Have you visited Sloan Canyon NCA's visitor contact station? Did you receive some useful maps, information and wisdom from someone at the information desk? And have you ever wondered how to can introduce the community to Sloan Canyon? Well wonder no longer, that person can be you. You can be an information desk volunteer! All you need to do is go through a half-day training session led by a BLM ranger, then signup for 1 or more 4-hour shifts at the station. It's fun and easy!
Our next volunteer training session starts at 10am on Wednesday, January 18 at the Green Valley Library, 2797 N. Green Valley Pkwy. Here's the schedule:
10:00am-10:30am - BLM Volunteer Orientation
10:30am-11:15am - Trails of Sloan Training
11:15am-11:45pm - Geology Training
01:15pm-01:30pm - Wilderness Training
01:30pm-02:00pm - Wildlife Overview
RSVP is required, contact BLM Ranger Gina Mele at 702-515-5355 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at the contact station!
From the Friends of Sloan Canyon, much love and happiness this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Southern Nevada!
The National Conservation Lands are 31 million acres of our most ecologically rich and culturally significant lands—open to all—managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These places, mostly large and pristine landscapes, are found throughout the West, Alaska and even extend to the East Coast. America’s newest collection of protected public lands and waterways stands alongside our national parks and wildlife refuges as guardians of America’s heritage and drivers of the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy.
Freedom, Discovery & Beauty
The National Conservation Lands include National Monuments and National Conservation Areas, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails. These nationally significant lands embody freedom, discovery and unique outdoor experiences.
From hiking, biking and horseback riding like we do here at Sloan Canyon to whitewater rafting and catching trophy brown trout in Colorado’s Browns Canyon National Monument to world-class rock climbing in Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA) to coastal camping and hiking on the black sand beaches of California’s King Range NCA, the recreational opportunities afforded by the National Conservation Lands are unmatched—and they support the tourism and recreation economies of many rural Western communities.
The National Conservation Lands ensure our clean air and water, while protecting critical habitat for our wildlife. Most National Conservation Lands areas are open to hunting and fishing, and offer some of America’s best places for sportsmen to carry on outdoor traditions.
This collection of protected public lands also protects and preserves America’s sacred sites and cultural history. From ancient Puebloan cultures of 1,000 years ago to Spanish, Mexican, Native American and American settler histories from recent centuries, the National Conservation Lands represent a complete tour of the history of the American West. Our American military history is also preserved in places like California’s Fort Ord National Monument.
...But There Are Threats
The lands, rivers and trails within the National Conservation Lands have been designated for protection, but they are also incredibly vulnerable. They face abuse from reckless oil and gas drilling and irresponsible off-road vehicle use. They are subject to looting, vandalism and neglect from underfunding. Working together we can reduce these threats with on-the-ground work, partnerships and advocacy.
Threats to these lands also come from Congressional attacks on the Antiquities Act—a bedrock conservation law that has been used by 16 Presidents—8 from each party—to protect our nation’s heritage. Many of our national monuments and national parks would not exist today if they had not been protected under the Antiquities Act.
We've been talking about it on social media for a few weeks now, but in case you missed all that and the writeup in the Review-Journal and the other community buzz Sloan's new visitor contact station is open and active. During the summer it'll be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00am-4:30pm.
The next round of BLM led volunteer training is up. If you're interested in working the contact station info desk this is training you need to get in on.
Dates are March 17 & 19 at the Henderson Multigenerational Center. Yes, that's tomorrow and Friday...sorry for the late notice! There should be more training opportunities in weeks ahead.
Direct questions to The Sloan Ranger, Gina Mele, at email@example.com or 702-515-5355.
Jim Stanger published Getting into Sloan Canyon During Road Construction in Blog 2016-02-12 12:46:35 -0800
Feb 16 UPDATE: Reports are the route described below has been fenced off. Once we get a confirmation on the best route we'll post it.
We have a quick update on access to the petroglyph area for the next few months. Construction has officially begun on the paved road leading to the new visitor contact center. For the duration of the construction work vehicular access to the Sloan Canyon parking area will be cutoff. BLM is asking all visitors wishing to visit Sloan Canyon from the north to park at Adventura Park, located on Via Firenze just south of Bicentennial Parkway. From the park walk south on Via Firenze to where it meets Democracy Drive. Proceed west along the new road then south at the BLM Sloan Canyon sign to the unpaved parking area. The trailhead is located at the parking lot. A larger more detailed view of this map is available on Google Maps.
