Washoe County means Reno to many people but most of the county consists of a wild, wide-open landscape seen by few. Here, a volcanic legacy gives us sweeping vistas, expansive sagebrush seas, good populations of pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep and a stronghold for the Greater Sage-Grouse. In this wild region stretching from north of Pyramid Lake to the Oregon Border, the roads are dirt, there is little cell phone coverage, and nature rules.
The proposed Buffalo Hills Wilderness (235,000 acres) is a large complex of wilderness study areas, including Buffalo Hills, Poodle Mountain, Twin Peaks, Skedaddle and Dry Valley Rim WSAs. Protecting this area as wilderness will ensure the wildlife connectivity from Hart Mountain through the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Wall Canyon Proposed Wilderness, and the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, down through to the Sierra Nevada.
The proposed Granite-Banjo Wilderness (42,000 acres) provides some of the Black Rock Desert region’s highest wilderness values. It is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife, including California bighorn sheep, sage grouse, mule deer, and antelope. These and other species are supported by numerous high-altitude springs and wet upland meadows that harbor lush native grasses, creeks, springs, and ponds that provide essential summer habitat when all lands surrounding the range are parched.
A vast land with room to roam for hikers, riders and campers, the proposed Massacre Rim Wilderness (86,300 acres) has scenic vistas of up to 60 miles. Named after a 1,200 foot fault block exposure that stands high above its vegetated talus slopes.
The proposed Macy Wilderness (23,600 acres) is found on the northwest boundary of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Permanent protection of this area (combined with the proposed Massacre Rim Wilderness area) will play a pivotal role in sustaining wildlife migration corridors, especially for pronghorn antelope.
The proposed Wall Canyon Wilderness (52,500 acres) is home to classic canyons, buttes and rims, upland benches and sweeping valley floors. Seven miles of Wall Canyon Creek supports the endemic population of Wall Canyon suckers and speckled dace.