Each year on Earth Day, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries join together to celebrate and protect our common home. From participating in community clean-up events, to reaching out to local leaders about environmental concerns, and spending time appreciating the outdoors, Earth Day serves as an annual opportunity to promote environmental stewardship across the globe. In Nevada, preserving, protecting, and enhancing the unique and magnificent natural wonders statewide is the everyday mission of more than 900 employees within the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Through the dedication and dynamic collaboration among the department’s seven divisions and three departmental programs, Nevada continues to be home to some of the most vibrant environmental treasures nationwide.
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection — As the department’s largest agency, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection is committed to managing and enhancing Nevada’s land, water, and air quality resources — and encourages recycling through its Nevada Recycles program. Consequently, the division aids in promoting public health, sustaining healthy ecosystems, and contributing to a vibrant economy.
Nevada Division of Forestry — Fifteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are absorbed by forests each year, and 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity lives in forests. Wildfire prevention, emergency response, and restoration are leading priorities within the Nevada Division of Forestry, as wildfires can wreak havoc on the natural environment, air quality, native flora, natural ecosystems, wildlife, public health, and more. Additionally, the Nevada Division of Forestry operates two nurseries and a seedbank facility, which provide native plants for purchase year round.
Nevada Division of State Parks — Nevada’s 24 beloved state parks boast more than 350 public trails, beautiful natural surroundings, unique wildlife, and recreational activities for families and individuals of all ages. Nevada’s newest state parks, Walker River State Recreation Area (Mason Valley) and Ice Age Fossils (Las Vegas), will be opening soon to the public as well.
Nevada Natural Heritage Program — From protecting and monitoring Nevada’s endangered/at-risk species, educating communities about the important role of wildflowers/rare plants, and supporting wetlands, the Nevada Natural Heritage Program is committed to enhancing the State’s biological health and to ensuring optimal land-use decisions.
Nevada Division of State Lands — As one of the nation’s leading conservation and restoration programs, coordinating the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program continues to be a leading priority within the Nevada Division of State Lands. The program involves close collaboration among dozens of local, state, federal, nonprofit, and private sector partners that prioritize and implement innovative projects to reduce stormwater pollution, restore lake clarity, combat aquatic invasive species, improve forest health and public recreation opportunities, revitalize communities, and upgrade the region’s transportation system. Since its inception in 1997, more than 134 environmental improvement projects have been implemented through the Environmental Improvement Program.
Nevada Division of Water Resources — As the driest state in the nation, water is an especially critical resource in Nevada. The Nevada Division of Water Resources carefully manages the quantity of Nevada’s water — through issuing water rights, distributing water, etc. — while the Nevada Division Environmental Protection manages the quality of water.
Nevada Conservation Districts Program — Because the environmental needs vary greatly across the state, Nevada’s 28 conservation districts promote local conservation efforts, based on the unique resources within each area.
Nevada Sagebrush Ecosystem Program — Nevada’s sagebrush ecosystem is not only home to much of the state’s plants and wildlife, but it is also an integral part of Nevada’s culture and economy. Nevada’s sagebrush ecosystem serves as a key indicator of the health of Nevada’s overall natural environment. The Nevada Sagebrush Ecosystem Program focuses on providing solutions and actions to the myriad of threats challenging the condition of the ecosystem and the plants, animals, and populations dependent upon the health and resiliency of this landscape.
Nevada Off-highway Vehicles Program — In addition to securing safe, responsible opportunities to enjoy Nevada’s vast environmental treasures, the Off-highway Vehicles Program also provides community education and grant funding for projects such as environmental clean-up initiatives.
Nevada State Historic Preservation Office — With more than 110,000 historic and cultural resources throughout the state, the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office is dedicated to documenting, conserving, and restoring historic buildings, structures, objects, and archaeological sites in Nevada.
Additionally, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awards numerous grants throughout the state in support of projects designed to protect, conserve, and restore Nevada’s previous environmental treasures and natural resources. Together, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ divisions and departmental programs work in collaboration with one another, as well as other state, federal, private, and nonprofit agencies, to help sustain a green, eco-friendly Nevada — today and for generations to come.
You can help promote a greener Nevada, too. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shares the following 10 everyday tips to help shrink your carbon footprint, on Earth Day and beyond:
Avoid leaving the faucet running when washing dishes or brushing your teeth.
Wash and dry only full loads of laundry.
Turn off unnecessary lights.
Avoid using pesticides, and use non-toxic alternatives instead.
Try composting leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and more.
When it comes to recycling, think beyond the plastic bottles, paper, and cardboard boxes — items such as paint, tires, electronics, and even fire extinguishers can be recycled, too. Learn more tips from Nevada Recycles at www.nevadarecycles.nv.gov/.
When outdoors, remember to leave no trace by carrying out what you carried in.
Send electronic copies of documents, instead of printed copies, whenever possible.
Choose products in reusable and/or recyclable containers.
Opt to walk, bike, or carpool to work and other activities.
To learn more about the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, visit http://dcnr.nv.gov/. Additionally, check local news sources for Earth Day happenings throughout Nevada.