by Fred Bell
Jim Boone is a well known figure within the Southern Nevada conservation community and was instrumental in getting the Gold Butte and the Basin and Range areas declared national monuments by President Obama in 2016. For the past few years he has traveled the Nevada back-country knocking down old mining claim markers and saving birds.
Starting in about 1970 and for twenty years afterwards, prospectors used hollow PVC pipes to mark their claims. Unintentionally, these pipes are traps for birds, especially cavity nesting birds and birds that look for meals in cracks and crevices.
Once the birds fall into the pipes, they are trapped and subjected to a slow death. There are thousands of these abandoned markers scattered across the Nevada landscape, and each year thousands of birds perish in them.
The use of open pipes to mark claims has been outlawed for years, yet Nevada is the only state that allows citizens to knock over claim marker pipes, even though most of these claims expired years ago.
Perhaps the film can be used to persuade neighboring states to follow Nevada’s lead and remove these death traps from our public lands.