Nevada

From slot canyons in Gold Butte to expansive valley floors in the Basin and Range National Monument, to the peaks of the Toiyabe Range and the Ruby Mountains, public lands in Nevada embody the spirit of the American west.

Focus areas

Gold Butte: In southern Nevada, Gold Butte boasts thousands of petroglyphs and other archeological treasures; historic mining—and pioneer-era artifacts; rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert big horn sheep; dramatic geologic features like sculpted red sandstone and rock spires; and fossil track-sites dating back 170 to 180 million years ago. In addition, Gold Butte is an amazing place where people can experience the great outdoors through hiking, hunting, birding, camping, ORV riding on designated trails and traditional tribal uses.

Gold Butte has seen an uptick in degradation of the landscape—from robbing pioneer graves to ATV’s going off designated trails to the destruction of ancient artifacts.Now is the time to protect Gold Butte, before it is too late.

Petroglyphs on Gold Butte (NV). Credit: Andrew, flickr.

Basin and Range National Monument: The new Basin and Range National Monument, a 704,000-acre area in Nevada just a short two-hour drive from Las Vegas, is home to some of the country’s last undisturbed mountain ranges and valleys in the southern portion of the Great Basin ecosystem. Basin and Range is beloved by Nevadans and visitors from throughout the country who come to hike, camp, hunt, bike, climb and explore art and cultural sites. 

Basin and Range National Monument (NV). Credit:Tyler Roemer. 

Wilderness: Nevada currently contains over three million acres of permanently protected wilderness and millions more acres of public lands that qualify for wilderness designation but are not yet protected. These lands contain outstanding resources, including scenic vistas, incredible wildlife habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn and other emblematic species, and wonderful opportunities to hunt, hike, fish, camp or just get away from it all.

We work to secure permanent protection for wilderness-caliber lands throughout Nevada by working with local stakeholders, elected officials, and others to pass legislation to protect these important areas.

Public lands planning: Over 25 million acres of public lands will undergo land use plan revisions over the next 10 years—just in the state of Nevada. Through a series of new resource plans, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will set the direction for how public lands are managed across the state. At a truly massive scale, there is great opportunity and great challenge in making sure our public lands thrive for years to come.

Stump Spring, Nevada.Lands with wilderness characteristics: Wilderness-quality lands managed by the BLM provide benefits for wildlife and humans alike. In these places, there are unique chances to venture into landscapes that appear to be untouched and experience solitude in its truest form. Joshua tree forests, ancient lake beds and striking peaks are included in the outstanding lands that are worth protecting. The BLM has a technical term for these lands: lands with wilderness characteristics. The Wilderness Society is working to protect these incredible places by securing new protections through agency land use plans.

Stump Spring (NV). Credit: Mason Cummings.

Renewable energy development: Nevada is uniquely positioned to help reduce our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. The sunny, wide-open public lands in Nevada provide an incredible opportunity to develop renewable energy from solar, wind and geothermal resources. The Wilderness Society is advocating for responsible development of these resources while conserving wildlands and wildlife and our natural and cultural heritage.

  • Tim Woody

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s bill to authorize oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge has advanced out of committee and is poised to be attached to the Republican tax package. It will then go before the full Senate for a filibuster-proof vote requiring only a simple 51-vote majority to pass.

  • Kate Mackay

    Today a national coalition of sportsmen, recreation, business and conservation groups calls on the Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke to make good on its promise to the American public that it is against the widespread sale or transfer of 445 million acres of public lands under the department’s management authority.

  • Tim Woody

    The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a bill that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bill’s supporters claim such drilling would raise $1 billion in revenue to offset tax cuts, despite best estimates indicating that revenue target is highly unrealistic.

    In response to today’s committee vote, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from its president, Jamie Williams: