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Go public with love of land this weekend

<p>A scene from the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness restoration, which will continue this weekend.</p>
Courtesy Friends of Nevada Wilderness

A scene from the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness restoration, which will continue this weekend.

Let’s set aside the controversy over individual/state/federal rights for a moment and say you’re someone who appreciates that public lands are preserved for your camping, fishing, hiking, hunting and rock-climbing pleasure. Well, this Saturday is your chance to give back: National Public Lands Day. Local government agencies and conservation nonprofits have all sorts of ways for you to show your appreciation for protected open spaces, most of them involving some sweat and elbow grease. Here’s a smattering:

Thursday, September 24

UNLV, 7-9 p.m. — Black Mountain Institute presents a panel discussion, "This Land Is Your Land… Or Is It?" Speakers include poet Gary Snyder, New York Times Journalist Timothy Egan, economist Terry Anderson and historian/author Virginia Scharff.

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Saturday, September 26

Gypsum Cave, 8 a.m. start — Meet the BLM and Friends of Gold Butte at the Rainbow Gardens Kiosk staging area on East Lake Mead Boulevard south of Pabco Road for this event and get a free T-shirt, breakfast and all the water you can drink. Volunteers will remove graffiti, clean up sites, repair fences, install interpretive panels and road signs, and maintain kiosks. 702-515-5156,

Lake Mead, 8:30 a.m. registration — The first 100 volunteers to join staff in helping to clean up areas heavily used by visitors over the summer get a coupon for free entry into another national park or conservation area. You can also get a 15-percent discount on books, T-shirts and other items at the Western National Parks Association Bookstore. 702-298-8714,

Rainbow Mountain Wilderness, Mountain Springs, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. — Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the U.S. Forest Service will restore the area and implement measures to prevent illegal vehicle trespass. Some muscle and special preparation (sturdy boots, sunscreen) will be required for this project. 702-515-5417,

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Sloan Canyon, McCullough Hills Trail, 10-11 a.m. – The Veterans Conservation Corps for Sloan Canyon will fix trails, restore habitat and create better access for people to use Sloan Canyon at this event sponsored by NV Energy and the Conservation Lands Foundation. 573-356-9493,


Saturday, October 3

Red Rock, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Friends of Red Rock Canyon will restore and rebuild the Red Spring Boardwalk at the Red Spring Picnic Area of Calico Basin. Join them, they promise, and you’ll get “morning snacks, SWAG, beverages and lunch” (note emphasis on “swag”).


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If you don’t see your favorite public place on the list above, you can search for it here.

Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.