Throughout the summer, the members of Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project will be featuring a series of blogs. For more information about Trout Unlimited or to become a member, go to tu.org
With fewer U.S. Forest Service lands than any other western state, preserving habitat in Nevada becomes even more important.
• About 5.8 million of Nevada’s 70 million acres (about 8 percent) are U.S. Forest Service lands.
• Of those 5.8 million acres of public land, about 3.2 million acres, or about 55 percent, are inventoried roadless areas.
• About 2,000 acres, or 0.03 percent of all U.S. Forest Service lands are recommended for wilderness designation.
As one of Nevada’s most popular mountain ranges, the Santa Rosa Mountains offer hunter and anglers an array of recreational opportunity. Each spring and summer visitors are greeted with a flush of flowers among the sub alpine pine, mahogany and aspen trees.
Although there are no natural lakes, these mountains support hundreds of miles of perennial streams, numerous springs and a wide myriad of mammals and avian wildlife species. A few developed roads provide access through the mountain and one developed campground, but the Forest Service lands are remote and contain large segments of habitat without developed roads. These areas include the steep west face of the mountains to the gentler slope draining into the west flank of the Owyhee Desert.
Big game species include mule deer, pronghorn, California bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and a small population of elk which have immigrated into the area. All big game species are on a limited entry draw to manage for quality as opposed to numerous tags. Bigger buck and larger rams are synonymous with areas away from developed roads or trails. Sage-grouse, chukar partridge, valley quail and ruffed grouse are the popular upland game species for hunting and are found over most of the Santa Rosa’s.
The perennial streams within this range offer the same opportunities for fishers as hunters. The streams hold single species or an aggregate of brook trout, browns, rainbow and cutthroat in all the primary systems. One can fish from a vehicle or strike out for the more remote stretches in hopes of landing those fish not subjected to more intense pressure.