Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Help Lake Mead expand back-country recreation and address illegal roads!

Quick Details

Join our initiative to help Lake Mead expand responsible back-country recreation while protecting visitor safety and cultural and natural resources by managing illegal roads.


May 29, 2024

Quick Links

The Issue

Lake Mead National Recreation Area wants to protect and potentially expand back-country recreation in two areas of the park – Government Wash and the Overton Arm. However, it faces a critical issue with illegal roads compromising safety and damaging natural and cultural resources. Unauthorized vehicle use has led to the destruction of areas that uniquely support endangered species and the destruction of archaeological sites. Such activities compromise the ecological balance and degrade the stories these lands tell about the people from ancient times to the present, significantly impacting Tribal Nations whose ancestral homelands span the park. The SNPMLA Round 20 Conservation project “Managing Illegal Roads to Protect Recreation, Safety, and Resources: Phase 1” aims to expand official back-country access responsibly while protecting these sensitive areas.

How It Impacts You

Creating illegal roads poses significant safety hazards and limits recreational opportunities for everyone. Continued damage could force difficult decisions, including closing popular areas, restricting access, and diminishing the recreational experience. Your involvement is crucial in shaping how we balance expanding access with protecting the integrity and safety of the park.


By supporting Lake Mead National Recreation Area in eliminating illegal roads, you’ll be helping to expand backcountry trails and roads, protect vital natural and cultural resources, and ensure additional public safety.

Ways to Support

The methods below are the best way to impact the SNPLMA Executive Committee, which makes recommendations for funding to Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

  • SIGN A PETITION: Join our call for action by signing a petition that will be submitted to the SNPLMA Executive Committee.

  • SEND A LETTER OF SUPPORT: Use our template or craft your own message to express your support for this initiative. Your voice matters and can help secure funding for these critical improvements.

    • Email: Send your letters to [email protected]
    • Mail: Print and send your signed letter to: SNPLMA Executive Committee Chair, BLM Southern Nevada District Office, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130.
  • SPREAD THE WORD: Share information about this initiative within your network to help garner more support.

Damaged cultural site due to an illegal road

Sensitive cryptobiotic gypsum soils extensively damaged by illegal roads. It takes thousands of years for the cryptobiota (the dark-colored bumpy surface) to form. These soils also support endangered plant species like the Las Vegas Bear Poppy.

Further Information & Resources

To gain a deeper understanding of the project, its scope, and the specific areas involved, please review the detailed proposal and budget.

Stay updated on the progress of this project and other activities at Lake Mead by opting into our mailing list below.