Nevada Land Conservancy and BLM Protect 17,000 Acres in Northern Nevada
More than 17,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat in northern Washoe County, including formerly private inholdings in federally-designated Wilderness Study Areas, now belong to the public, thanks to Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) funding for the $6,000,000 purchase price and a strong partnership between the Nevada Land Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and landowners Todd and Sam Jaksick. Almost every parcel contains a spring, wet meadow, or stream which support a rich, diverse wildlife population across the region.
"Our family spends a tremendous amount of time in Northern Washoe County,” said Todd Jaksick, “We think it's a great place and we're honored to be a part of protecting these lands for future generations."
BLM State Director Ron Wenker calls this acquisition one of the most important wildlife protection initiatives since the inception of the SNPLMA program. “The acquisition will directly affect our ability to safeguard, among other things, what many consider to be the healthiest mule deer and California bighorn sheep herds in Nevada, as well as critical sage grouse breeding grounds and the only known home of the endangered Wall Canyon sucker fish,” Wenker said.
BLM and the Nevada Land Conservancy, have been working with the landowners since 2003 for federal acquisition of the land in order to protect the wide variety of resources on the property. This is the largest and most complex SNPLMA acquisition to date, with more than a hundred distinct parcels with appurtenant water rights across three BLM administrative areas – the Winnemucca field office in Nevada, and the Surprise and Eagle Lake Field Offices in California. The parcels, all within Nevada, are scattered throughout the Granite Range north of Gerlach, and include portions of the Buffalo Hills, Twin Peaks, and Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Areas, and range from high alpine meadows to sagebrush lowlands.
"From the beginning, this acquisition had the support of multiple wildlife advocates, hunting and fishing enthusiasts, and recreationists. It is an exceptional opportunity on all those fronts, as well as for the cultural resources that will be protected,” stated Alicia Reban, President of the Nevada Land Conservancy.
Nevada Land Conservancy is Nevada’s first independent, non-profit land trust working with landowners and communities to protect and preserve the special places and open spaces of Nevada for future generations. NVLC is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and has protected more than five acres a day in the past decade. For information on Nevada Land Conservancy’s projects, please call 775-851-5180 or visit nvlc.org.
The BLM is authorized to sell land in the Las Vegas Valley under the authority of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998 (SNPLMA), as amended (Public law 105-263). The proceeds from the disposal of these lands are held in a special account used to fund projects in Clark, Lincoln, and White Pine counties including acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands throughout Nevada.
The BLM is one of five federal agencies that manage environmentally sensitive lands acquired by the United States as a result of the SNPLMA legislation. For more information on SNPLMA and projects approved for funding visit the SNPLMA website at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/snplma.html.
Photo by Mike McCurry