The Great Basin Institute partners with federal, state and local public land management agencies to complete restoration and monitoring initiatives throughout the West, with special emphasis on the Great Basin and Mojave Desert, and the Sierra Nevada. Agency partners utilize GBI Research Associates to collect and analyze data on habitat health, wildlife populations, or recreational resource conditions and user preferences; write management plans or NEPA documents; and or mange restoration initiatives. Once a restoration plan is established, partners utilize NCC restoration, forestry and/or trail crews to collect seeds and native plants, remove invasive plants, build trails, and reduce forest fuels or create firebreaks.
The following agencies and institutions provide important collaborative initiatives that allow GBI to fulfill our mission:
AmeriCorps – The Corporation for National and Community Service
AmeriCorps, as administered by Nevada Volunteers, the Corps Network, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has been a consistent partner for the past 20 years, contributing $6.3 million to programs and facilitating the recruitment of over 2,000 AmeriCorps Members. These members have contributed substantially to environmental restoration projects and research initiatives throughout the West. Through our partnership with Nevada Volunteers, the Corps Network, and CNCS, national service continues as a fundamental basis for conservation initiatives..
The Corps Network provides critical leadership to the Corps movement and to our nation’s Service and Conservation Corps as they harness the power of youth and young adults to tackle some of America’s greatest challenges and transform their own lives. The Corps Network’s 100+ members operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll approximately 26,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25. Many of GBI’s AmeriCorps positions are made possible by The Corps Network.
Launched by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in 2010, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives unite researchers, tribes, universities, federal, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations in order to to enhance understanding of the effects of changing climate and other natural and human impacts across the region, and to promote the coordination of science-based actions to enable human and natural communities to respond and adapt to those conditions.
The USDA Forest Service administers 193 million acres of public lands, located primarily in 12 Western States. Despite Nevada’s arid climate and seeming lack of deciduous and coniferous trees, typical icons of a ‘forest’, the Forest Service plays an extremely important role in the management of public lands in the state. In many cases providing unique ‘island habitats’ and encompassing some of Nevada’s more spectacular public lands, including the Ruby Mountains in the northeast, Mt. Charleston in the south, and the Lake Tahoe Basin/Carson range in western Nevada. The mission of the Forest Service is “to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.” The Great Basin Institute has strong partnerships with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and the Carson, Austin, Bridgeport, and Ely Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, as well as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) mission is, “working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” In a statement by then-Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, three policies to implement the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 were unveiled. The Secretary commented that, “In an age when the technology and increasing urbanization are causing many Americans to lose touch with the great outdoors, these policies will ensure national wildlife refuges continue to be places where people can come face to face with nature,… They will help us to meet our responsibilities to conserve our nation’s diverse ecosystems, preserve our outdoor traditions, and foster a culture of environmental stewardship in future generations.” The Secretary’s comments align well with the mission of the Great Basin Institute, “to advance ecological literacy and habitat restoration through educational outreach and direct service programs.”
The Great Basin Institute has a long-standing partnership with the Southern Nevada Refuge Complex, which includes Ash Meadows, Desert, Moapa and Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuges. Through our Research Associate program and NCC, GBI helps by mapping and removing invasive species (aquatic and terrestrial), developing post-fire management and restoration plans, implementing streambank restoration projects, and conducting hydrological inventories. GBI has also partnered with the Desert Tortoise Recovery Office (DTRO) to implement Line Distance Sampling (LDS) monitoring and conservation efforts at the Desert Tortoise Recovery Center. The institute also supports Condor recovery along the California coast in partnership with the regional office in Ventura, California.
The National Park Service(NPS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Interior, preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. The National Park System encompasses approximately 83.6 million acres. The Great Basin Institute has strong partnerships with Great Basin National Park, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Parashant National Monument and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. A key partner within the NPS structure is the Mojave Inventory & Monitoring Network, located in Boulder City, NV, which provides managerial oversight for multi-Park projects.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, administers 261 million surface acres of America’s public lands, located primarily in 12 Western States. The BLM sustains the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. As the largest federal land manger in Nevada, the Great Basin Institute has active partnerships and provides extensive project support to all six Nevada field offices: Battle Mountain, Carson, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas, and Winnemucca. Research Associates and NCC crews support recreation, wilderness, minerals, fire, wildlife and restoration initiatives through the state.
The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) administers programs that protect air, water and soil quality. Departments under NDEP’s purview oversee regulations on hazardous and solid waste, recycling, hazardous chemicals, mining reclamation, soil and water remediation, and water pollution. The Great basin institute has partnered with NDEP on a number of projects, most recently collecting biological, chemical and geomorphologic data on streams in north, central, eastern and western Nevada.
The Nevada Division of State Parks was established during the 1963-1964 state legislative session. On April 19th the 1963 Legislature passed a bill to form a new state park agency within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, effective July 1, 1963. The park administrator would henceforth be appointed by and answer to the Department Director. Today the Division of State Parks manages and maintains 24 parks in the State Parks system. There are four regions statewide: Carson/Tahoe, Fallon, Panaca and Las Vegas. Great Basin Institute has been an active partner with State Parks, especially in the area of recreational trails and user surveys.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is responsible for the restoration and management of fish and wildlife resources, and the promotion of boating safety on Nevada’s waters. NDOW is organized into seven bureaus (law enforcement, game, fisheries, conservation and education, habitat, wildlife diversity, and operations bureau) that develop programs and projects, and three regions (eastern, southern and western) that implement these programs.
The Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) manages all forestry, nursery, endangered plant species, and watershed resource activities on certain public and private lands. The Division also provides fire protection of structural and natural resources through fire suppression and prevention programs and other emergency services.
The Division of State Lands provides land and land use planning services to the State, its agencies and its people. The Division has three program areas. It also administers other special programs as well as provides staff assistance to the Nevada Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the State Land Use Planning Advisory Council. One of the special programs the Division is responsible for is management and oversight of the Conservation and Resource Protection Grant Program, known as the “Question 1 Program.” A Proposal to Issue Bonds for Conservation and Resource Protection under Assembly Bill No. 9 of the 17the Special Session appeared number 1 on the State of Nevada voter’s ballot. Nevada voters passed Question 1, thereby authorizing the State of Nevada to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $200 million. Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with its federal and local partners, have successfully applied for and received funding to implement a number of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails throughout the state.