In closing, here are some current Nevada statistics:

Nevada’s population in 2008 was estimated at just over two-and-a-half million. It had grown 30% since 2000, had a pretty even ratio in terms of gender, and was over 80% white. Over 80% were high school graduates, but only 18% had college degrees. Almost 61% of the people owned their own homes.

The median household income in 2007 was around $55,000.

Nevada’s area is around 110,000 square miles, with a population density of only 18 persons per square mile.

There hasn’t been any really big news in Nevada recently, but the gambling industry has experienced a slow period during the current recession. Other than that, the most interesting news story in the state is that the attorney general has filed charges against Acorn:

attorney general Masto

Nevada Attorney General Masto

Information from

Published in: on 10 May, 2009 at 3:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 18

Nevada and Hawaii have very little in common. Both have mountains and arid areas, both have significant toursim industries, and both have cattle ranching. However, Hawaii’s main identity is with water and water sports, and associated water activities, while Nevada is completely landlocked. There are really not a lot of parallels that can be drawn between the two states.

Published in: on 10 May, 2009 at 2:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 16

While it is only a few hours drive away from it, Nevada is not located on the North Pacific Coast, and has very little in common with it, except for the fact that both have mountains and semi-arid areas.

Oregon's Cascade Range

Oregon's Cascade Range

Carson Valley in Nevada

Nevada's Carson Valley.

Snow Lake Peak in northeastern Nevada

Snow Lake Peak in northeastern Nevada

Semi-arid lands in western Washington

Semi-arid lands in western Washington

arid land Nevada

Farmland in Nevada.

The website has a lot of really excellent information about the physical geography of the North Pacific Coast, and how its mountains are different from the Rockies.

In terms of human geography, Nevada also has little in common with the North Pacific Coast. The main difference is probably the completely different environmental attitude of the general population. People in northern California, Oregon, and Washington really treasure and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds them, but Nevadans are far less aware of their state’s aesthetic advantages, and face greater practical challenges, such as a limited water supply.

Additionally, how each region was first settled differentiates them. Nevada had a big influx of people during its silver and gold rush periods, but the Pacific North Coast was occupied more gradually.

Overall, the two regions are hardly at all alike.

Images from Google.

Published in: on 10 May, 2009 at 2:24 am  Comments (6)  

Chapter 15

It seems unbelievable, but a small corner of Nevada actually lies in the California region. That corner is the westernmost part of Nevada, which includes Reno, Carson City, and Lake Tahoe.


Although all of Nevada has earthquakes, this part is most seismically active.nevada-earthquakes Other than that, the Reno-Carson City-Lake Tahoe area doesn’t have a lot in common with California. It doesn’t suffer from a shortage of water, doesn’t have smog, and is not subject to the perils of urban congestion. It also doesn’t have a huge agricultural industry. It’s hard to figure out why it’s considered part of the California region.

Information from…/ papers/renoeq/renoeq.html. Images from Google.

Published in: on 29 April, 2009 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 14

Only a tiny southernmost corner of Nevada falls in the Southwest Border area. But Nevada does have Native Indian populations in almost all of its counties, and it has huge numbers of Latinos, both in the north and the south of the state. There are 4 Indian reservations in Nevada, and there are 3 native tribes local to the area. These are the Shoshone, the Paiutes, and the Washoe. The first two are related, but the last is unlike any other tribe in customs and language, and are famous for their basketry.

Some baskets made by a Washoe woman.Some baskets made by a Washoe woman.

Nevada has two counties where poverty levels exceed 15%. This makes Nevada a lot better off than its neighbors Utah and Arizona, who both have counties with over 25% poverty. Nevada’s Las Vegas definitely ranks alongside Phoenix, Tuscon, and Albuquerque in population growth.

Population trends in Las Vegas.Population trends in Las Vegas.

Information from and

Images from Google.

Published in: on 29 April, 2009 at 8:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 13

Finally, a region that Nevada is part of! The Empty Interior includes almost all of Nevada, except for a tiny western corner that lies in the transitional zone, and includes Nevada’s capital, Carson City, as well as Nevada’s oldest gambling center, Reno.


Carson City


Much of Nevada was covered by Pleistocene lakes during the last Ice Age. Most of these are gone now, but Pyramid Lake, in the northern part of the state, remains. Since it has no drainage to the ocean, its water is highly saline.

Satellite View of Pyramid Lake.Satellite View of Pyramid Lake.

