Huge BLM Wilderness Victory in the Black Rock Desert
(Note: This is a vast land, all right, but it is not "wilderness" -- I've traveled through it more than once -- there are working ranches located throughout, and water sources that are both naturally occurring AND manmade. It is very rural, and as such is very beautiful in a uniquely Nevada high desert way. Such a blanket "wilderness designation" is smoke and mirrors for the resource lockup that is being done "under the public radar." Note the importance of the 'inset' map, which clearly shows a United Nations "Biosphere Reserve" in southern Nevada. It's a virtual guarantee that a thimbleful of folks living in and near Las Vegas are aware of the 2,900,000-acre -- that's almost THREE MILLION ACRES -- UN resource control that's right where they live. Also of important note: This UN "Biosphere Reserve" is ALSO dubbed an "Area of Critical Environmental Concern," or ACEC. How many ACECs are there nationwide? Are they all now synonymous with UN "Biosphere Reserve" designation? Are all "Wilderness Study Areas" -- or "WSAs" -- scheduled to become UN "Biosphere Reserves?" Consider the tremendous resource value of such areas' surface lands, water, mineral deposits/reserves, etc. What is it that the UN and such global resource control freaks REALLY want? Is it REALLY "environmental protection" -- or is it actually world resource Control? It is of interest to note that the only humans that are apparently supposed to be allowed access to these places are a chosen few and NOT the public, who PAID for these places. Ah, the intricacies of navigating Language Deception!)
Undated, but believed to be 2000.
The Carson City Nevada Appeal headline on Saturday, December 16 read: "Black Rock Protection Approved."
The big story is that the Senator Richard Bryan's (D-NV) 1.2 million acre measure included protection for approximately 800,000 acres in eleven (11) wilderness areas under terms of the 1964 Wilderness Act.
Another 400,000 acres became protected zones of the Black Rock Desert/High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.
It was an enhanced victory for *NORA proposals in the hotly debated "East Arm" of the Black Rock Desert.
The Winnemucca BLM District was under heavy Humboldt County pressure to exclude it from even ACEC status (even though the county endorsed ACECs in Nevada Senate Bill 40 in 1986).
An Associated Press spokesman confirmed to NORA today that the North and South Jackson Range and the sprawling Black Rock Desert (Quinn River) WSAs all won wilderness enactment just one hour before Congress adjourned late Friday, December 15th.
Apparently, not one of the old BLM Public Land WSAs was "dropped."
We could not combine the Calico Range and High Rock Lake WSAs into one wilderness.
However, a large area alleged to have copper and gold conflicts was largely included near Gerlach, Nevada.
The measure got through the House of Representatives in spite of the long-standing opposition of Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-NV) and a host of Nevada rural cities, "cow" counties and the howls of the livestock industry (which called the area's values "science fiction").
NORA was the first Nevada conservation group to foster protection for the area.
Our initial BLM wilderness and "natural area" (ACEC) investigations were greatly enhanced in the Autumn of 1959 by explorations made by Reno speliologist and karst expert Alvin R. McLane.
NORA's BLM Public Land environmental activities were intensely controversial -- causing NORA co-founder Charles S. Watson, Jr. to be ousted from the Sierra Club's Toiyabe Chapter Conservation Committee in October 1962.
The reason given at the time: "Your (NORA and BLM) program is inappropriate and in conflict with policy."
NORA co-founder McLane was similarly banned the following year because of his "dangerous trips" into remote BLM Great Basin areas.
In 1959, McLane's party of volunteers climbed the summit of 8,923' King Lear Peak (South Jackson Range) and explored McGill Canyon, where he found and photographed what we then called "a large trout-like fish" which only recently has been described as "probably" an albino dace and still considered record size for the species.
McLane also entered what is now the High Rock Lake Wilderness and discovered its unique Fly Canyon potholes.
These discoveries inspired more NORA incursions into the Black Rock Desert area.
McLane led a 1960 NORA party into High Rock Canyon where we recorded the Applegate Trail's carved "Jaquith" and axle-grease "Nilsson" 1852 inscriptions, made by pioneers trekking towards southern Oregon.
