Press Release – Local Conservation Group Receives National Leadership Award

Nevada’s Friends of Black Rock High Rock Recognized for Restoration and Protection Activities

Friends of Black Rock High Rock

Friends of Black Rock High Rock Photo credit: Tyler Roemer

Reno, NV (October 28, 2013)Friends of Black Rock High Rock, a local land conservation group based in Gerlach, Nevada, received the Friends Group of the Year Award by the Conservation Lands Foundation. The Foundation presents this annual award to organizations that have demonstrated outstanding and comprehensive leadership to advance the protection, restoration and expansion of the National Conservation Lands. The award ceremony took place on Saturday, October 26, in Bend, OR.

“The staff, board and volunteers with the Friends of Black Rock High Rock have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to educating people and protecting the resources of the Black Rock Desert region in northern Nevada,” stated David Bobzien, High Desert Program and Digital Director with the Conservation Lands Foundation.

Friends of Black Rock High Rock was formed with the goal of preserving the region and promoting appreciation for its historical, ecological, agricultural, recreational and scenic resources in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA) the largest National Conservation Area in the lower 48 states and part of the National Conservation Lands.

Over the past year, Friends of Black Rock High Rock have completed over twenty-five boots-on-the-ground conservation projects for the NCA. These projects include starting a program to monitor plant species that harm native plants and initiating a riparian inventory project to catalogue plant and animal life near river banks.

The Friends of the Black Rock High Rock is encouraging conservation among youth by starting a program to introduce at-risk youth to Nevada’s public lands. This summer area youth were outfitted with donated camping and outdoor gear to enjoy a camping experience in the NCA. This was made possible by the Friends of Black Rock High Rock’s unique and diverse partnerships with engineering, mining and conservation groups.

Being creative and building connections with the local community has been another hallmark of the Friends of Black Rock High Rock’s work to educate people about the NCA. The group has hosted a Wild and Scenic Film Festival, conducted community outreach around Earth Day and held a Perseid Meteor Showers Members Camping Event. The group will host its first Artist-In-Residence Program in Nevada in 2014.

The Friends of Black Rock High Rock are partnering collaboratively with the Nevada Bureau of Land Management office, and organized and hosted a National Conservation Lands Strategy Summit. In addition, the group has advocated for the sage grouse, both through online advocacy and educational efforts at Burning Man.

“The Friends of Black Rock High Rock do a great job of introducing folks to a unique landscape, getting people out in the wilderness and supporting public land managers. They truly are the heart and spirit of this unique location,” said Bobzien.

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The Conservation Lands Foundation is the only organization dedicated to protect, restore and expand the National Conservation Lands so they will endure for future generations. The National Conservation Lands are protected public lands and waterways that have joined the ranks of our national parks and wildlife refuges as special places that preserve our natural, historical and scientific treasures. www.conservationlands.org

Media Contact: Meghan Kissell, 571-643-3526; Meghan AT conservationlands.org