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Wildlife in the East Fork High Rock Wilderness includes bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and mountain lions. The canyons provide outstanding habitat for nesting raptors. The Applegate-Lassen Emigrant Trail forms the western boundary of the wilderness. Visitors confront the exact landscape that settlers came upon as they bounced along in covered wagons en route to California.


Nevada's 68 designated wilderness areas that comprise 3.37 million acres of lands. Nearly half of the inholding acreage in Nevada—about 5,000 acres-- is in the East Humboldt Wilderness, dating back to the days when the railroad was granted checkerboard ownership of land in the West. Today ranching and mining claims remain active within Nevada’s diverse and rugged wilderness areas. Las Vegas investors own large tracts, presenting a potential development threat.

East Fork High Rock Canyon (COMPLETED)

Washoe County (Bureau of Land Management)

320 acres transferred

The East Fork High Rock Canyon Wilderness lies on a broad, volcanic upland in the northern Calico Mountains. Humans have used the area for thousands of years. Pioneers on their way to Oregon and California passed through High Rock Canyon along the Lassen-Applegate Trail. Elevations range from 4,900 to 6,600 feet. Deep canyons, some 500- feet deep, cut through multi-colored layers of volcanic rock. Bright green canyon floors contrast with the yellows, reds, browns, grays and oranges of the canyon walls. The canyon floors are home to quail, chukar partridge and mule deer. The buttes and uplands are home to pronghorn antelope and nesting golden eagles.

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Jarbidge Wilderness

Elko County (USDA Forest Service)

280 acres transferred

According to legend, a hardy band of Shoshone braves walled in the original jarbidge (their word for "a weird beastly creature") in a cave in Jarbidge Canyon. This northern Nevada Wilderness merits attention as one of the most remote spots in America. Eight of the peaks in the Jarbidge ridge exceed 10,000 feet.This area is unusually wet for Nevada, with seven to eight feet of snow falling annually, ideal for vegetation that varies from northern desert plants to alpine plants.Although more than 125 miles of trails exist, remoteness and rugged mountain terrain place this area among the least visited of all Wilderness areas.

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Ruby Mountains Wilderness

Elko County (USDA Forest Service)

413 acres transferred

Glaciers scoured the northern end of the Ruby Mountains during the last ice age, creating the U-shaped Lamoille Canyon, also known as Nevada's Yosemite. Hanging valleys, towering summits, and year-round snowfields characterize this Wilderness.The Rubies contain 10 peaks above 11,000 feet (including Ruby Dome at 11,387 feet) and more than two dozen alpine lakes, rare treats in this arid state. You'll also find here one of the largest herds of mule deer in Nevada, numbers of mountain goats and bighorn sheep, and streams teeming with trout (including the threatened Lahontan cutthroat).The Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail travels along the top of this Wilderness for 33 miles. Shorter side trails climb to the crest from several trailheads.

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South McCullough Wilderness

Clark County (BLM)

40 acres purchased

The South McCullough Wilderness encompasses the southern portion of the McCullough Range. This area of the north-south trending range is comprised of ancient metamorphic rock. The mountains in the South McCullough Wilderness are comprised of dramatic uplifted fault block of gneiss and granite, with steep slopes, narrow deep canyons to the east and west, and deep sandy washes.Though a short distance from the lights and sounds of Las Vegas, Nevada silence is common in the narrow canyons and sandy washes of South McCullough Wilderness. Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and recreation including hiking, horseback riding, hunting, exploring, and camping.

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“We need wilderness preserved--as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds--because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed.
--Wallace Stegner