or email.
The benefits of our Wild Legacy Club are:
Knowing you are helping to protect the most spectacular areas in Nevada
Monthly email updates on our work
Free t-shirt (with a minimum $5/month gift)
2007 wilderness map of Nevada
Subscription to our quarterly newsletter
As a proud member of our Wild Legacy Club, Tory Garrison in Henderson, Nevada is
able to make a big impact on our work. In Tory’s words, her giving through our monthly member-
ship program is “very convenient and easy. With my busy schedule, I know I am helping
out this great organization without even having to think about my gift. It automatically
comes out of my account and supports the wonderful work NWP does, plus all my dona-
tions are tax deductible!” After Tory joined us on a women’s day hike in Southern Nevada, she
recognized how much she appreciated the diverse beauty of Nevada. This appreciation was the
driving force in her decision to give monthly. “After living in the Las Vegas area for 15 years, I
love what this state has to offer in the land, and I believe in the Project. I know that my dona-
tion each month is going toward their effective and pragmatic work. I am proud to support
the Nevada Wilderness Project each month.”
It is easy to sign up for our Wild Legacy Club. Please just go to our website:
and select the Join or Give tab on the left hand side of the homepage. Click on the ‘donate now’
link. On the ‘donate page’ you are able to enter your desired monthly donation amount. Your
contribution to NWP on a monthly basis will be a great way to start off a new year and ensure we
continue to protect wilderness in Nevada.

Caption Contest
In an effort to inject a little more hu-
mor into our daily lives, we’re asking
people to submit captions for our
photos. To the right, you’ll find a
photo. Submit the winning caption,
and receive a prize, as well as your
name and caption in print in the fol-
lowing newsletter. Please email sub-
missions to

“This beats driving through

Reno at 5pm.”
Peter Schrey Your caption here!
Minden, Nv

Page 5 Winter 2007

Join NWP staff and volunteers on trips to potential wilderness areas! You can see beautiful
places and help protect them at the same time by writing letters and plugging in to our ef-
forts in a way that’s interesting and fun. All outings are weather permitting.
Please log on to for more information.

Northern Nevada Events

February 20 - Wilderness Happy Hour at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, 6-8pm
Photo © Kristie Connolly
March 13 - Wilderness Happy Hour at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, 6-8pm
Please join us for our March 17 - Wilderness Values Trip to Petersen Mountain, Washoe Co
monthly volunteer night at
March 24 - Wilderness Values Trip to the Virginia Range, Washoe Co
Reno’s Great Basin
Brewery April 7-8 - Wilderness Values Trip to Lyon County
( April 17 - Wilderness Happy Hour at the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, 6-8pm
April 28-29 - Wilderness Values Trip to Lava Beds, Pershing County

Southern Nevada Events

February 17 - Wilderness Values Trip to Gold Butte
February 24 & 25 - Gold Butte Campout and Service trip, please see the “Events” page at for more information.
March 10 - Red Rock Springs Service Trip
March 17 - Wilderness Values Trip to Gold Butte
Feb 20, 6-8pm April 21 & 22 - Earth Day Weekend Service Trip, Campout and Hike to Gold Butte
March 13, 6-8pm
April 17, 6-8pm
Cover Photo by Howard Booth


It’s easy to help… Cut out this form and mail it to: NV Wilderness Project, 8550 White Fir St; Reno, NV 89523

Enclosed is my donation of: I would like to make a recurring donation:

Every 3 months
$50.00 Annually

Please include check or money
Name Phone Number
$250.00 order payable to:
Nevada Wilderness Project.
For secure credit card
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