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Yosemite National Institutes, a private, non-profit national environmental education leader, has been running successful residential science programs in national parks for 30 years in partnership with the National Park Service. The mission of YNI is to provide educational adventures in nature's classroom to inspire a personal connection to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. Early in 2000 in Las Vegas, a new organization, the Outside Las Vegas Foundation (OLVF), was forming. The OLVF is dedicated to preserving the federal public lands surrounding Las Vegas, enriching the experience of its visitors, enhancing the quality of life for local residents and promoting community stewardship of these valuable resources. When the OLVF was investigating organizations to conduct the Oliver Ranch feasibility study, YNI was a natural fit. Blaine Benedict, Environmental Education Committee Chair for OLVF, contacted YNI in June 2000 to discuss their ideas. In July 2001, Alan O’Neill, Executive Director for OLVF, hired YNI to conduct a multi-stage evaluation of Oliver Ranch to identify the educational opportunities, market feasibility, financial requirements, administrative structure and site potential. YNI has worked with OLVF and the four federal land agencies – Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), US Forest Service (USFS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) – and other interested partnering agencies over the past year to complete the study. The results are presented in this document.


Desert ecology – Study and teaching; Environmental sciences – Study and teaching; Nevada; United States – Mojave Desert


Desert Ecology | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Environmental Sciences | Science and Mathematics Education