Jim Stanger wants to volunteer 2016-01-26 13:58:01 -0800We're always looking for assistance with various programs including staffing the Sloan NCA visitor contact station, community outreach, education and trail monitoring/maintenance. If you'd like more information about helping out with these efforts fill out your info below and check our events page, Twitter, Facebook or our email newsletter for projects to sign up for. Become a volunteer
Jim Stanger published Call for Entries to Inspirada's Rockin'Art Contest in Blog 2015-09-30 09:34:37 -0700
The Inspirada community is hosting a great new art contest called Rockin'Art of Sloan Canyon, and we're helping get the word out for entries. Open to all Southern Nevada residents, Kids, teens, and adults are encouraged to submit entries related to Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area leading up to this year’s Stroll ‘n Roll at Inspirada. Check out beautiful artwork, vote on your favorites, and help a lucky winner score $250 in prize money! For more information on rules and how to enter visit Inspirada's Facebook page or go to the official contest site at inspirada.com/rockinart.
Jim Stanger published Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area Seeking Input on Proposed Developments in Blog 2015-09-25 15:09:53 -0700
BLM Nevada News
Southern Nevada District Office
FOR RELEASE: September 28, 2015
CONTACT: Kirsten Cannon (702) 515-5057; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area Seeking Input on Proposed Developments
Las Vegas – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Red Rock/Sloan Field Office is seeking public input regarding proposed developments in Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. The public meeting will be held on October 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Levi Strauss & Co. located at 501 Executive Airport Drive, Henderson.
The meeting format will consist of a short presentation at 6:15 p.m. describing the proposed action and other alternatives considered followed by a question and answer session. The environmental analysis will be posted on the BLM website at http://1.usa.gov/1VdYEke. Written comment forms will be available at the meeting and comments may also be sent to email@example.com through October 12.
All proposed developments will aid in the protection and conservation of resources and includes a paved access road from Democracy Drive into Sloan Canyon, paved parking at the entrance of Petroglyph Canyon, installation of a temporary visitor contact station including restrooms and interpretative materials as well as the addition of non-motorized trails.
To view an animation of the route, please visit https://youtu.be/6Uo0MWPAt4Y
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
For additional information about the meeting, please call the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area at (702) 515-5350.
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A new partnership is coming to southern Nevada! With generous support from the NV Energy Foundation, this partnership of local and national organizations has set out to provide jobs, training and work experience for veterans, engaging volunteers from the community to improve recreation, habitat and protect Native American cultural sites at one of Nevada’s best public lands: Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area!
Here's how it works. Project partners include the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Conservation Corps, Friends of Sloan Canyon, Conservation Lands Foundation, City of Henderson, and NV Energy Foundation. They have teamed up to hire post-9/11 veterans as part of the Nevada Conservation Corps. This all-veterans conservation corps will work for three months starting this Fall building trails, installing new signs, restoring native plants and better protecting Native American cultural sites. In addition to pay, they receive transferable job skills and experience that can help them move into other land management or wildfire-fighting positions.
On September 26 and November 7 this new Veterans Conservation Corps will train volunteers from the community to be trail stewards, teaching them the fundamentals of trail monitoring and maintenance. As Friends of Sloan Canyon volunteers, they will help BLM keep these popular trails well maintained and open for the public to enjoy for years to come.
On September 26, members of the media and other special guests are invited to Sloan Canyon’s McCullough Hills Trailhead to see this partnership in action. They can meet the veterans, volunteers, and representatives from partnering organizations, as well as see and learn more about Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. Sloan Canyon is part of BLM's National Conservation Lands—31 million acres of some the most ecologically important and culturally significant lands in the West. Sloan Canyon is the scenic backdrop to the City of Henderson and beloved for its hiking and running trails, wildflowers, petroglyphs and other natural wonders.
Check back with the Friends of Sloan Canyon website for project updates as they happen. You can also visit the Conservation Lands Foundation website.
CLF's project contact is Charlotte Overby, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the conversation online with the hashtag #SloanCanyonVeteransCorps.
