A photo of mountains in the sunrise with yucca in the foreground.
Red Rock Canyon TNC helped to protect 5,000 acres of Red Rock Canyon more than 30 years ago © Simon Williams/TNC

Stories in Nevada

Our 40th Anniversary

Celebrating four decades protecting the Nevada we all love.

An illustration of colorful native wildflowers inside the Nevada state outline.

40 Years of Conservation

2024 marks our 40th year as a chapter! As we look back, we are so grateful for the transformative work we have been able to achieve in Nevada with your support. 


Our biggest achievements

Protecting Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Four decades ago, as the chapter was just getting started, TNC helped to protect Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge from development. Ash Meadows is one of the most biodiverse spots in North America, and TNC Nevada shares a 40th anniversary with this important and beloved place. Today, when you look out from Ash Meadow’s visitor’s center to the boardwalk, you can imagine what it would have been like if there were 30,000 homes instead of the pristine turquoise springs full of rare and endemic fish that are there today.

Saving a Piece of Red Rock Canyon

Thirty-five years ago, we helped preserve another iconic place by making a deal with Howard Hughes Corp. to permanently protect 5,000 acres of the land surrounding Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Without that agreement, the beautiful lands we now cherish for recreation also would have been a subdivision.

Bringing back the Moapa dace

In 1998, TNC Nevada began one of our first community-based conservation projects to prevent the extinction of the federally listed Moapa dace in the upper Muddy River. At least five globally rare endemic species call the Muddy River home, and two-thirds of all Nevada bird species have been recorded there. With funding from Clark County’s Multiple Species Habitat Conservation plan and with support from partners, we: 

  • Completed a conservation action plan that led to 10 years of federal agency and private lands conservation actions to improve stream flows for the Moapa dace
  • Acquired four floodplain parcels on behalf of Clark County
  • Tested the effectiveness of alternative saltcedar and knapweed control treatments

Twenty years ago, there were fewer than 500 Moapa dace left and it was predicted to go extinct, but now its numbers are actually increasing.

Restoring the Truckee River

The Truckee River would look completely different without the transformative changes we were able to make with our partners. We helped restore 11 miles of the river’s natural curves after it was straightened as part of a failed attempt to prevent flooding in Reno-Sparks, which caused detrimental effects on the river’s ecosystems. Now, native plants along its banks are lush, the fish and birds have returned, and anglers, hikers and recreationists can enjoy all the river has to offer.

Collaborating to save the Amargosa toad 

This rare and endemic species is dependent on water from the Amargosa River and its springs to survive. TNC has been working on habitat restoration at our Oasis Valley preserves for decades to attract and support these native amphibians, as well as local and migratory birds, endemic fish, and thriving native plant communities.

Our history in the Oasis Valley also includes building a partnership of state and federal agencies, local government, NGOs, and residents dedicated to protecting the Amargosa toad. In 2010, we joined with community members and landowners in and around Beatty to implement projects that created and improved habitat for this species.  We have now protected more than 1,600 acres of its habitat through acquisitions and easements. In the past four years, we also helped plant more than 100,000 trees to reduce the impacts of climate change on birds and wildlife.  Thanks to generous contributions, we are also working with partners to monitor groundwater and model scenarios to understand the vulnerability of the Amargosa River to current pressures, including invasive species, groundwater use, development, poorly sited renewable energy and mining. We are focused on protecting this incredible place for wildlife and future generations.

What We've Accomplished Together

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    acres conserved in Nevada

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    $90+ M

    in land protection projects

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    acres in the West protected using our science

Working together toward a future where people and nature thrive

Looking ahead, we have years, not decades, to address the interconnected climate and biodiversity crises. Though we face urgent challenges for people and nature in Nevada, we also have an unprecedented opportunity for conservation and a brighter future.

With your support, we are rising to the challenge. We have a hopeful vision for the future and the proven approach to get us there. Our work is focused on four initiatives:

We know there is more transformation to come. Nevada is at the center of the clean energy revolution, and our state's lithium supply and solar energy development will likely be key to our country’s decarbonization. At TNC, we are working hard to ensure that smart-from-the-start planning principles guide this new development and that the much-needed transition to clean energy doesn’t come at the cost of Nevada's wildlife, water and cultural resources. 

For 40 years, we have brought a unique complement of assets to the table: deep and diverse expertise, a track record of accomplishments, and a pragmatic, collaborative, solutions-oriented approach that is based on science.

By working together, we’re overcoming the barriers to the solutions our planet needs. And our successes in Nevada don’t stay here: they will inform, inspire and galvanize conservation across the West and around the world. We are contributing locally and globally to The Nature Conservancy’s ambitious 2030 goals on land, water and climate, which will support a transformative, abundant future where both people and nature can thrive. Together, we find a way, and we hope you will join us.