Respect, Connect, Protect campaign

Published: Nov. 1, 2023 at 4:08 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The video opens with a small pebble that says, “Welcome to the lands beyond the national parks.”

The spokespebble is part of the “Respect, Connect, Protect.” campaign. Developed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Conservation Lands Foundation, it hopes to get more of us out of our homes and into the open spaces of Nevada.

Last year alone, nearly 9,000,000 people visited lands managed by the BLM. What they may have discovered, the areas aren’t like a national forest or parks.

This land is more rugged.

“We want to make sure that people are prepared,” says Bertha Gutierrez, with the Conservation Lands Foundation. “That they know they may not have a cell phone signal. That they need to carry plenty of water. That they aren’t going to find a ranger as you said. They may not find a brochure. You may need to do some research before.”

The “Respect, Connect, Protect” campaign hopes to bring awareness to just what these open spaces mean to the visitor.

The land should be “Respected” meaning appreciating the areas--not defacing them. If plastic, paper, or glass is brought in, it needs to come out.

And with many of these visits some pre-planning needs to be done so everyone returns safely.

“To be able to really enjoy these landscapes as they are, learn, you know what they mean,” says Gutierrez. “And then make sure that others can continue enjoying them after you.”

The BLM emphasizes the locations vary and are unique to themselves.

They can be as crowded as the Red Rock area in southern Nevada. To as remote as the Black Rock Desert in Northern Washoe County.

It’s hoped the campaign speaks to the next generation of visitors like Gen Z and Millennials, some of whom are enthusiastic about our natural resources and want to “Protect” them.

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