The Pine Forest Range has long been a point of destination for anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in this portion of the Great Basin in northern Nevada. The foothills of the range border the Black Rock Desert and the peaks ascend to over 9000 feet in elevation, supporting the only alpine lakes in remnant glacial cirques found in this part of the state.
This complex of alpine depressions is known as Blue Lakes and is forested with both Limber and Whitebark pines, setting this habitat type apart from most of the surrounding ranges. Two productive reservoir fisheries, Onion Valley and Knott Creek, compliment the outdoor opportunities to be found on this unique set of mountains. Rainbow, brook, cutthroat and tiger trout fishing is available within this complex of lakes and reservoirs, and Knott Creek Reservoir is designated as a trophy fishery. Mule deer, pronghorn, California bighorn sheep and mountain lions provide big game hunting opportunities, and chukar partridge is the consistent favorite of upland game hunters in the area.
Although the Pine Forest Range has become more popular in recent years, a large portion of the upper elevations of the range have restricted motorized use; this provides for a unique recreational experience for both motorized and quiet-use visitors. The Blue Lakes and Alder Creek Wilderness Study Areas were designated by the BLM in 1980. Together, they cover an alpine area of approximately 25,000 acres, and in the opinion of many sportsmen, deserve permanent protection.
To that end, a wilderness study area review process has been sanctioned by the Humboldt County Commissioners to evaluate what lands should move forward for permanent designation and how to align their boundaries to avoid many management problems encountered over the past 30 years. Ranchers, outfitters, guides, sportsmen, OHV enthusiasts and interested individuals from across northern Nevada have joined the review process in developing recommendations to ensure this unique section of public land will provide sporting opportunities to hunters and anglers for generations to come.
If you're interested in participating or learning more about this process, contact Trout Unlimited backcountry coordinator Jim Jeffress at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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