The Public Lands Institute began as a university initiative in April 2004, when Dr. Margaret N. “Peg” Rees, Associate Vice President for Research and Outreach, learned the federal land management agencies in Clark County needed to create new partnerships to implement projects funded by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) of 1998. The Institute has been honored to participate in the delivery of many SNPLMA Conservation Initiative programs, which could not have been launched without all the outstanding participation of people in Southern Nevada, across the State, and within the nation, who believed in their significance.


As a catalyst for collaboration and change, the Public Lands Institute is committed to developing effective solutions for public land management and stewardship that are essential for the protection, multiple use, sustainability, and management of public lands. The Institute works in collaboration with federal, state, and non-profit partners to create new knowledge, advance technology, improve education, and engage the community. The Institute believes that the rewards of this cooperation – effort in support of public land management and an enduring respect for our nation’s natural and cultural resources – will be evident in the future, a future to which it is committed.


Our academic and administrative faculty and staff provide academic knowledge along with research expertise and real-world experience in the specialty areas of environmental education and interpretation, research and support services, geographic information systems/database management, volunteer and event management, and community outreach and marketing.

  • Maintain an outstanding reputation as a source of information regarding public lands;
  • Produce high-quality products, including publications, management plans, standard operating procedures, and educational materials;
  • Organize and facilitate events from team meetings to large-scale conferences & symposia;
  • Coordinate interdisciplinary research and education;
  • Facilitate partnerships that are based on honesty, reliability, respect, effectiveness, and efficiency;
  • Respond to partners’ needs and provide timely practical solutions;
  • Participate in the dynamic and all-encompassing process of assessment, reflection, and improvement, and;
  • Serve as an advocate for education, literacy, and informed decision-making.

The Institute was approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents in April 2005.

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  • Southern Nevada Interagency Volunteer Program recognized with two consecutive National Take Pride in America Awards in the Federal Program category (2005 and 2006).
  • Clark County Cultural Site Stewardship Program recognized with Department of the Interior Cooperative Conservation Service Award (2007).
  • Take Pride in America in Southern Nevada Program recognized with National Take Pride in America Award for best state program (2008).
  • Certificate of Achievement from Association of Partners for Public Lands for exemplary service to the public lands community (2009).
  • Historic Walking Box Ranch listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2009).
  • Two honorable mention awards from the Association of Partners for Public Lands in the Children’s Media category of its 2010 Media and Partnership Awards competition for The Story of Gill and La Invasión del Basurón (2010).
  • Clark County Cultural Site Stewardship Program designated a Preserve America Steward by First Lady Michelle Obama (2010).

Public Lands Institute 4505 Maryland Parkway RAJ 280 Box 452040 Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-2040 Phone 702-895-4678 Fax 702-895-5166 Email