Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) will be gathering this coming Friday, Dec. 8 in Reno to celebrate another year of projects benefiting Nevada lands. Some 650 FNW volunteers donated 8,595 hours of labor, valued at $191,247 in efforts to improve public lands.
FNW was founded 33 years ago. Since 1984, volunteer stewardship projects organized through the group have benefited public lands with over $1.5 million of in-kind services. In 2017, volunteers participated in a total of 61 projects with 8,595 hours of service.
Northern Nevada projects included pulling invasive Musk Thistle plants in the Mt. Rose Wilderness. FNW volunteers installed 47 wilderness boundary markers in the Black Rock Desert - High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. They disassembled and removed approximately 2,000 pounds of metal fencing from the High Rock Canyon Wilderness and removed approximately 33,000 pounds of metal debris from the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers maintained a total of close to 70 miles of trail in a variety of wilderness areas in northern and central Nevada, including work in the Arc Dome Wilderness, East Humboldt Wilderness, High Schells Wilderness, Jarbidge Wilderness, Santa Rosa Wilderness, and Table Mountain Wilderness Areas.
The group completed a host of projects in southern Nevada as well.
FNW partners with the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service, and Fish & Wildlife Service.
“When identifying volunteer stewardship projects, FNW collaborates with land management agencies by contributing our on-the-ground knowledge of wilderness areas and communicating our work capacity when hosting volunteer stewardship projects,” said Ashlyn Moreno, Communications and Operations Coordinator for FNW.
Moreno said the land management agencies compare the information provided by FNW with some of their top priorities. Projects are then identified that best fit the priorities the land management agencies and the capabilities of FNW volunteers.
Friends of Nevada Wilderness is a member-based organization that recruits and trains all of its own volunteers. They put together a total of 75 events in 2017. “At each event, we reach out to new faces about the mission of Friends of Nevada Wilderness and recruit new volunteers for our stewardship trips,” Moreno said. “Online, a Calendar of Events is always up-to-date with upcoming projects and we regularly post our projects on our Facebook page.” “We are grateful to also have a strong base of returning volunteers who are very active with our organization,” Moreno concluded.