|Frequently asked questions|
What is the Nevada Wilderness Project?
The Nevada Wildness Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Nevada’s wild landscapes, and promoting healthy, diverse eco-systems.
Who supports your organization?
The Nevada Wilderness Project is funded by our members, individuals, foundations and corporations.
How long have you been in existence?
The Nevada Wilderness Project received its 501C3 status in 1999.
What do you do?
We protect Nevada’s wild places and preserve and conserve habitats by ensuring the development of our public lands resources “do no harm.”
Who are your members?
Our members represent a broad cross-section of Nevadans. They’re outdoor enthusiasts of all types. They come from all walks and all stages of life. They’re professionals, students, construction workers, government employees, parents and retirees. What they share is a love for Nevada’s wide-open spaces, fragile high desert eco-systems and rich cultural history.
How do your members support you?
Our members support us in a variety of ways including volunteering at events, advocating for our causes and of course financially.
What does it mean to be a Nevada Wilderness Project member?
Being and NWP member puts you in contact with like-minded individuals who strive to keep Nevada wild. As a member you can attend events, volunteer your time, and advocate for important conservation issues. In exchange you will receive the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped protect and preserve the natural beauty and rich biodiversity that makes our state so special. You’ll also receive some great gifts.
Are there any other organizations doing what you do?
Not really. There are a number of conservation-oriented organizations in Nevada, but none of them do what we do. For instance, Friends of Nevada Wilderness is the organization we’re most often compared to; however, we’re actually quite different.
While we’re both membership organizations and we both advocate that’s where the similarity ends. For instance, Friends is a stewardship organization that works exclusively with wilderness designation. NWP takes a full-spectrum approach to public lands protection. We work with a broader lands protection toolbox, including everything from commenting on agency management plans to facilitating conservation easements.
We also work with public lands development differently. As a stewardship organization, Friends strives to return developed public lands to their natural state. We work with developers before they even start a project so that their impact on public lands is minimized from the start. NWP enters the process of protecting special landscapes earlier.
Who are your partners?
That depends on the project we’re working on. For instance, if we’re working on a land protection project, our partners could include other conservation organizations, public policy makers and local, state and federal agencies among others. If we’re working on a bio-diversity project involving the conservation of a particular species or their habitats, our partners could include sportsmen’s organizations and federal agencies.
Why is a wilderness group working on renewable energy?
A single solar or wind project can cover thousands of acres, and within those thousands of acres there are often at-risk species, potential wilderness areas, and fragile habitats. The roads and transmission lines that serve those projects bisect habitats, often destroying a species’ ability to travel from summer to winter ranges or worse making them easier prey for avian predators.
On the plus side, renewable energy projects help reduce the effects of climate change. There are places like the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge where you can actually see the impact of climate change on species habitat. We’re trying to find a balance between the need for renewable energy, and siting them on the lands that will be least disruptive to habitats, or are already disturbed.
Why are you concerned with development at all?
Somebody has to be. If you want to protect wildlife habitats, which often stretch over wide swaths of public land, you have to keep an eye on development on those public lands. That’s why we were able to get the developers of one power transmission line to relocate their project so it wouldn’t interfere with a sensitive sage-grouse mating area. Some groups sue first and negotiate later but we like to use sound science and common sense to convince agencies and developers to consider wild lands and wildlife before building a public lands project. Our staff scientists often have more experience in the field that the state and federal “experts” who review these projects.It’s been years since I heard about a new wilderness area, what’s going on with that?
It’s a much trickier process than it used to be. Congress doesn’t have the same makeup as it did ten years ago. We work on getting new designations every single day, and many of them are about to go through—including Pine Forest, Gold Butte, and Burbank Canyons. We just went to D.C. to meet with our congressional delegations in an attempt to move these forward. We also write op-eds, and we encourage our members to write letters, make phone calls, and send e-mail in support of the wilderness designations we work on. We mobilize our membership—they’re well informed and we help them along when we can, but they’ve got a good handle on it. Right now, we have boots on the ground to collect data on which public lands have wilderness characteristics in the BLM’s Battle Mountain and Carson districts.