views of high desert



Friends of Black Rock-High Rock staff work year-round in a variety of roles including fundraising, marketing, projects, accounting, retail and administrative positions to ensure that our project grants and programs are making a difference.

Friends of Black Rock-High Rock has a satellite office in Reno and an information center and office in Gerlach, Nevada.

Office 775-557-2900

Stacey Wittek- Executive Director

Like all modern types living in a complex world I have had a hand in a little bit of a lot of things—Educator and Writer (Journalism, Writing and Photography), Programs Manager, Workforce and Community Developer, Financial Coach and Trainer-Consultant. Through this journey I have found is that I have a real skill at bringing together people for common causes and creating and implementing plans that involve collective impact. I like the kind of party where everybody pitches in.

I am at home outdoors. My personal work as an artist and writer often propels me to desert spaces, quirky towns and places and in the company of independent thinkers and iconoclast. As an avid mountain biker, road rider and winter sports enthusiast if not on wheels or skis I can typically be found reading, writing or researching. Or eating. I love to eat.

Contact Stacey at

Sarah Lyon – Onsite Manager

sarah at coyote dunesSarah Lyon has been a Gerlach resident since September of 2015, when she, her husband, and her sister moved into an off-grid Ranch house 19 miles outside of the community. In February of 2017, she moved into the town of Gerlach.

Sarah has always enjoyed camping and wildlife, growing up traversing the countryside and camping with her family.  In her spare time, Sarah has a small business that makes games, and she enjoys reading, writing, and cooking.

Get in touch with her at

Claire Schmotzer – Conservation Project and Outreach Coordinator


Claire Schmotzer is the 2018-19 full time Americorps volunteer. She is a world traveler and former teacher who is serving to help make the world a better place. She became an FBR member  in early 2018 while volunteering with the Fly Ranch project. She loves the area, and is excited to have the opportunity to make Gerlach home. When she’s not busy with AmeriCorps service, you can find Claire reading, writing poetry, foraging for edible native plants or occasionally serenading her fence lizard, Daenerys, with guitar and ukulele.

You can contact her at

Want to get to know our staff? Come join us as a volunteer! »