Press Release for Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area Public Land Planting


September 6, 2023

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife and BHA plan to host a huge public land planting event and community gathering to restore winter range for mule deer and pronghorn antelope.

On the weekend of October 28th volunteers will gather to help plant 10,000 bitterbrush seedlings at the Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area (HJWA) along hwy 395 to restore critical winter range for mule deer and pronghorn antelope. The bitterbrush plants will be grown through the Sagebrush in Prisons Project, a voluntary program at the nearby FCI Herlong prison, and volunteers will also help to sow plants of cultural significance to the Washoe Tribe.

Following the planting efforts on Friday and Saturday nights, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers will be hosting the Beer, Bands & Bitterbrush Stands event at a ranch located 30 minutes from the project site where participants will gather for food, live music and camping on site. The event is free with a small fee for campers where there will be ample space for tents, trailers or RVs. The event will have a raffle and silent auction to fundraise for the project with thousands of dollars-worth of prizes thanks to generous donations from businesses like Seek Outside, Weston, Stone Glacier, Reno Water Filters and many more. This post-fire rehabilitation and connectivity project is primarily funded by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sitka Gear and matching contributions from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, as well as a camera study commissioned by Wildlands Network.

The HJWA is a state property in Northeastern California along the Nevada border that was purchased by the CDFW to maintain critical winter range for multiple deer herds as well as habitat for pronghorn antelope and rocky mountain elk. The wildlife area lies over the Washoe Tribe’s ancestral lands, where the Tribe hunted deer and pronghorn on their seasonal migration routes and fished from Long Valley Creek, which bisects the HJWA. This property burned in several wildfires over the past two decades, which destroyed much of the local flora critical to supporting the local wildlife. This collaborative effort seeks to restore biodiversity by removing invasive species like cheatgrass and restoring native species important for local wildlife as well as several plants of cultural significance to the Washoe Tribe like wild rose (Rosa woodsii), Washoe tea (Ephedra viridis), serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) and more.

To learn more, here is a link to a story map collection of the project that includes the work completed so far as well as the camera study which will help to inform wildlife movement along 395. This study is helping to guide the planning of a future wildlife overpass along Hwy 395 which was just funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board in August of 2023!

To RSVP for the planting event or to purchase a camping pass for Friday or Saturday night visit the event page here. The first 100 volunteers will receive a work glove with custom artwork thanks to a donation by Lobo Products. For sponsorship inquiries or for additional information about the project please call or email Devin O’Dea.

[email protected] |415-246-5329


About Devin O'Dea

Devin grew up abalone diving, spearfishing, and backpacking in CA before discovering a love of bowhunting and wing shooting. He worked as a marketing manager for a carbon division of Mitsubishi, but the allure of adventure and wild places led him to BHA