Friends of Nevada Wilderness celebrates

Friends of Nevada Wilderness celebrates

Friends of Nevada Wilderness celebrates

The work that the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) organization does to add to the number of areas designated as Nevada wilderness is sometimes controversial. However, the work of FNW volunteers in restoration and management projects on Nevada’s public lands is appreciated by all.

FNW works to find the common ground needed to put together stewardship projects to heal, protect and restore Nevada’s public lands. “The group’s many restoration and monitoring trips combine exploration, camaraderie and rewarding work in Nevada’s beautiful back country,” according to FNW’s website. 

Earlier this month, FNW board members, partners and volunteers gathered to honor exceptional contributions made in 2017 by over 180 volunteers, agency partners and business sponsors.

Northern Nevada’s Volunteer of the Year is Jeff Lock, who was credited with 125 hours of volunteer service. Lock is a landscape photographer who has raised money for FNW from his photo lecture series. 

Northern Nevada’s Youth Volunteer of the Year is Maylyn Bubala, age 11, who volunteered 47 hours with FNW. Bubala’s father is one of FNW’s board members and she and her family have been volunteering for her entire life.

Outdoor clothing and gear retailer, Patagonia, was named as FNW’s Corporate Sponsor of the Year. Patagonia provides grant funding for outreach and advocacy. Many Patagonia employees volunteer with FNW. 

The Lifetime Commitment Award went to Sandia Gracia for stewardship work in the Black Rock Desert, High Rock Canyon, Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.

Larry Dwyer of the Sierra Club was honored with the Field Advocacy Award. He leads up to a dozen trips on public lands each year.

A couple, John and Hermi Hiatt, were honored with the Marge Sill Award, meant to recognize those who have dedicated their lives to protecting qualified public lands as wilderness. Sill was a founder of FNW and was involved in every wilderness designation in the state of Nevada from when the Wilderness Act passed in 1964 to her death, last year.  

The Northern Nevada Agency Team Player of the Year award went to Jen Rovanpera, who works with the BLM. 

Over the past 32 years, the Wilderness Stewardship Volunteer Program has generated over $1.5 million worth of volunteer in-kind service to benefit Nevada’s public lands.