newletter header

Updates from the Black Rock January 2019

It’s a new year, and we have a new newsletter format! All the info and links you used to get in the email will now be stored on the website. No more losing that pesky Fly Ranch Volunteer Sign-Up link!

Welcome, Stacey!

Stacey at Fly Geyser

Please help us welcome executive director, Stacey Wittek, to the team! She’ll be sending out a formal introduction soon. In the meantime, here’s a short biography to help you get to know her. She can be reached via email at:

“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.”

New Hours @ Last Chance Outpost

The Visitor Center and Shop will be open Friday-Monday from 8:00am-5:00pm. We’ve made the bold decision to close midweek in order to make the best use of staff time and building resources. On Tuesdays we will be travelling for meetings and keeping a closer eye on conditions in the NCA. Wednesday and Thursday are our new “weekend.” If you need to contact us midweek, send an email or leave us a voice message. We’ll get back to you as soon as we return to the office.

2018 AIR Receptions and 2019 Update

Desert Waterlines Mile 12 by Clarissa Stephens

2018 Artists in Residence Clairissa Stephens and Teal Francis completed their pieces and are ready to show the community! Join us in admiring how their work showcases the beauty and majesty of the Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. Gallery details:

February 3-16 at the Humboldt County Library. 85 East 5th Street, Winnemucca, NV 98445. Closing reception February 16th from 11:00am-1:00pm.

February 17-28 at the Potentialist Workshop. 838 East 2nd Street, Reno, NV 89502. Reception February 23rd fron 5:30-7:30pm.

March 1 at GGID Community Center. 510 Cottonwood Street, Gerlach, NV 89412. Reception March 1st from 5:00-7:00pm. Pieces will be on display at the Friends Visitor Center at 320 Main Street following the reception.

We’re very proud of our AIR artists and how they interpret their experiences in the Black Rock. We’re grateful to the BLM for partnering with us to continue bringing artists to the National Conservation Area. Due to the nature of our partnership with the BLM, we regret that we must postpone the 2019 Call for Artists until the government reopens. Plans are underway to host a new group of artists in 2019, and we’ll send out application dates and instructions as soon as we’re able.

New Programs

Stewardship in action

We’re excited to continue expanding our year-round stewardship opportunities! In addition to Rendezvous and JuPlaya, here are some other opportunities to get involved!

Leave No Trace Trainer Course

Class is full! March 30-31. We’ll be training 20 new LNT trainers. Contact AmeriCorps member, Claire, with all your questions or to be placed on a waiting list. This course filled up so fast that we’re working on getting more LNT sessions on the calendar.

Guru Road Restoration

April 28. A Great day trip! We do upkeep on the installations at Guru Road/Dooby Lane. Projects include restoring the painted rocks and working on larger installations.

Highway 447 Clean Up

May 5. It’s been a while since we’ve helped pick up the only road in and out of Gerlach. We’ll provide the bags, pickers and high viz shirts. Bring your water bottle and a smile! This is also a day trip.

Trego Father’s Day Camp

June 14-16. This is a new program! We’ve decided to help combat the constant complaints of negative impacts at Trego by going there and setting a good example. Activities will include a Tread Lightly! Trainer Course, Noxious Weed Workshop, and Public Outreach.

Black Rock Camp

July 27-28. Black Rock Point has seen some hard use over the past year. We’ll be doing dune restoration and public outreach. It’s a great chance to see Black Rock Point!

Wilderness First Aid

August 3-4. Last year the class filled up fast, and we expect it’ll be the same this year. Sign up early to secure your spot. For those not training, we’ll need your help with Fly Programming and shop hours that weekend.

End of Season Trego Clean Up

September 14-15. Trego is one of the most visited features in the National Conservation Area, and it’s not currently set up to handle the impacts of so many people. This new camp out expands on the good example we set over Father’s Day weekend and allows us to do more public outreach.

Volunteer Call

2018 Volunteers

We need your help to keep our programs running smoothly! We’d like to keep our current team members engaged and get more individuals involved with our programs. Sign up to participate in stewardship programs on our camp outs, join the Fly Ranch Fly Team, or help us out around the shop. Let us know your interests, and we’ll put your time and talents to good use. Contact Americorps member, Claire, at to get more involved!

Fly Ranch Update

Big changes are coming to our little walks- starting in April they’ll be 4 hour excursions over midday. That means 1 tour a day on walk days. The extra hour includes a stop to visit the old ranch house and show off camping facilities.

Speaking of camping facilities, we’ll be using the camping pods for our Relax & Refresh volunteer weekend and Leave No Trace Trainer course. Think of it as helping us test run systems for the monthly Fly Ranch camp outs, which start in April.

We’ll be opening ticket sales as soon as we confirm updated dates, times, and prices with Burning Man.

Fly Team Volunteers should acquaint themselves with program changes by taking advantage of pre-season camping at our Relax & Refresh orientation weekend. Only 1 day of training is required for camping privileges. New volunteers are particularly encouraged to come to orientation.

We’re always looking for volunteers who love Black Rock, Fly Ranch, and the surrounding area to help show our guests a good time. Get involved by filling out our Fly Ranch Questionnaire and/or signing up for our Leave No Trace Trainer course. In appreciation for their service, Fly Team members do not pay for access to the ranch and are offered special soaking opportunities.
We encourage all volunteers to train in Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Aid. We will have courses available in 2019. If you have any questions about joining the Fly Team, please contact our AmeriCorps Conservation Project and Outreach Coordinator, Claire, at