by Jay Cassell

Last fall, I traveled to northwestern Nevada to report on what was going on with the Blue Lakes and Alder Creek Wilderness Study Areas, as part of Field & Stream’s last Best Wild Places reports, done in conjunction with Trout Unlimited.

While in Nevada, I spent considerable time with Jim Jeffress, the backcountry lands coordinator for the Sportsmen’s Conservation Project of Trout Unlimited. Jeffress, Greg Moore (communications specialist for TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Projects), and I flew over the area, then did some on-the-ground inspections.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 directed the Bureau of Land Management to inventory and/or study all roadless areas of 5000 acres or more to see which ones have true wilderness characteristics. In 1977 the BLM started to inventory almost 49 million acres across the country. By 1979, 34 million acres were dropped from the inventory; the remaining 15 million were divided up into intensive wilderness inventory units. In Nevada, the BLM designated 110 wilderness study areas, covering 5.1 million acres, in a report sent to Congress. Until Congress moves forward with a permanent designation or drops any WSAs, these areas will be managed as wilderness.

The study group’s recommendations were approved by the Humboldt County Commission on October 18. With those approvals, the next step is for the Nevada Congressional office to present the recommendations to Congress. There is no guarantee of anything at this stage, but things are definitely moving in the right direction.[ Click here]( Background information can be viewed at to read the [full story]( Background information can be viewed at published in a recent edition of the [Humbolt Sun]( Background information can be viewed at