Snapshots from the New BLM Nevada Calendar - Available in BLM Nevada Offices
Last fall, BLM Nevada announced the winners of their 3rd Annual Photo Contest. Featured here are just a few of the most popular shots, included in the new BLM Nevada calendar. CLICK HERE to view all photo contest winners.
We’re kicking off the weekend with a photo collection from last week’s Burning Man event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert – the largest Leave No Trace event in the world, authorized under the most complex special recreation permit issued by the BLM. All photos were taken by BLM employees assisting with event safety, logistics and more.
This week, the BLM’s My Public Lands Instagram reached 60,000 followers! We’re celebrating this milestone with #mypubliclandspicks. Check out our instagram all weekend to view favorite photos and places to visit, selected by employees.
Sunset over Burning Man 2014, Nevada, by Casey Bryant, BLM Vending Compliance Team
Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado, by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist
Middle Fork, Wyoming, by Charlotte Darling, BLM Wyoming Rangeland Management Specialist
BLM Winter Bucket List #15: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada, for a “Natural” Getaway with Stellar Rock Climbing
When winter temperatures drive most of the nation indoors, Red Rock Canyon - Nevada’s first National Conservation Area - comes alive with activity.
The area is located just 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip and is visited by more than one million people each year. In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers visitors 195,000+ acres for a different kind of adventure - a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of hiking trails, campgrounds and diverse outdoor recreation activities as well as a visitor center with exhibit rooms.
What’s the greatest attraction to Red Rock in the winter? It’s the climbing in moderate weather. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is considered one of the finest rock climbing areas in the world. It features hundreds of established sport, bouldering and traditional climbs, with commercial guides and resources available for even the beginner.
Just 12 miles west of Las Vegas, the colorful, bare sandstone of the aptly named Rainbow Mountain Wilderness emerges from the valley floor, standing guard over the surrounding pinyon-juniper forest and Mojave Desert scrub below. Its sheer, towering red and white cliffs are cut by rugged, narrow, twisting canyons lined with willow, ash, and hackberry trees.
Encompassing 24,997 acres, this desert wonderland dominates the western view of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and is managed jointly by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
With springs, sandstone ‘pothole’ water tanks, and an elevation range of 3,000 feet, topping out at the 7,070-foot summit of Mount Wilson, the wilderness supports a wide variety of wildlife and unique plant communities. Deep, cool canyons host chain ferns as much as six feet tall and ponderosa pines, which usually thrive at higher elevations like the rocky outcrops further up the mountainsides.
Desert bighorn sheep, mountain lion, bobcats, mule deer, coyote, foxes, bats, squirrels, and numerous bird species also make their home in the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness.
Today, #mypubliclandsroadtrip goes behind-the-scenes with John Callan, BLM Nevada Abandoned Mines and Lands (aka AML) Program Lead.
What does an AML specialist do for the BLM?
Here in BLM Nevada, we inventory abandoned mines and lands, including cultural resources and wildlife in and around sites. We assess sites for value as well as potential public health and safety risks.
What is a typical day like for you?
An AML specialist does more than just “cover up holes.” My work in the office includes project coordination, budget, and other administrative duties. I follow the National Environmental Policy Act and coordinate with an inter-displinary team of biologists, archaeologists, geologists, and more on closure projects. I also coordinate a lot with our partners at Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, Nevada Division of Minerals, and Nevada Division of Wildlife.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The job is dirty, but fun. I see the great parts of the state first hand. Ghost towns, old mining camps, amazing wildlife, and springs and creeks all over the desert. The best days are spent in the field.
Great Basin National Park Employees Find 1882 Winchester Rifle During Restoration Project
Great Basin National Park employees recently discovered a Winchester Model 73 rifle standing upright against a juniper tree. The serial number on the rifle dates the production of the rifle back to 1882. The Winchester Model 1873 or Model 73 rifle is world-renowned as “The Gun that Won the West.”
Employees found the rifle while conducting cultural resource clearances for a hazardous fuels reduction and ecosystem restoration project. The Great Basin National Park, located in Baker, Nevada, received project funding from the Bureau of Land Management through the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act or SNPLMA.
The SNPLMA became law in Oct. 1998 and allows the BLM to sell public land within a specific boundary around Las Vegas, Nevada. The revenue derived from land sales is split between the State of Nevada General Education Fund, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and a special account available to the Secretary of the Interior for:
Parks, trails, and natural areas,
Conservation initiatives and more.
The current Great Basin National Park project will help to protect park infrastructure from threats of wildland fire and to improve the quantity and quality of wildlife habitat for species of management concern including the Greater Sage-grouse, pygmy rabbits, and Bonneville cutthroat trout.
