What We're Fighting For

In February of 2019, the Ruby Mountains Protection Act was introduced in the United States Senate to prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Ruby Mountains, one of the most important landscapes in Nevada for fish, wildlife, and sportsmen. If passed into law, the bill would protect all current multiple uses in the area, including mining, while also ensuring that future generations will be able to experience the tremendous hunting and fishing opportunities in the Rubies.

This is the time to make your voice heard, not after you’re upset when the hunting’s not there. That’ll be too late to get involved.

Justin French, sportsman

Join Our Cause

Support for the Ruby Mountain Protection Act is strong and growing every day.

Our decision makers need to hear from us to get this law passed.

Below is a list of current supporters:

  • Elko Band of the Te-Moak Tribes
  • Battle Mountain Band of the Te-Moak Tribes
Decision makers
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (bill sponsor)
  • Senator Jackie Rosen (bill co-sponsor)
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife
  • Nevada Sporting Dog Alliance
  • Nevada Bighorns Unlimited
  • Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Midas Chapter
  • Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Fallon Chapter
  • Nevada Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • Nevada Chukar Chasers
  • Nevada Muleys
  • Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers
  • Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn
  • Elko Bighorns Unlimited
  • Nevada Waterfowl Association

Photo Credit:Larry Spradlin

Why We Care

Recent interest in oil and gas exploration in the Ruby Mountains could lead to catastrophic outcomes for fish and wildlife. Researchers have shown that energy infrastructure on migration corridors and winter range for mule deer has a direct, measurable impact on the health of a herd, with reduced reproductive rates, poorer animal condition, higher winter mortality, and fewer overall deer. In Wyoming, studies have demonstrated herd populations declining by as much as 36 percent during a period of energy development, and those areas saw a reduction in the number of tags issued to hunters.

Without question, oil and gas development could lead to habitat fragmentation and degradation, resulting in decreased sporting opportunities and a diminished outdoor experience.


  • Space

What's At Stake

These rugged, glacier-carved mountains and their cold, clear streams provide a wide variety of fish and wildlife habitat, as well as an abundance of opportunity for hunters and anglers.

Bountiful big game

The most unique upland opportunity in North America

Fishing at its finest

Photo Credit:Larry Spradlin

Bountiful Game.

Sportsmen and women know the Rubies first and foremost as one of the West’s legendary mule deer hunting destinations. This area is home to Nevada’s largest herd of mule deer, which migrates annually from the high country to the range below. The Rubies are also inhabited by every big game animal in the state, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, and mountain lions.

Unique Upland.

Resident game birds include blue grouse, chukar, and greater sage grouse, but the Rubies are best known among upland hunters as the only place in North America where you can chase Himalayan snowcock, a six-pound, chukar-like bird that lives high above treeline on rocky slopes and ridges. Introduced to the Rubies in the 1960s from their native range in central Asia, these birds enjoy a legendary reputation as the most challenging upland pursuit in the country.

Unique Fishing.

Healthy populations of popular game fish, including native Lahontan cutthroats, can be found in the Rubies’ many freestone mountain streams and alpine lakes. The Lahontan—the largest subspecies of cutthroat trout and the state fish of Nevada—is only native to a handful of rivers in the Great Basin. Without question, the Rubies offer a classic high-alpine experience for anglers looking to catch plentiful, cooperative trout under towering peaks—the kind of outstanding, action-packed day on the water that anglers dream of.

Latest News

Amodei: Forest Service nearly ready to rule on Ruby Mountains drilling

Bill introduced to protect Nevada’s Ruby Mountains

Cortez Masto introduces Ruby Mountains Protection Act

Proposed Oil and Gas Leasing Threatens a Legendary Mule Deer Hunting Destination

Sportsmen groups oppose oil leases in Ruby Mountains

Breathtaking Ruby Mountains offer fishing ‘heaven’

Living a Dream

Nature Notes: Hunting Himalayan snowcocks

The Swiss Alps of Nevada

The Rubies stretch for nearly 100 miles south of Secret Pass in Elko County, with ten peaks higher than 10,000 feet and considerable snowfall that feeds the Humboldt River and the marshes of the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. These maps show how Nevada’s largest mule deer herd utilizes seasonal habitat throughout the range each year.

  • The 450,000-acre USFS Ruby Mountain Ranger District, which is the area proposed for withdrawal in S.258.
  • Mule deer migration corridors used by the deer herd in the Ruby Mountains. Data supplied by Nevada Department of Wildlife.
  • Mule Deer winter range for the Ruby Mountains and surrounding area. Data obtained from Nevada Department of Wildlife data portal.