WHAT IS THE WALKER BASIN CONSERVANCY

The Walker Basin Conservancy (WBC) was established in 2014 to support development and implementation of the Walker Basin Restoration Program (WBRP). WBC was established to assist with land and water stewardship activities on properties associated with the WBRP.

WBC currently manages thousands of acres of land and associated assets in the Walker Basin. Land planning activities are underway on all of these properties. Planning efforts focus on assessing public use opportunities, protecting conservation values, long-term land ownership and stewardship, active and passive revegetation and restoration activities.

 

We’re seeing a wide range of wildlife back on properties where we have done stewardship work – mule deer along with a return of quail, songbirds and several birds of prey.
— Steve Tomac - WBC Conservation and Stewardship Program Manager

Stewardship

Land stewardship is a priority and includes soil conservation and revegetation efforts on lands where water has been purchased for the benefit of Walker Lake. This type of stewardship benefits both community and wildlife, as it ensures that the land returns to a natural state while not creating dust or weed problems. During the first five years the WBRP was responsible for revegetation initiatives and worked closely with the Mason and Smith Valley Conservation Districts to implement those revegetation efforts. Beginning in 2015, the Walker Basin Conservancy took over the primary responsibility for all land stewardship activities.

 Rafter 7 Ranch - Photo: WBC

Rafter 7 Ranch - Photo: WBC

Public Access

One of the main objectives of WBC is to offer public access to properties managed by the organization in an effort to connect people with nature and benefit local communities with access to the Walker River. Currently, WBC offers outdoor recreational opportunities via Rafter 7 Ranch along nearly eleven miles of the east fork of the Walker River. Roughly three quarters of this 3,223-acre ranch are open for public enjoyment south of Yerington. For more information on Rafter 7 Ranch and what this property has to offer, click here.

 Pitchfork Ranch - Photo: WBC

Pitchfork Ranch - Photo: WBC

Ranch Management

A number of properties under WBC management, which were acquired and currently owned in fee by NFWF, were formerly operated as working ranches. The WBC continues to operate these properties as working lands across some 6,595 acres divided between four different ranches. Property management obligations include grazing and farming operations, extensive revegetation and restoration projects, infrastructural maintenance and upkeep, and providing fantastic outdoor recreational opportunities to the public. Local expenditures associated with these operations result in substantial revenue generation for the local economies of Yerington and Lyon County.