Friends of Nevada Wilderness received the Golden Pinecone Award in the non-profit organization category at the recent Pinecone Ball, a yearly celebration of the good work accomplished to ensure the sustainability of Nevada’s wonderful wildlife within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Nevada EcoNet presented six Golden Pinecone Awards this year at the annual awards celebration held at the McKinely Arts Center in mid-November.
Located in Reno, Friends of Nevada Wilderness (Friends) works together will all Nevadans to preserve and protect all present and potential Wildernesses from threats. They also educate the public about the need for Wilderness and the importance of improving and restoring wild lands.
“I love Wilderness because it gives me hope,” stated Brian Beffort, Associate Director of Friends of Nevada Wilderness. “I believe anything anyone could ever need or want is right here on earth; we have sufficient resources to meet our needs and wild beauty where we can find solace, challenge, and spiritual,” said Beffort.
“Friends help us accomplish a tremendous amount of work annually that benefits multiple natural resources in these treasured Wilderness areas,” said Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor. “Having Friends as a partner helps us complete important projects that improve wildlife habitat, watersheds, and trails; it greatly enhances the experiences of our Wilderness visitors,” said Higgins.
Since 1984, Friends has successfully led efforts to protect over three million acres of Wilderness. They work with volunteers on the ground to help to protect Nevada’s wild places and backcountry. In 2008, Friends received the Bob Marshall Group Champion of Wilderness Stewardship Award, which is a national award given by the U.S. Forest Service.
Executive Director of Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Shaaron Netherton, has 22 years of public land management experience with 10 years working specifically in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wilderness program in Nevada. She is thankful for all the support they get from the community because she also considers herself a member of the community. “After climbing to the top of a Wilderness peak and seeing the Great Basin unfold around me, I am filled with a sense of belonging that I never felt anywhere else,” she said. “I am home.”
Other recipients of the Golden Pinecone Award in 2010 were Rebecca Wagner, public servant; Dan Jacquet, BLM Carson City Office, agency representative; Mary Winston, Energy Master, business; Alicia Reban, individual; and Reno City Council, government agency.
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