Winnemucca, Nev.—Travelers to northwestern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert have a new landmark to help them explore and enjoy this vast landscape with the opening of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Black Rock Station just outside Gerlach, Nev. This gateway to the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (NCA) provides a visitor contact center and also houses a fire engine building, bunkhouse, warehouse and small administrative office.
“Landmarks such as Black Rock and Razorback Mountain helped guide Native Americans, explorers and emigrants in their ventures across this amazing landscape,” said Black Rock Field Manager Rolando Mendez. “The Station serves as a guide, a reference, for present and future generations in their personal quest of adventure and exploration.”
The BLM hosted a grand opening celebration on August 18 and was joined by 40-50 people including Friends of Black Rock/High Rock, Nevada Outdoor School, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Oregon-California Trail Association, Hycroft Mine/Allied Nevada, and Sierra Front Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.
Black Rock Station was constructed utilizing almost $ 3.5 million authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The contract provided jobs for about 50 construction workers over a 10-month period, which helped the local economy by making purchases at the local restaurant, gas station and motel.
Non-ARRA funds were obtained for interpretive panels on the California National Historic Trail, maps and safety information as well as information on many of the resources in the area such as wildlife, wilderness and recreational opportunities.
The facility will be open seasonally from March through November and will be staffed by BLM personnel. A BLM fire crew will operate out of the facility from July to September.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.