The Black Rock NCA’s importance, now more than ever

I had the opportunity to travel to Gerlach, Nevada last week to join with the Bureau of Land Management, the Friends of Nevada Wilderness, the Friends of Black Rock-High Rock and other members of the local community in celebrating the opening of a new visitors center for the Black Rock-High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (NCA.) Here are some sights and sounds from the opening:

I consider the Black Rock NCA my “home NCA.” Its unique desert playa is truly a wonderful space of solitude and contemplation. Whether camping with friends on the playa, or hunting chukar high up in the Calico Mountain Wilderness, I’m grateful for the special status the region has as a conservation land.

As Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz points out, the NCA plays another important role in Nevada. With the recent closure of the United States Gypsum Company in Empire due to the downturn in the construction industry, the treasured landscape of the Black Rock Desert region becomes the preeminent economic driver in this remote corner of northern Washoe County.

Congratulations to the friends organizations and their volunteers, the local community and the BLM on the opening of this new facility that will provide a gateway to these unique American lands.

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