On this day in 1990, the BLM-managed Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. Located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, the area spans 195,819 acres. In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with exhibit rooms.
The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is enjoyed by the local population as well as visitors from the United States and many foreign countries. One million visitors each year enjoy the spectacular desert landscape, climbing and hiking opportunities, and interpretive programs sponsored by the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.
Homesteading, mining and ranching have all been a part of Nevada’s 150-year history.
Through it all, the Department of the Interior, first in the form of the General Land Office and now in the form of the Bureau of Land Management, has played a role the history of America’s 36th state.
Read “Home for 150 Years” - an article in My Public Lands Magazine, Summer 2014 by Chris Rose, BLM Nevada - in which Nevadans share some favorite memories of their first 150 years of statehood. And check out the amazing winning photos from the Nevada 150 Photo Contest; story cover by Michelle Jetzer.
Leave No Trace practices are the cornerstone of Burning Man – the largest and most complex Special Recreation Permit that the BLM manages. Because the event is located on BLM’s National Conservation Lands – the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area – the Bureau’s primary responsibility is to ensure the protection of the natural and cultural values in the area.
There is a very interesting nexus between the NCA and Burning Man’s theme this year, ‘Caravansary.’ One of the cultural resources contained within the NCA is the Applegate Historic Trail–the longest stretch of protected and intact emigrant trail in the United States used by early pioneers. The NCA also contains several designated wilderness areas–special places where the earth and its community of life are essentially undisturbed.
NCAs are managed by the BLM to conserve, protect and enhance these special lands for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Often NCAs are places to seek solitude and a natural experience away from urban areas. Because of their special status, public enjoyment of these lands should be accompanied by a commitment to protect and preserve these areas.
As participants in this year’s event, known as “burners,” make their way to the playa, it serves as a reminder to all of us enjoying public lands to not only minimize our footprint but also to understand our impacts beyond the boundaries of conservation areas.
CLICK HERE for more information about BLM’s National Conservation Lands and outdoor ethics. Photos by Bob Wick, BLM
Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159. The area is 195,819 acres and is visited by more than one million people each year. In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with exhibit rooms and a book store.
The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. One million visitors each year enjoy the spectacular desert landscape, climbing and hiking opportunities, and interpretive programs sponsored by the BLM. Learn more: http://on.doi.gov/1gddjXM
In the top photo, an ore track coming out of the historic Silver Canyon Mine in the Schell Creek Mountain Range in Nevada, east of the BLM’s Ely District. At one time the track ended at a wooden chute that sent the extracted ore from the mine down into a lower elevation where it was milled.
Further down in the valley bottom is the ghost town of Aurum, originally known as Silver Canyon, which sprang up in 1878. By 1881, Aurum had become a fair sized town with a store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, two boarding houses, a small school, and its own post office.
On February 11, 1884, a snow slide buried one of the boarding houses and other buildings in the camp killing several men. The men killed in the snow slide rest in Aurum Cemetry, captured in the second photo.
But Aurum experienced a revival in 1887, and by 1888, the town once again had up to 50 residents. The revival peaked in 1898 but by 1906 the camp was all but abandoned. The last resident left in the mid 1920’s and Aurum officially joined the White Pine County Ghost Town roll.
Check Out What Happened Last Week at the BLM: April 27-May 1, 2015
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell last week announced more than $4 million in projects the BLM will implement to reduce the threat of rangeland fire and protect sagebrush habitat in the Great Basin region. The projects in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon will support the Interior Department’s science-based strategy to address the more frequent and intense wildfires that are damaging sagebrush landscapes and productive rangelands. Read the press release.
The BLM continued its #WomeninSTEM Wednesday series with a feature story about Project Archaeology. Project Archaeology – a partnership between the BLM and Montana State University - is a national stewardship educational program dedicated to teaching scientific and historical inquiry, cultural understanding, and the importance of protecting the nation’s rich cultural resources. The BLM Utah and BLM Nevada, Project Archaeology, and local partners recently hosted a cultural heritage workshop in Tooele, Utah, for over 80 Girl Scouts. Read the post on My Public Lands Tumblr.
Also last week, the BLM featured photo stories from employees on My Public Lands Tumblr and My Public Lands Instagram. The stories focused on beautiful and unusual BLM locations to explore, including a ghost town you can visit and lesser known sand dunes in Idaho.
Cross bedding in Aztec Sandstone at Muddy Mountains Wilderness. Just an hour north of Las Vegas, Nevada lies the Muddy Mountains Wilderness, a place of wonder and mystery, an area of outrageous geology and colorful Mojave Desert habitat. With a combined 48,019 acres, this region of shadowy slot canyon, striking geological formations and expansive views of Lake Mead is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.