Statement Regarding Great Basin National Park and the Southern Nevada Water Authority's Groundwater Pumping Project

The Great Basin National Park Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is "to support programs and projects that enhance the values of Great Basin National Park." In its Strategic Plan, the Foundation articulated a vision in which:

"The Natural and cultural heritage of the Great Basin will be enhanced, not compromised, by individuals or industries that understand and appreciate the beauty, diversity, or fragility of this high desert region. Future generations will enjoy wide open landscapes, clean air, dark night skies, vigorous and diverse native ecosystems, and thriving local cultures. Cheatgrass and other invasive weeds will have been eradicated, groundwater will be used locally and conservatively, and sixth and seventh-generation cowboys will still ride the range. ... The Great Basin is enjoyed for its space, silence, and solitude and given protection on par with its diverse and unique natural and cultural resources."

We are aware that the Southern Nevada Water Authority proposes to pump groundwater from rural eastern Nevada to the citizens of Southern Nevada. Two of the valleys from which groundwater is proposed to be pumped are situated on either side of Great Basin National Park. We know that scientists have studied and reported on this complex project and its potential impacts and that the best science available is not yet conclusive with regard to potential adverse impacts on Great Basin National Park's treasured resources, in particular those values mentioned in our Vision statement: "wide open landscapes, clean air, dark night skies, vigorous and diverse native ecosystems, and thriving local cultures." We believe that when the science is undecided, we should adopt the precautionary principle. Therefore, we believe that the project should not proceed in the valleys adjacent to Great Basin National Park until it can be demonstrated that the project will not impact the sustainability of the Park's ecological, economic, and social resources.

Private philanthropy has always played an important role in America's national parks. The generous gifts, large and small, made to our national parks have helped to make our park system the best in the world. Great Basin National Park is fortunate to have the support of the Great Basin National Park Foundation, which has made possible improvements to the park such as increased trail access, a new visitor center and exhibits, and the collection and transcription of oral histories.

Become Part of the Tradition!

The Great Basin National Park Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations made to the Foundation are tax-deductible and are used to benefit Great Basin National Park. To learn more about the exciting projects that the Foundation is currently engaged in visit our Projects page.

If you would like to know more or if you are considering a gift to the Foundation, please contact Rebecca Mills, the Chairman of the Board of Directors or mail your check or inquiry directly to;

Great Basin National Park Foundation
P.O. Box 181,
Baker, Nevada 89311

To learn more about Great Basin National Park, click here or contact the Park's Superintendent Steve Mietz at