NORA also explored Mahogany Canyon, and in 1961 reached out to Blue Lakes WSA (Pine Forest Range) and the East Arm's Quinn River whitewater arroyo. This wilderness was later shown (1980) to contain a possible 20,000-year-old Ice Age mammoth etc. "graveyard."
In 1964, the NORA "Big Book" inventory had recorded rare petrified wood deposits and the now heavily vandalized, but then spectacular, red-bricked Hardin City ruins where pioneer trailblazer Peter Lassen was murdered. Incidentally, one of our 1960 Mahogany Canyon (in the High Rock Canyon system) photographs was used by the late Paul A. Tilden in his historic November 1965 National Parks magazine interview with yours truly, that led to the pioneer article, "Preservation And The Public Lands"....which first advocated BLM in-agency environmental programs; such as "primitive areas" (wilderness), "natural areas" (ACECs) and -- most important -- a BLM Public Land mandate (i.e.,"Organic Act "), which became law in the 1976 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).
Additional researched information:
*Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association (NORA): "Founded in 1958 as the Nevada Public Domain Survey (NPDS) and dedicated to the preservation and management of our U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Lands and unappropriated government lands worldwide. The Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association, Inc. (NORA) is the nation's oldest BLM Public Lands environmental and commons ecology advocacy." http://www.nora.org "Founded in 1958 as the Nevada Public Domain Survey (NPDS) and dedicated to the preservation and management of our U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Lands and unappropriated government lands worldwide. The Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association, Inc. (NORA) is the nation's oldest BLM Public Lands environmental and commons ecology advocacy. "NORA" -- as we are widely known -- is the world's oldest "Commons Ecology" organization. Not even conservation pioneer John Muir dared enter this environmental arena when he drafted his plan in 1889-90 for Yosemite National Park, and yet said afterwards, "everything is connected to everything else." Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 did consider an action towards the General Land Office (GLO) and its then near billion acres of unappropriated government lands, known as the public domain. But; realizing American Victorian politics was opposed to it, he gave up. Thus, Teddy could only act on "appropriated" lands like our forests (US Forest Service) and refuges (US Fish & Wildlife Service). Roosevelt did create the first "national monument," but it was quickly transferred to the National Park Service. Even Aldo Leopold's book, "Sand County Almanac," avoided the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which in 1946 was a new agency created by combining the General Land Office (1812) and the Grazing Service (1934). This caused a flawed form of "choice morsel" protectionism to dominate the first half of the 20th century, not just in America; but, in every nation and territory on the planet. In turn, much of Earth's wild biodiversity was relegated to limbo, even inside the conservation movement. Indeed, NORA initially made itself unpopular by challenging a resultant mindset that callously treated the BLM as a supermarket of land for pet projects. A new advocacy was needed for this unappropriated land biodiversity, to make it less vulnerable to vested interests, who wanted BLM and the Commons liquidated. One answer was: begin a comprehensive inventory in the 2nd largest Public Land state -- outside Alaska -- using the BLM's 48,000,000 acres in Nevada. In 1958, thirteen Nevadans created the Nevada Public Domain Survey (NPDS) task force. In 1959 thru 1964 NPDS explored and recommended in their Nevada "Big Book" project the first BLM "primitive" (wilderness) and "natural areas" in the Black Rock Desert (near Gerlach, in NW Nevada) and at Red Rock Canyon (near Las Vegas). Thus, "BLM environmentalism" was born. Later on, this was expanded into Commons Ecology, a thesis to give Earth's unappropriated government lands a heightened environmental priority. In 1964, NPDS and the Nevada Conservation Society merged to become the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association, Inc. (NORA). In 1965, NORA's BLM advocacy was first recognized in a National Parks magazine article: "Preservation and The Public Lands." Although still controversial, Commons Ecology was adopted by such notables as Lady Bird Johnson and Justice William O. Douglas. In 1974, NORA co-founder Charles Watson and the late Thomas H. Watkins outlined an agency charter in a book, "The Lands No One Knows." From this came BLM "Organic Act" tenets in the 1976 Federal Lands Policy & Management Act (FLPMA). In 1987, Watson became an American delegate to the World Wilderness Congress, where Commons Ecology began to spread globally." [black bolding/emphasis at original URL] http://www.nora.org/index.cfm?sector=news&page=read&newsid=18