Sportsmen and Nevada BLM Lands
Nevada is the envy of sportsmen around the country. Few states remain in the West that have the vast, unspoiled tracts of public land that Nevada does.
Second only to Alaska in number of acres of public land, these unspoiled, unfragmented landscapes provide crucial habitat for mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep, along with game birds like chukar, Huns, blue grouse and sage grouse. In Nevada sportsmen still can experience the freedom of endless, wide open spaces and unspoiled landscapes.
With these blessings comes responsibility. The care and management of our public lands is a huge undertaking and responsibility. If future generations are to enjoy the legacy and heritage we enjoy here in the West today, then sportsmen need to be involved in the process that will determine the future of our sporting heritage, wildlife populations and freedom to roam and enjoy our public lands.
A number of planning efforts are ongoing in Nevada in the Carson City and Battle Mountain BLM districts. As part of these efforts, sportsmen’s organizations in Nevada and the Nevada Department of Wildlife have been involved in identifying key habitat areas in undisturbed backcountry that need special recognition in the BLM’s planning process. We call these places backcountry wildlife conservation areas. Having these areas recognized and designated by the BLM will accomplish the following:
1. conserve intact fish and wildlife habitat for the benefit of sportsmen
2. maintain existing access to high quality hunting and fishing areas
3. promote active management to restore habitat, control noxious weeds and manage pinion/juniper expansion and encroachment
4. help focus resources on maintaining and enhancing our most productive wildlife habitats on public lands
- The BLM’s Carson City Field Office Resource Management Plan is being developed now. Speak up to ensure a positive future for hunting and fishing on these public lands.
Sportsmen invest well in excess of $400 million dollars per year in Nevada in direct spending on licenses, tags, equipment, travel, lodging and other expenditures. This spending generates nearly $38 million in state and local tax revenue and more than $48 million in federal tax revenue annually. These revenues fund the state’s wildlife agency as well as federal programs that help maintain our fish and wildlife heritage. Sportsmen also have invested tens of millions of dollars in private money as well as tens of thousands of hours of volunteer time and labor to improve fish and wildlife habitat, build water developments, help with the labor and funding of big game trap and transplants, and facilitate other important fish and wildlife related projects.
Sportsmen can be proud of our accomplishments. Nevada now has more bighorn sheep than any state in the Lower 48, the state’s elk populations are soaring and pronghorn antelope populations are at all-time highs. These healthy game populations are a direct result of sportsmen’s dollars and our time, energy and dedication to making our public lands and wildlife populations more productive and resilient. As a result, future generations of sportsmen will be able to enjoy them, too.
Now, sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations in Nevada are committed to ensuring that the BLM’s planning and decision making processes take into account the importance of fish and wildlife habitat and the investment sportsmen make to conserve and enhance our public land wildlife resources. But much work remains, and this requires constant engagement and vigilance from the sportsmen’s community.
For more information, contact Carl Erquiaga, Nevada Field Representative.