Projects and Research
Wetlands, wet meadows, upland plant communities, natural springs, and cultural history entice scientists and scholars to study the Refuge resources and further human understanding of the processes and environments that are the foundation for the rich diversity of life on Pahranagat NWR and how humans have interacted with that environment over millennia. Other researchers focus on understanding the role of southwestern wetlands and diversity in the regional and national refuge system, the preeminent example of a habitat conservation system in the United States and perhaps the world. This ever-expanding understanding contributes to conservation and management of Mojave Desert environments important to southern Nevada, the southwest, and the United States.
One project that takes place here at Pahranagat is southwestern willow flycatcher surveys that are conducted each summer in the protected North Marsh by SWCA Environmental Consultants, one of our partners. The survey provides population status information of the flycatchers and includes an assessment of site occupancy, breeding indices, nest parasitism rates, and color band individuals to gain more information about flycatcher site fidelity, dispersal, and survival. Pahranagat NWR is just one of many sites surveyed, but this project plays an important role in the survival of the species.
Many of the projects that take place on the Refuge are funded by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA). It allows the Bureau of Land Management to sell public land within a specific boundary around Las Vegas, Nevada. The revenue derived from land sales is split between the State of Nevada General Education Fund (5%), the Southern Nevada Water Authority (10%), and a special account available to the Secretary of the Interior. Projects that are funded by SNPLMA are submitted each year to the Secretary of Interior for approval and typically fall into one or more of the following categories; parks, trails, and natural areas, capital improvements, conservation initiatives, Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP), environmentally sensitive land acquisitions, hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention, Eastern Nevada landscape restoration project, or the Lake Tahoe restoration project. A few projects that have been funded by SNPLMA in the past at Pahranagat are the Visitor Center trail improvements, the creation of interpretative trails at Black Canyon, dam and water controlimprovements, habitat restoration and wildlife surveys, and creating accessible trails and parking spaces.