A fiend holding up some recently removed barbed wire fencing at Sheldon NWR. Photo credit: Aaron Collins/USFWS
Since 2003, the Friends of Nevada Wilderness removed nearly 200 miles of barbed wire from Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. The fence was abandoned livestock fence that was never removed, though livestock are no longer allowed on the refuge. They’ve also removed several tons of abandoned water trough and other refuse!
The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge protects more than half a million acres of high desert habitat for large wintering herds of pronghorn antelope, scattered bands of bighorn sheep, and a rich assortment of other wildlife.
Mule deer are one of the many species, including pronghorn antelope and greater sage grouse, that depend on Sheldon NWR. Photo credit: Megan Nagel/USFWS
The landscape is vast, rugged, and punctuated with waterfalls, narrow gorges, and lush springs among rolling hills and expansive tablelands of sagebrush and mountain mahogany. Elevations on the refuge range from 4,100 to 7,200 feet. Annual precipitation rarely amounts to more than a dozen inches, creating a harsh environment where a wide variety of wildlife manages to thrive.
A friend coiling up barbed wire fencing left behind, before this land became a refuge. Photo credit: Aaron Collins/USFWS
The Friends are a vital part of the refuge and protecting this special place. They have assisted the Service in making noticeable and important strides toward restoring, protecting, and preserving wilderness values in one of the largest intact areas of native sagebrush habitat in the Great Basin.
In addition to assisting with the removal of fencing and refuges, the Friends have assisted in collecting valuable resource information for monitoring the condition and recover of springs and riparian habitats.
A before and after of an important and scarce riparian area on the refuge. Photo credit: USFWS
They’ve also secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in matching contributions and grants to support projects within the Refuge.
John Kasbohm, Sharon Netherton (Friends of Nevada Wilderness), and Kevin Foerster. Photo credit: Aaron Collins/USFWS
The Pacific Region’s Refuges Chief Kevin Foerester and Sheldon-Hart National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader John Kasbohm recently visited the Friends to thank them for all of their hard work to protect this special refuge - and it’s wildlife and habitat. Without our Friends, the Refuge wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much for conservation.
The Friends of Nevada Wilderness celebrating 50 Years of Wilderness. Photo credit: Aaron Collins/USFWS
If you want to help protect a special and a unique place, the Friends annually hosts a Refuge volunteer event for citizens from throughout the Pacific Region to accomplish a variety of projects including fence removal, habitat protection exclosures, boundary posting, and weed removal.
Thank you Friends of Nevada Wilderness for helping protect wild Sheldon NWR!