Our friends at Southern Nevada Rock Art Association have an upcoming talk focusing on oriented boulder of Sloan Canyon NCA, Orientated Boulders in Sloan Canyon: The Well-Known and the Newly Discovered.
Recently recognized oriented boulders, rock more massive than one person might manipulate, have been found to exist in the Sloan Canyon NCA and Wilderness.
A well known site of these oriented boulders will be examined with respect to evidence of Native Americans, miners, ranchers, settlers and explorers, and a newly rediscovered site will be introduced, including evidence of possible origin and consideration of alignment.
Gordon Hamilton is the President of SNRAA and a Nevada Site Steward. Paul Renois is a Site Steward Regional Coordinator. Doug Rorer is a Nevada Site Steward. All three are members of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation and have helped record multiple rock art sites for the Department of the Interior and the State of Nevada.
SNRAA's monthly meeting is Monday, August 24, 6:30am at the REI Boca (710 S. Rampart Blvd.)
Some news from our friends at the Southern Nevada Rock Art Association. Their next meeting is on Monday, July 27th, from 6:45 to 8:45 pm, at the Boca Park REI, 710 S. Rampart Blvd. The guest speaker will be Deron Duke, PhD of Far Western Anthropological Research Group presenting "New Finds Suggest Mammoth Hunting in the Great Salt Lake Desert."
Recent finds from the Great Salt Lake Desert are providing new evidence about the nature and distribution of Haskett projectile points in the Great Basin. The Haskett type is a rarely found representative of the Western Stemmed Tradition, a Paleoindian stone tool complex. The type is interpreted to be a spear point for hunting large game. A group of dates collected near the finds indicates ages between 13,000 and 12,000 calendar years ago for the wetlands used by hunters. The assemblage includes the largest complete Haskett specimen yet documented archaeologically, and another specimen that has tested positive to antiserum of the elephant family, presumably mammoth.
Check out the SNRAA events page for more information and future presentations. Their August talk will feature some of Sloan Canyon's own site stewards, Gordon Hamilton & Paul Renois!
The National Conservations Lands system has some new local additions. Basin and Range National Monument was established by President Obama today along with Berryessa Snow Mountain in Northern California and Waco Mammoth in Texas.
Basin and Range is about 2 hours north of Las Vegas and spans Coal and Garden Valleys along with much of the Golden Gate, Worthington and Seaman Ranges. It's a shot at conserving not just one small portion of an ecosystem but more of a connected whole that should help protect species as they migrate and adapt to different areas in response to changes in climate.
Like Sloan Canyon NCA Basin and Range is rich in cultural history with rock art sites scatters throughout the area, including well known sites in both the Mt. Irish and White River Narrows Archeological Districts. It's also the home of City, a monumental work of art created by Michael Heizer over the past 40+ years. City is 1.25 miles long and .25 mile wide, roughly the size of the Washington DC's National Mall, and consists of a series of complexes reflecting aspects of both ancient architecture and modern technology.
You can find out more about Basin and Range National Monument with tips on visiting at Jim Boone's Bird and Hike website.
Welcome Basin and Range National Monument!
With an increase in general visitation at Sloan Canyon NCA and work underway on the access road and contact station south of the Inspirada community Friends of Sloan Canyon will be scouring the metro Las Vegas area this summer looking for people willing to volunteer their time supporting our group's primary projects and initiatives.
Do you spend significant time on Sloan's trail system? Whether you move with shoes, pedals or hooves you can make a difference by joining our trail monitoring team. Reporting conditions in the NCA helps BLM deal with issues such as graffiti, trash dumping and trail erosion.
As issues are reported we'll be working with BLM to get maintenance crews out to repair trails, place signage, restore damaged habitat and generally keep the NCA's infrastructure in good shape.
If the natural beauty, science and community surrounding Sloan Canyon NCA appeals to you more than hitting the trails you're welcome to join us in our outreach and education efforts! We're always looking for people to help organize events & meetups, exhibit at places like farmers markets & community events and educate people of all ages on the natural and geologic wonders of our local National Conservation Area.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of your National Conservation Lands system the Bureau of Land Management is in the process of redoing the websites for all of the system's units including Sloan Canyon NCA. This refresh includes new online maps available now! There are both interactive and printable versions available, and they work great on mobile devices.
