Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Keep it Wild

Reno, NV   |


Friends of Nevada Wilderness is dedicated to preserving all qualified Nevada public lands as Wilderness, protecting all present and potential Wilderness from ongoing threats, informing the public about the values of and need for Wilderness, and restoring and improving the management of wild lands.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Shaaron Netherton

Main address

PO Box 9754

Reno, NV 89507 USA

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NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is the only statewide conservation group devoted solely to the protection of Nevada's wild public lands. Since our founding in 1974, Friends has been a key player in the designation or expansion of all 70 Wilderness areas across the state (3.4-million acres) along with three National Conservation Areas and two national monuments. For the past several years, Friends has been helping lead efforts to protect wildlands through numerous public lands bill process across the state including the following counties: Washoe, Clark, Pershing, Douglas and Churchill. There are several million acres of public lands to be protected across the state of Nevada as a part of these bills. Because Wilderness areas cannot protect themselves, Friends works with volunteers on-the-ground to help restore these wild places. Over the years, Friends has built a national award-winning stewardship program. Volunteers help heal the land and many find solace for themselves as well.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Advocating for Wilderness

We rely on wilderness for healthy air and clean water, and yet lands with wilderness character face new threats every day. Our members are not only the eyes, ears, and helping hands in wilderness, but the voices of these incredible areas as well, speaking up to ensure deserving areas are protected for future generations. Friends of Nevada Wilderness works closely with our partners in land management agencies, volunteers out on the ground, elected officials, and many other stakeholders to identify lands with wilderness characteristics and then speak up for them in one united voice to provide the highest level of protection possible. We are proud to be a bi-partisan organization with supporters from a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs that unite for the common cause of Nevada's wilderness.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Nevada is blessed to be a state that is mostly public lands belonging to all Americans. It offers an outstanding range of outdoor recreation opportunities and vast tracks of quality habitat for wildlife. Friends of Nevada Wilderness focuses on protecting the remaining wildlands from development, keeping them wild for future generations. We accomplish this with three main focus areas.

Goal - Permanent Protection
Friends of Nevada Wilderness goal is to protect all deserving wildlands in Nevada through our legislative program. To accomplish this we work with our Nevada delegation, local elected officials, agency partners, ranchers, sportsmen, recreationists, etc., to find common sense boundaries for permanent protection of our deserving public lands. These are lands managed for the public by the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, National Park Service or US Fish and Wildlife Service. Generally, these are county-wide efforts that address conservation and economic development. Along with Wilderness protections we have worked on the creation of national conservation areas and national monuments within Nevada.

Goal – Caring for the land with our Volunteer Wilderness Stewards.
Friends of Nevada Wilderness believes that legislatively protecting an area is only the first step. Our goal is to ensure these areas are well cared for and in times on decreasing agency budgets that means our volunteers must step up. To accomplish this, we have agreements in place with the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, National Park Service or US Fish and Wildlife Service for our volunteer program. In a typical year our hundreds of volunteers give back about $250,000 of in-kind volunteer service to our wild public lands. Projects might include wildlife habitat restoration, removing unneeded fences that harm wildlife, removing invasive weeds, improving trail access, healing damage from illegal off-road use, spring monitoring, etc.

Goal – Wilderness Outreach and Education
Our goal is to increase the public’s knowledge about the beauty and importance of wild Nevada. We do this through our website, newsletters, events, social media, webinars, film festivals and Wild Nevada Calendar. We want the public to know about these wildlands and how to access them safely and responsibly. Through events like our Alternative Spring Break Program we bring college students out for spring break week to learn about wildlands, potential careers in natural resources, the safe use of tools and how to do a variety of restoration projects. Many of these students have never been out of the city and have limited camping experience. It is truly a life changing experience for them.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness will use the following strategies to help us accomplish our goals.

To meet our goals for permanent protection of deserving wildlands in Nevada we will continue to engage our supporters, the public, our local elected officials and members of the Nevada delegation about why these areas are important. We will work with coalitions of stakeholders to find common ground. We will design brochures, postcards, and other visuals to engage the public. We will use various social media platforms to tell the story of Nevada’s wild places. We will generate factual reports with maps and photos to document the resources found in these wild areas.

To meet our goals of on-the-ground stewardship we will continue to work closely with the public land managing agencies striving to be a committed partner. We will expand out outreach for reaching diverse communities to make our volunteer base reflective of our communities. We will find ways to leverage funding opportunities to maximize our effect on the ground. We will work in partnership with other organizations with similar goals.

To meet our education and outreach goals we will continue to find new ways to reach into our communities and make Wilderness protection relevant to people who may have never experienced Nevada’s wild backcountry. We will continue to do more virtual engagement with techniques we have honed during the COVID crisis. We will host more events that bring in diverse college age students to increase their understanding and activism. We will expand our partnership efforts with rural communities and the Nevada’s Division of Outdoor Recreation.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness has a talented and knowledgeable board of director and staff that collectively bring hundreds of years of experience about Nevada’s Wilderness and wild places. Our staff is passionate about Nevada’s wild public lands and they believe in their work.

We have excellent relationships with our Nevada delegation and agency partners and we are trusted as an organization.

We work collaboratively with many conservation organizations locally regionally and nationally. It is though these collaborative efforts that we increase our successes.

We have extensive experience working safely with volunteers and have a warehouse of tools, gear, protective equipment and camping equipment to loan volunteers. We help our volunteers fall in love with the beauty and wildness of Nevada and in turn they become avid champions of Wilderness.

In providing permanent protection for our Nevada Wildlands our successes are clearly laid out in legislation since only Congress can designate Wilderness.

In 1989 – The Nevada Wilderness Protection Act that established 13 new Wilderness areas totaling 733,400 acres across the state including Wilderness Forest Service managed gems like the Ruby Mountains, Mount Charleston, Mount Rose and Arc Dome.
In 2000 – The Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area Act that established 10 new BLM managed Wilderness areas totaling 752,00 acres along with the National Conservation Area.
In 2004 – The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act established 18 new Wilderness areas totaling 452,000 acres in the beautiful Mohave Desert.
In 2004 - Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act established 14 new Wilderness areas in eastern Nevada totaling 768,294 acres.
In 2006 - White Pine County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act established 13 new Wilderness areas totaling 558,133 acres in the high country of eastern Nevada.
In 2014 – The Pine Forest Range and Wovoka Wilderness areas were designated totaling 74,981 acres.
In 2015 - President Obama established the 704,000 acres Basin and Range National Monument in eastern Nevada and in 2016 the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument.

In our Stewardship Program some examples of progress include the maintenance and reconstruction of hundreds of miles of Wilderness trails in partnership with the Forest Service. We removed over 300 miles of no longer needed fence along with over 100 tons of metal garbage completely re-wilding the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge making it truly a haven for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts.

In terms of what is next we will continue working with our delegation to save places like the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the Stillwater Range and working to see conservation legislation now in Congress passed for Pershing and Douglas Counties. We will continue to work with Washoe, Clark and Nye counties on public lands legislation in the coming years.

We will continue to grow our volunteer base and accomplish more on-the-ground projects. We will increase our efforts to help rural tourism with the growth of Nevada’s outdoor recreation industry including promoting Nevada as the Dark Sky State.


Friends of Nevada Wilderness

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Board of directors
as of 01/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr Roger Scholl

Board co-chair

Hermi Hiatt

Roger Scholl

Hermi Hiatt

Eric Roberts


Tim Buchanan

John Hiatt

Karen Boeger

Roberta Moore

Michelle Napoli

Tom Myers

Larry Dwyer

Lou Bubala

Dan Johnson


Jose Witt

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/02/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.