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Partnerships

Northern Leopard frog in hand

The number and scale of issues facing wildlife conservation in the 21st century are incredibly daunting.  No single agency or organization has the resources to face these challenges entirely on their own.  The National Wildlife Refuge System recognizes that science-based, collaborative, landscape-scale conservation - along with effective public outreach and environmental education - will be necessary to conserve America's wildlife and wild places. 

No matter the logo on their shoulders, State and Federal wildlife managers roll up their sleeves together.  They assist each other with habitat management, surveys, and law enforcement.  They belong to the same scientific and professional organizations, and collaborate on studies and research projects.  They are increasingly joined in many of these efforts by hunting and fishing, conservation, and environmental organizations.  

  • Nevada Department of Wildlife

    Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge works closely with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) office in Elko, NV to help provide hunting and fishing opportunities in northeastern Nevada.  Gallagher Fish Hatchery, which is located on the Refuge and run by NDOW, furnishes many of the sportfish for a huge area.  The cold, clear spring waters emanating from the base of the Ruby Mountains are ideal for raising several species of trout, which are then trucked all over northeastern Nevada.  The Hatchery operates under an agreement between the Service and NDOW.  If you have ever fished at places like Angel Lake near Wells, NV, chances are you have caught fish raised at Gallagher Fish Hatchery.  Each year, the Refuge staff participates in the annual fishing derby held at Angel Lake.

    The Service and NDOW also coordinate in setting hunting seasons for waterfowl on the Refuge, and also in managing fishery resources.  NDOW monitors the population levels, and sets the season, size, and bag limits for sportfish on the Refuge through an approved fisheries management plan.  The Refuge and NDOW fisheries biologists also collaborate in restoring rare and imperiled species.  They are currently cooperating in restoring relict dace, the original native fish species of Ruby Valley, to specific water bodies, where they should be able to expand their population.  Service biologists also work with NDOW to monitor and manage sage grouse populations in Ruby Valley.

  • Ruby Valley Friendship Club

    The Ruby Valley Friendship Club hosts and presents many social and public service activities for the residents of Ruby Valley.  They provide educational books on Nevada's history, such as the Pony Express, geology, and nature, such as bird and plant identification guides.  These items and more are sold at the Refuge Headquarters.  The Club also helped the Refuge sponsor a t-shirt design contest at the Ruby Valley School this past year.  Many of the student's designs of local wildlife were made into some very cool-looking t-shirts!  The Friendship Club's partnership and generosity enables the Refuge to offer these activities and items to the public and local students.

  • Audubon Society

    The Audubon Society has long been associated with the Refuge System.  The Society has helped found many of the Nation's wildlife reserves and refuges.  Practically, every refuge in the nation hosts the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) during the months of December or January.  The CBC has been in existence for over a century, and it is the longest continuously running survey in North America.  Many of the participants at Ruby Lake are members of the local Bristlecone (Elko) Chapter of the Audubon Society, which has also conducted classes and field trips at the Refuge.  However, the general public is invited to come on out and enjoy getting to know our local bird species.

    Ruby Lake NWR has also periodically hosted the Basin and Range Weekend Seminar, which is produced by Great Salt Lake Audubon.  The Seminar consists of a selection of lectures and field tours presented over the course of several days.  Participants can choose their area or areas of interest.  Many of the presenters are professors, researchers, practicing wildlife biologists, and archeologists.  In May 2011, Great Salt Lake Audubon and the Bristlecone Chapter collaborated on a Seminar held at Ruby Lake NWR. 

  • Ducks Unlimited

    From the very beginning hunters and anglers have provided crucial support for our wildlife resources.  They were the first to sound the alarm that fish and wildlife were being excessively exploited, and they were the first to form conservation organizations. They played a key role in passing legislation that resulted in a lasting future for wildlife.  Nearly 98 percent of every Federal Duck Stamp purchased by waterfowl hunters has been spent on purchasing land for the Refuge System.  Hunters and anglers voluntarily pushed for a tax on hunting and fishing gear, which has furnished over 10 billion dollars to State agencies for fish and wildlife conservation.

    Throughout the Refuge System, Ducks Unlimited has played an important role in providing engineers and funding for the development and purchase of wetlands.  At Ruby Lake NWR, Ducks Unlimited has helped construct infrastructure for efficient water management.  Thanks to their expertise and funding, refuge managers and biologists are better able to meet the habitat requirements of a host of waterfowl and other wildlife.

  • Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

    Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC's) are public-private partnerships that transcend political and jurisdictional boundaries.  They take a collaborative, scientific approach to managing wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources.  The Service and other agencies realized that it was important to widen our perspective beyond the boundaries of a refuge, and consider the impacts of our actions on species that regularly cross borders, such as migratory birds.  The larger consortium of partners gathered by LCC's will increase our capabilities, add scientific capacity, and result in better biological planning and conservation design.

    Ruby Lake NWR belongs to the relatively new Great Basin LCC, which is led by the Bureau of Land Management and approximately two years old.  A Steering Committee of private and public partners has been chosen, scientists and administrators hired, and a number of meetings held around the Great Basin.  Ruby Lake NWR actively supports and participates in the Great Basin LCC.

Page Photo Credits — Northern Leopard Frog captured in Relict Dace habitat project by Koen Breedveld
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014
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