DATE: April 24, 2006
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2006-35
BLM Announces Campground Openings
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko Field Office will open and begin fee collection at three of the four campgrounds and recreation facilities in Elko County, Saturday, May 6. Those campgrounds are Wilson Reservoir, Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir, and the Tabor Creek Recreation Area.
The forth site, North Wildhorse Campground, will open for the season on May 27, allowing time for the campground area to dry out from the heavy snow pack this winter. The nominal fee charged at these sites is collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. A hallmark of the program is that 100 percent of the fees collected are reinvested in the sites where they are collected and used for maintenance and upgrades. These sites were placed in the fee program to ensure a reliable source of funding for maintenance and visitor safety.
“Most visitors understand that maintaining and improving recreation sites costs money,” said Steve Dondero, recreation team leader for the Elko Field Office. “People are accepting of the nominal fee when they understand the money stays on-site and is being spent to keep the area maintained. For example, we’re finishing up the solar powered water system from the new well at Wilson Reservoir using fee monies and hope to have it working by early June. We are working on a similar system at the North Wildhorse Campground as well.”
Wilson Reservoir Recreation Site, 83 miles northwest of Elko, offers 15 camping units with tables and fire rings, vault toilets, central garbage service, water, and a double lane boat ramp. Fees for camping are $4 per vehicle per day, and the boat ramp fee is $2 per visit. There is a $2 per vehicle fee for day use. Visitors are cautioned that construction activities (open trenches) for the water system may be present in the area, Monday through Friday. “We will attempt to ensure there are no open trenches left over the weekends, and any that we may need to leave open are properly posted with caution flagging”, said Dondero.
Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir, 30 miles south of Elko, has a limited number of tables and grills available. There are no designated camping areas and visitors are welcome to camp or picnic along the north and south shores. Vault toilets and central garbage collection are available, but no drinking water is provided. Use fees are $2 per vehicle per day.
Tabor Creek Recreation Area is 30 miles north of Wells on the west side of the Snake Mountains. There are 10 campsites with tables and fire rings, and vault toilets. Drinking water is not provided, however water out of Tabor Creek is clear and suitable for drinking if it is properly boiled or filter purified before use. No garbage service is provided; visitors are asked to follow the “Pack it in - Pack it out” outdoor ethics by taking out what you brought in, plus a little extra that you might find laying around. Tabor Creek offers good stream fishing for trout, and the nearby Snake Range is popular for mountain biking, hiking, and wildlife viewing. The use fee is $2 per vehicle per day.
North Wildhorse Campground, 70 miles north of Elko on the north side of Wildhorse Reservoir, offers 18 campsites with tables, fire rings, grills, and shade cabanas. Central garbage service and vault toilets are available. The campground overlooks Wildhorse Reservoir and features three group sites that are popular for family reunions and large groups. In addition to the shade cabanas at each site, many also have mature aspen trees for additional shade. Fees are $3 per vehicle per day for camping and $2 per vehicle fee for day use. The well to provide drinking water is not yet in service, so visitors need to bring their own drinking water.
According to Dondero, “BLM will begin work on the water system in late May, and hope to have it working and available by July 1. When water is again available at the site, the campground fees will go back to the full service level of $6 per vehicle per day.
“Due to wet conditions from snowmelt and recent rains, we’re urging people to use caution when traveling off pavement,” said Dondero. “The slick road conditions not only make travel on the dirt roads unsafe, but may also lead to resource damages when motorists attempt to drive around problem areas. Travel on wet roads can destroy the road surface – particularly deep ruts made during muddy conditions – and requires extensive maintenance by Elko County or BLM road crews.”
Although the BLM managed camping areas are close to popular fishing destinations, the BLM does not maintain statistics related to angler success or fish stocking programs. Recreationists with questions related to hunting and fishing information are asked to direct these inquiries to the Nevada Department of Wildlife at (775) 777-2300, or by visiting their web site at www.ndow.org.
For more information about campgrounds or conditions, contact Steve Dondero or Tamara Hawthorne at the BLM Elko Field Office, 3900 East Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801 or call (775) 753-0200.