Aerial view of wetlands in the Lahontan Valley.
Lahontan Wetlands Aerial view of wetlands in the Lahontan Valley in northern Nevada © Chip Carroon/TNC

Stories in Nevada

2023 Year in Review

Mauricia M.M. Baca, State Director of TNC in Nevada.
Mauricia M.M. Baca Nevada State Director Mauricia M.M. Baca © The Nature Conservancy

Letter from Our State Director, Mauricia M.M. Baca

Dear Friends,

As this year comes to a close, I am looking forward to 2024, which marks our 40th year as a chapter. With our anniversary approaching, I have been thinking about how different Nevada might look without the work we have been able to accomplish together.

When I think about our achievements, as well as the upcoming challenges we face, the word that comes to mind is transformation. 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.

Thirty-five years ago, TNC 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.

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 to prevent flooding, which caused detrimental effects to 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.  

Looking ahead, 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. I’m excited to share an inspiring example from Pioche with you in this annual report.

You’ll also read more about how policy successes like the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act are bringing conservation funding and transformative projects to Nevada and the West. At TNC Nevada, we are contributing locally and globally to TNC’s ambitious 2030 goals, which will also support a transformative, abundant future for people and nature. You'll see those goals highlighted throughout this report.

I am so grateful for what your support has allowed TNC to achieve over the past four decades, and it makes me so hopeful for the future. Thank you for another great year in conservation.

Nevada Successes

Places We Protect in Nevada

Check out the map below and explore an interactive map of our preserves in Nevada and beyond.

An illustrated map of protected areas in Nevada.
Places We Protect in Nevada Map of TNC preserves and properties in Nevada © Sarah Byer/TNC