BLMnevada

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#mypubliclandsroadtrip Recap Continues with BLM Nevada!

From striking desert landscapes to historic trails to vast wilderness, the summer roadtrip in Nevada had something for everyone.  One of the most striking roadtrip stops - the Basin and Range National Monument.

Check out new photos of Basin and Range by Bob Wick, BLM.  The monument includes approximately 704,000 acres of public land in of one the most undisturbed corners of the broader Great Basin region. Less than two hours from Las Vegas, this unbroken expanse attracts recreationists seeking vastness and solitude.

Check out all BLM Nevada roadtrip photos on My Public Lands Flickr, and view the storymap roadtrip journal!

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NIFC #mypubliclandsroadtrip goes behind-the-scenes with Marine Corps Veteran and BLM Firefighter

Tyler Samuelson served four years in the United States Marine Corps as an engineer. The 26-year old Nebraska native now has his eyes set on a career in wildland fire management, and he is gaining indispensable experience as a member of BLM’s Vegas Valley Handcrew, one of four 20-person BLM veteran’s hand crews. He has been on the Vegas Valley crew for two and a half years.

What is your job with the BLM?
I am a firefighter on the Vegas Valley Handcrew. We are based on the Southern Nevada District in Las Vegas. My precise role on the crew is a swamper.

What skills transferred from military to firefighting?
A lot of the skills transfer. Physical fitness is a big one, along with being comfort in dangerous conditions, and a strong work ethic in general.

What do you like best about firefighting?
Probably the camaraderie with all the other guys. It’s great to be working with a group of vets, because we have a lot in common.

How does firefighting stack up against work you’ve done in the past?
Firefighting is very demanding compared to any regular job. It’s even demanding compared to garrison duty in the military.

What is a “swamper”? What kind of work does that entail?
Mainly, I work with the sawyers to clear away the fuel they’ve cut. It’s an essential step in constructing fireline. I also help carry saw fuel and oil, and help dig fireline if we don’t have that much saw work to do.

Are you interested in making wildland fire your career?
Yeah, I’m interested in a fire career. Wildland fire challenges you, and makes you a better person. It’s a good career choice. We’ve done a few different things on fires [this season]. We set up some large hoselays in Alaska earlier in the summer, and helped called in birds (helicopters).

Thanks Tyler for sharing your story with us and for all you do as a wildland firefighter! 

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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.  

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Today, #mypubliclandsroadtrip travels to several stunning Nevada landscapes that showcase the diversity of lands managed by the BLM.  

First up – Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area.

Known for its amazing desert habitat and wildlife, Nevada is also home to the Pine Forest Range.   A recent addition to the BLM’s wilderness areas, the range offers a diverse landscape of dense aspen stands, beautiful rock formations of enormous granite boulders and outcroppings, and an abundance of clean mountain streams and lakes.   Blue Lake, accessible only by hiking, is a remnant glacial lake.  Stands of rare remnant white bark and limber pines are present in this northern area of Nevada.  

The most amazing part? The fishing opportunities.  The pristine waters and untouched landscapes make it premiere fishing for brook, tiger, bowcutt, and rainbow trout. And visitors will find endless opportunities for rugged hiking and horseback riding - with very few trails - and primitive camping.

One visitor said that this gem “is like another planet.”

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The #mypubliclandsroadtrip ends the day with the diverse wilderness managed by BLM Nevada through the National Conservation Lands. 

These areas are largely undeveloped, natural, and unconstrained by human activity.  They provide outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation. These wilderness lands consist of rugged mountain ranges, broad valleys, and desert plains that house natural and cultural resources.  The BLM Nevada, in partnership with local communities, manages these lands for current and future generations.

CLICK HERE to learn more about and plan a trip to a unique wilderness location in Nevada. Click individual photos for location and photographer name.

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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.

Find more information about local events and activities on our partner organization’s website: http://redrockcanyonlv.org/

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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.

And if you like the Burning Man photos, you’ll want to see the Burning Man videos by Jayson Barangan from BLM Arizona. Check them out on the BLM Nevada’s YouTube – Embrace: Art on Nevada’s Public Lands; 12:00 on the Playa; and Embracing the Moment

Learn more about Burning Man here>> http://tmblr.co/Z9wNeu1ObgRGT .

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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.

Featured above:

  • 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
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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.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

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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,
  • Capital improvements,
  • 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.

Visit the Great Basin National Park’s Facebook page for more photos and information.

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Happy Birthday, Red Rock Canyon NCA!

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.

Red Rock Canyon NCA photos from the Nevada 150 Photo Contest this year.

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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.

Photos courtesy BLM Nevada

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Burning Man 2014 Kicks Off This Weekend!

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

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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.

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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