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area encompasses a 75 square mile area of volcanic hills, an abundance of desert-dwelling plants and animals and amazing cultural resources just to the south of Anthem and Henderson. It is the area surrounding the McCullough Mountains with boundaries from roughly I-15 on the west to Railroad Pass to the east extending south to the edge of Jean Dry Lake. Approximately 17,000 acres within the NCA were designated as wilderness by Congress in a 2002 public lands bill.
Temperatures may top 105F (40.6C) for 90 to 100 consecutive days from June to October with an average of 3 inches of rain. The winter and summer pattern of rainfall in this desert stimulates the growth for plant and animal species such as creosote and bursage flats, mesquite, and an abundance of cacti, including cholla.
Wildlife include the big horn sheep, the endangered desert tortoise, lizards, and rattlesnakes. Every plant and animal has adapted to an environment we would find uninhabitable.
Birds have a great advantage in being able to fly to find desert water. You'll find the best birdwatching from February to May and August to November during migrations. Look for warblers, swallows, flycatchers, and phoebes along vegetation-lined washes. Red-tailed hawks soar year-round. Coveys of Gambel’s quail make the NCA their permanent home as well.
Sloan’s wildlife has developed many mechanisms to survive the desert’s heat and survive for months without rain such as burrowing, nocturnal living, and astonishing water conservation techniques The only water sources around are natural rock basins called tinajas that catch rainwater, a few artificial water areas, and flowing washes after rains. Never expect to find water available for your use.
Light-colored fur helps mammals like mountain lions reflect, not 'soak' in the heat. The scales of lizards help them deflect heat too. Perhaps most incredible are the built-in water saving abilities of many desert animals. Some of Sloan NCA’s bighorn sheep may go for weeks or months without visiting a water hole. The sheep draw some moisture from food and rainwater pooled in rocks, and can survive despite losing up to 30 percent of their body weight. When water is plentiful, the bighorns quickly recover.
Almost three-quarters of all desert animals are burrowers. Desert Tortoises become dormant in burrows during the hottest and coldest times of the year, when temperatures fluctuate only two degrees F just 18 inches below the surface. Kangaroo rats, pocket mice, ground squirrels, and snakes all find underground shelters.
Cold-blooded reptiles like hot, dry climates. Lizards and snakes dash and slither throughout the NCA. Side-blotched lizards turn up just about everywhere. Whiptail lizards brave the heat of the day in search of termites and other insects. Desert horned lizards hunt for ants in valleys and washes. These lizards can defend themselves by squirting blood from their eye sockets.
At least 15 species of snakes live here, including six kinds of rattlesnakes. Three of those rattlesnake species are common: the sidewinder, recognized at once by its sideways locomotion and "horns" above its eyes; the western diamondback rattlesnake, largest of the bunch, living primarily in the lower hills; and the Mojave Green rattlesnake possesses the most toxic venom of our rattlesnakes and rarely rattles, even when disturbed.
Snakes would rather leave you alone, if you leave them alone. They play an important role as predators in the desert community. Before heading into the desert, pick up information on snake bite prevention from the BLM office.
The present day serenity of Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area contrasts to its violent volcanic past. Sloan Canyon contains one of the best records of volcanic activity in the Las Vegas area and contains at least eight volcanoes that erupted from time to time millions of years ago. Volcanoes that have not erupted for a while, but which may erupt again, are considered dormant. Volcanoes that have not erupted for thousands of years are called extinct. All the volcanoes at Sloan Canyon are extinct.
For more information read Volcanoes of the McCullough Range, Southern Nevada by Eugene Smith, Denise Honn and Racheal Johnsen, Department of Geoscience, UNLV.
From the paper:
The McCullough Range preserves a unique record of Miocene volcanism in the western Lake Mead area of Nevada. The basal part of the volcanic section is composed of interbedded basalt and dacite of the McClanahan Spring, Cactus Hill, and McCullough Wash volcanoes (Eldorado Valley volcanic section), and the Colony volcano, which is age-equivalent to, but does not crop out within, the Eldorado Valley volcanic section (18.5–15.2 Ma).