Featured image: A pika is a small, mountain-dwelling mammal. With short limbs, very round body, an even coat of fur, and no external tail, they resemble their close relative, the rabbit, but with short, rounded ears. – Wikipedia
The most rigorously objective scientists have been heard to call them cute.

Therese Campbell was appointed to the Clark County CAB in 2019. She is retired from a career in allied healthcare and has lived most of her life in Nevada. What is a CAB? Here she explains.

“ Think globally; act locally.”  — Unknown Wise Person

One of the most effective  ways that we can help wildlife here in Nevada  is to get involved with our   County Citizens’ Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife—CAB for short. Each county in Nevada has its own CAB, numbering from five to seven members depending on the population of the particular county. CAB members are appointed by their county board of commissioners and serve a three-year term.

Nevada’s  CABs act  as  liaisons between citizens and the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners (NBWC):  the   CABs’ main purpose is to take public input on various issues   regarding wildlife, conservation, habitat, etc., and then in turn advise NBWC on possible rules, regulations, and actions in response to those issues. 

I am currently starting my third year  on the Clark County CAB in the capacity of advocate for the interests of the general public, and I can truly say that serving on this CAB has been a great  honor and  one of the most enlightening, interesting, and educational experiences of my life.

How do we get involved with our CABs and with NBWC? We start by attending CAB meetings and NBWC meetings whenever possible.  Go to your county government’s website and find the Citizens’ Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife’s email address. Send an email asking to be added to their email list and do the same for NBWC. 

NBWC routinely broadcasts many of its meetings live on YouTube and keeps an archive of recorded meetings.  In response to the Covid-19 pandemic,  NBWC has also been offering remote participation in their meetings through ZOOM, and some of the CABs (such as Clark County CAB) have been doing the same. 

The CABs and NBWC always have a segment or several segments of time allotted for public comment and they also receive input through emails, letters, and calls. All of these communications from citizens are entered into the public record. Even if we are unable to attend meetings in person, we  still have the power to voice our  concerns.

Some suggestions for effectively communicating with your CAB, the NBWC, and fellow members of the public:

 A) If you are giving comments, whether in writing or in person, be brief and polite.

 B) Focus on the issue and practice self-control. Sometimes people get emotional which  may  cause a similar reaction in others.   Stay cool, calm, and courteous.

I believe that Nevada’s CABs have excellent  potential as agents of  positive change leading to improved  conditions  for wildlife populations and habitat, thus  enhancing the   quality  of outdoor  recreation  for Nevada residents.

Bat Week

Bat Week

Feature photo is the Brown Myotis Bat – Myotis lucifugus

Caron Tayloe is a lifelong Washoe County resident who has been a wildlife watcher since childhood. Here she shares the many reasons bats need and deserve our attention and protection.

Being absolutely in love with Nevada Wildlife has caused this wildlife watcher to monitor trends and events related to wildlife.  As wildlife prepare for winter, whether it is hibernation, brumation, migration, or staying in a self-prepared place, it is important to remember that wildlife, as great adapters to the environment, are neighbors who need space and privacy during the autumn and winter months. One example are the ever resilient (and ever maligned) bats who are preparing for hibernation at this time. Bats hibernate in crevices and caves (man-made and natural), in store bought bat houses, just to name a few places.

We also know bats as nature’s insect control since each night the average bat can eat the equivalent of its body weight in insects (Bat Conservation International, Bat Week, website 2021). Just think about how much pesticide is NOT needed, thanks to bats!

Some of the Nevada bat species are doing well and some are in trouble due to climate change and habitat destruction. Nevada has a bat conservation program that can be observed on the Nevada Department of Wildlife website.

Spotted Bat- Euderma maculatum

Per the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Nevada has 23 species of bats. The NDOW brochure has many fun and amazing facts about bats. For example, did you know that bat guano bacteria is used as a detoxifier in lakes and streams, and is used as a fertilizer?

The conservation program is very outdated but as the Wildlife Action Plan is updated, perhaps the bat conservation plan will be updated also.

Challenges to bats are numerous and most people are aware of the fungus that has killed untold millions of bats in this country in the last 16 years For more information, visit an excellent resource describing how biologists (including NDOW) and others are fighting back the horrible disease that is destroying our precious little bats. You can also track the fungus as it moves closer to Nevada. Let’s keep fighting!

There are many old bat myths and, fortunately, most have been dispelled. However our present time, being what it is, has yielded a fresh litany of myths. It is appalling that bats have been blamed, once again, for viruses that harm people. A non professional review of the research has not proved anything to this wildlife watcher, so far. Ironically, during the same blame-game time, bats are being researched for their fantastic immune system.  (The thoughts of my furry little neighbors in a lab is horrific and the ineffective use of wildlife in labs is another essay for another time).

So, today, let’s celebrate our flying, furry co-inhabitants who grace our skies at dusk and at night! This year Bat Conservation International has declared 10/24-10/31 as Bat Week!

