Woman of the wilds

Lorna Weaver

Photo by Jimmy Boegle

Lorna Weaver, 31, is the executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation. She is new to the job; she’s only held the newly created position since Earth Day. The University of Nevada, Reno, journalism graduate is quite familiar with the area’s media market, having worked for the Sparks Tribune, the Reno Gazette-Journal and KNPB Channel 5. She also served as a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service for seven seasons. Lorna and her husband, Don, have been married for 2 1/2 years.

Don’t I know you from somewhere?

Yes, Jimmy. I love you! We go way back. We’d go to movies and lunch, and you’d listen to me complain about my boss [when we worked at the Sparks Tribune]. You always listened and were very helpful.

Thanks for saying all those nice things. Trying to kiss up for good coverage of the Nevada Wildlife Federation in the RN&R, eh?

Oh, absolutely. Actually, I haven’t gotten into the whole political/news thing much yet. This is my first interview being on the other side.

What exactly does the Nevada Wildlife Federation do?

The main job is to conserve habitat for wildlife. We also help with the Endangered Species Act. We have several campaigns going right now. Among them is the sage grouse issue. They are being considered for being listed as threatened, as their numbers are dwindling below sustainable levels. We are trying to keep them from being listed as endangered.

Why is that? Wouldn’t you want them to be listed?

No, because if they were listed, that would cut off access to a lot of public lands and the right to hunt sage grouse. Our membership is 90 percent made up of hunters and anglers.

Are you saying the bird should be allowed to die off?

No, not at all. We want the habitat conserved so that the animal can thrive. We don’t want the grouse listed, but we certainly don’t want it to die off.

What does the Nevada Wildlife Federation have to do with the National Wildlife Federation?

We are a non-funded affiliate of them. We get support from them through our affiliate membership. We get materials on their programs, and we have a liaison to the national group that coordinates our efforts. But they don’t give us any money, and we don’t give them any money.

As executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, what do you hope to do?

I have a lot of goals in mind for the group. In the short-term, I hope to double the membership and get more businesses involved. I hope to continue what this group has been doing for the last 51 years, which is conserving wildlife habitat.

Do you have any pull when it comes to getting hunting tags? Father’s Day is coming up, and my dad’s a hunter …

Oh, no, I don’t. That’s done by lottery by the state.

Oh, well. It was worth a shot.

Yeah. I probably would have been hit up before now if I had any pull.