Overview

Successful conservation activities benefit both the local community and native flora and fauna of the Great Basin, ensuring long-term sustainability within Walker Basin. Stewardship activities balance agricultural interests, cultural activities, wildlife habitat, and recreational use, while providing for landscape stabilization. Walker Basin Conservancy’s stewardship activities include reducing instream sedimentation through streambank stabilization, improving irrigation infrastructure, and reducing overall water usage through restoration efforts, while keeping the local agricultural economy strong.

Walker Basin Conservancy is responsible for land stewardship activities on over 14,000 acres where water use will be reduced for the benefit of Walker Lake. These land stewardship activities restore native shrubs and forbs, improving and increasing habitat for wildlife. In addition to native plant restoration, through riparian corridor enhancement activities, Walker Basin Conservancy improves water quality and riparian habitat for aquatic species.

Water and land conservation activities in the Walker Basin are integral for the preservation and sustainability of Walker Lake

Over 13,700 Acres of Public Land Established

Planting a tree during the Walker River State Recreation Area ribbon cutting.

Planting a tree during the Walker River State Recreation Area ribbon cutting.

Walker river state recreation area

More than 12,000 acres of land and nearly 30 miles of the East Walker River were reconveyed to the State of Nevada to become the Walker River State Recreation Area (WRSRA).  Nevada State Parks manages the property which was historically three large ranches: Pitchfork, Rafter 7 and Flying M.  These properties have prime riparian habitat and some portions are in ideal habitat for the Bi-State Sage Grouse and the Lahontan cutthroat trout. Land stewardship staff will continue to work closely with state agencies to manage the restoration activities on the WRSRA. For all three properties, WBC is currently managing farming and grazing leases and has completed detailed restoration plans.

mason valley wildlife management area

Nearly 1,600 acres of upland and riparian land, including more than three miles of the Walker River, was reconveyed to the State of Nevada.  The land is now part of the MVWMA managed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and provides upland wildlife habitat in perpetuity as well as public access for hunting, fishing and general recreation. The Conservancy continues to manage both active and passive restoration activities on the property now managed by NDOW.

The AmeriCorps Program

AmeriCorps is a national program that mobilizes service members to address critical community needs. The Conservancy’s AmeriCorps program provides opportunities for young adults and new professionals to learn conservation principles and develop new skills while completing valuable service projects on our public lands. Members work alongside the Conservancy’s field staff to accomplish restoration goals that benefit the Walker Basin—from invasive management to habitat restoration. While AmeriCorps members can come from all over the country, the Conservancy continues to recruit from local high schools and colleges, enabling Nevada’s next generation of conservationists to address the environmental needs of the Walker Basin. True to its culture of learning, the Conservancy provides AmeriCorps members with constant opportunities for self-improvement. During their service, members learn a variety of technical, professional, and interpersonal skills that make them more valuable employees and civically engaged individuals once they complete their service. The Conservancy also gives members the opportunity to learn from Conservancy staff and agency partners, providing valuable mentorship from environmental science, natural resource management, and agriculture professionals.

 

Left to right: Walker Lake; Great Basin Collared Lizard; Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto at Walker Lake; East Walker River; Conservancy field staff and AmeriCorps members; Yellow bee plant; Rafter 7 Ranch; staff member Amy Gladding and Board Director TK Falayi at Walker Lake.