It is a celebration of all of the wonderful bats who bring so much to the environment and to all living species.

Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat – Corynorhinus townsendii
Preserving your past for the future

Preserving your past for the future

University of Nevada, Reno Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center

Tina Nappe is a member of and has served on the boards of several local conservation organizations, as well as representing the State Board of Wildlife Commissioners as the conservationist from 1979-1994. Here she helps us find a valuable use for all those documents cluttering our shelves.

Stop! Before you answer Marie Kondo’s question. ”Does that photograph, letter, article, publication still give you joy?” Ask yourself.  “Was I not part of a campaign to improve the lives of wildlife, pets, a place…Did this document, now cluttering my shelf,  contribute to that campaign?”  If it did, perhaps you want that paper and your organization’s documentation to become part of Nevada’s historical collection.  If so, there are places where you can contribute those valuable records to be preserved and made available to the public.

Would a historian appreciate this?

Nevada’s wildlife  history is a series of building blocks with campaigns and laws emerging over time.  Nevada’s protection of  each Wildlife Management Area, Wildlife Refuge or park has a history.  Each Nevada species, animal, plant, insect may also have a history of recognition, legal status, followed by regulatory and habitat designation. At some point, something sparked and gained public interest and support. There were key individuals and probably organizations and agencies involved. Once the goal is achieved the public tends to forget how that law, species, or place was protected. And those who helped make that law happen, go on to other activities; eventually they want to clean out their closets…..or their heirs do, and the information disappears.

We have good records on some campaigns.  For instance, creating Bowers Mansion as a county park has a fairly thorough background.  Wild Horse Annie’s campaign to save wild horses is also well documented. Why? Because Wild Horse Annie, always the vigilant secretary,  kept records and now the University of Denver houses her correspondence.

What  happened to the documents you and your organization generated?  When you look at your cluttered computer or shelf, is there information that a future historian or reader might appreciate?

As someone interested in the history of Nevada’s wildlife management, I both utilize and have urged contributions to Special Collections part of the University of Nevada -Reno’s Mathewson’s IGT Knowledge Center. Special Collections focuses primarily on the history and culture of northern Nevada, UNLV, I assume, has a similar repository. Nevada Historical Society also has excellent collections of. Nevada history.  Other libraries and museums also may be interested in select topics.

I will describe a few recent wildlife collections contributed to Special Collections.

Fred Wright, former Chief of Administrative Services for NDOW, who died in 2018, spent the last 10-15 years of his life, pulling together the history of the Department of Wildlife. That history is brief because the agency was founded in 1949; but many of its early employees were still around. He urged them to share their memories of those early NDOW years and to donate any documents they held. Fred wrote a history of all the NDOW wildlife laws, listed all the Wildlife Commissioners, and as many of the employees as he remembered, including the years they were employed. Fred started this project when he discovered that NDOW had no room for its “history” and was tossing documents to make room for the present and future.

When he died in 2012 James D. Yoakum, hired as BLM’s first wildlife biologist, left behind all the BLM technical papers he had gathered or written himself.  Aware that BLM, like many agencies, has a limited capacity for storage, he took all his office literature to his home when he retired.  Remember those pre-internet days when you had to have the actual document in hand? Jim’s first tasks when he started work at BLM in 1958 was to incorporate wildlife values as an integral part of BLM.  A photographer, writer, and speaker, Jim encouraged the publication of BLM’s first wildlife brochure, using color photographs.  Jim oversaw the publication of each Nevada BLM district’s mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. His primary focus, however, was the pronghorn antelope on which he became a national authority. In addition to his papers, Special Collections has thousands of slides, which over time, will have to be reviewed, indexed or tossed.

More recently, Special Collections has become the recipient of Dawn Lappin’s many years of involvement with Wild Horse Organized Assistance (WHOA) and Catharine Barcombe’s files from her years at Nevada Wild Horse Commission.  Both programs include development of information and approach to wild horse management during the early formative years of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. 

When Tom Trelease, NDOW Chief of Fisheries died in 2014, he left behind his years of documents including early years of the fisheries management, the initiation of  planes to inventory wildlife, and working on restoration of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout populations in Pyramid Lake.

For many years the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, founded in 1957, has donated all correspondence, newsletters, and any related documents.  Lahontan Audubon Society, also founded in 1955 or 1957, is also considering using Special Collections as a depository.

In April Carson Lake and Pasture was transferred to NDOW.  I was part of the Lahontan Wetlands Coalition, comprised of conservationists and sportsmen, who , over a three-year period from 1988 -1990, when PL 101-618 was passed, built the case for preserving wetlands in Lahontan Valley, along with a designated water allocation and access to federal appropriations. (Thank you, congressman Barbara Vucanovich and Senator Harry Reid). Many boxes of documents were transferred to Special Collections.

If you are interested in touring Special Collections or have documents you think that might be of interest to Special Collections,  please contact Jacque Sunderland