The Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association is a volunteer nonprofit corporation organized to act on behalf of free-roaming horses and wildlife in the Virginia Range, north of Virginia City, Nevada. VRWPA engages in educational, scientific, developmental and range management activities, and on matters pertaining to the environment and the preservation of wildlife habitat. This organization is organized exclusively for the charitable purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

VRWPA Sets New Direction in its Fourth Decade

With a history of more than forty years, the Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association (VRWPA) is a vital, non-profit organization on the move. Although rooted in the Virginia City Highlands, the organization is expanding its reach and efforts to encompass the entire Virginia Range area. Built upon the many pioneering efforts of its previous boards and membership, VRWPA is now working to fulfill the expanding needs to protect the wildlife as well as the environment that must sustain the incredible variety of critters that live there – a cherished environment impacted by increasing challenges. 

A number of government agencies that have played major roles in the management and protection of the environmental aspects of the area, ranging from the Nevada Department of Agriculture to local law enforcement agencies. But, as agency budgets have tightened and narrowed, with fiscal and manpower resources necessarily curtailed, these groups are reaching out for help and support. VRWPA’s board has taken bold steps to respond to the needs and to position VRWPA as a unifying body that promotes advocacy, education, and preservation. Considerable focus, of course, is on the wild horses on the range. Government agencies that have been responsible for managing the wild horse population no longer have the financial and manpower resources to do so. VRWPA is working hard to prevent one of the primary government options of simply removing the wild horses from the range. Public support is now more critical than ever as VRWPA’s role increases significantly as government agencies must step away from their oversight responsibilities.

VRWPA has revised its bylaws to permit a much broader base of membership, including students, corporations, affiliate associations, and residents outside of the immediate Virginia City Highlands area, creating not only a stronger financial base, but a stronger voice politically – a much-enhanced footprint, as it were, to give a voice to the unique wildlife and its environs. (Voting powers, however, remain with the Highlands property owners.) Additionally, VRWPA is building relationships with numerous resources and experts that have the know-how to advise on appropriate conservation and protection efforts dealing with wildlife on the Virginia Range, and, perhaps more importantly, providing the wherewithal to preserve the habitat on which it all rests.

And, looking beyond the physical environment and the beings that occupy it, there is the long history and efforts of the many organizations that have taken up the cause of protecting the unique environment of the Virginia Range. One of the initiatives VRWPA has launched is to find common ground and join forces with other organizations that have similar preservation agendas – a common, united voice is a critical component of VRWPA’s new focus.

Again, VRWPA encourages any and all interested in the preservation of the Virginia Range wildlife and habitat – horses and all – to come to the meetings held always at 6:30 PM on the last Wednesday of every month at the fire station in the Virginia City Highlands.