Almost 90% of all land in Nevada is controlled by the U.S. government. This seems hard to believe, considering the amount of development around Las Vegas, and all the “For Sale” signs you see driving around.


Nevada only has one National Park, the Great Basin. It may not be one of the country’s better known parks, but it still has amazing scenery, and an incredible range of vistas, trees, and rock formations.

Great Basin National Park.Great Basin National Park.

Great Basin National Park vista.Great Basin National Park vista.

This park even has caves!


Supposedly, there is a fairly large Mormon population in Nevada, which seems odd, given the liberal gambling, divorce, and prostitution laws.

Nevada uses only 1.8% of Colorado River Basin water, but it does get a lot of its power from the Hoover Dam, which is on the Colorado River.

hoover dam bridge

Gambling is the main contributor to Nevada econcomy ~ 45% of state revenue comes from gaming taxes.

Mining is not nearly important as it was in the late 19th century, when the Comstock Lode near Virginia City drew thousands of people, and miners were the second largest group, after Mormons, to settle the area.

Perhaps the name Empty Interior is not really appropriate anymore, since Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the region.

Information from textbook. Images from Google.

Published in: on 8 April, 2009 at 2:58 am  Comments (1)  

Chapter 12

Nevada is not located on the Great Plains, but it shares some characteristics with them. For example, Nevada is quite mountainous, and has areas which resemble South Dakota’s Badlands, and Colorado’s Rockies. See if you can tell which place is which, in the three photos below.

Mystery image 2


mystery image 3

Nevada also has areas which are really flat, and resemble parts of the High Plains, as you can see from the two pictures below.

flatlands 1

flatlands 2

Where Nevada really differs from the Great Plains is in its annual amount of precipitation. The Great Plains get much more rain than Nevada, though both places can have really violent storms. Most of Nevada gets less than 17 inches of rain per year, while the Great Plains get between 20 and 55 inches.

Both Nevada and the Great Plains have extensive ranching, but Nevada has far less farming, due to its drier climate and more mountainous terrain. However, Nevada has a better developed mining industry, since mining in the Great Plains has only recently started to be explored.

Information from and Images from Google.

Published in: on 6 April, 2009 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 11

Nevada is not located in the Agricultural Core of the United States. However, it still has a large and thriving agriculture sector, enough to merit a state department of agriculture. The majority of Nevada’s agriculture is livestock, with a concentration in cattle and sheep.  The highest concentration of cattle is in the northern part of the state. Cow-calf operations are most common, and Elko county ranks second among all counties in the nation in number of beef cows.

Nevada cattle.Nevada cattle.

Northern Nevada is also home to the vast majority of the sheep.

Nevada sheep.Nevada sheep.

Dairying is a growing industry in the state, as is the manufacture of dairy products. The dairies are concentrated relatively near the large market centers of Reno and Las Vegas. Horses are big business in Nevada, both for work and pleasure. Swine production is limited and most producers market locally. Alternative livestock enterprises, including emu and llama, are becoming more common.

Nevada’s high desert climate is very well suited to the production of high quality alfalfa hay, which accounts for over half of the total value of crops produced in the state. Much of the alfalfa is marketed to dairies in California and a significant quantity is exported overseas. A variety of other high value crops are gaining in importance to Nevada agriculture. Potatoes, onions, garlic, and alfalfa seed contribute greatly to the total value of production and grain production is rebounding following the end of the drought.

Alfalfa field in Nye County, Nevada.Alfalfa field in Nye County, Nevada.

Information from

Images from Google.

Published in: on 29 March, 2009 at 1:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 10

Nevada is not located in the Southern Coastlands. In fact, Nevada is completely landlocked, and has no coastline at all. It does, however, share one major trait with the Southern Coastlands, and that is its huge and still-growing tourism industry. Foremost in this is undoubtedly Las Vegas, with its huge gambling and entertainment facilities, but Nevada’s natural features do not fail to hold their own.

Map of the Las Vegas Strip.

Map of the Las Vegas Strip.

From breathtaking views, world-class snow sports, and fine boating opportunities of Lake Tahoe, to hiking and climbing at Red Rock Canyon and Fire Valley, Nevada offers a never-ending display of natural wonders.


Some people would argue that Las Vegas is the least interesting of all Nevada attractions.

These Pyramid Lake tufa domes are the results of underwater thermal springs. These Pyramid Lake tufa domes are the results of underwater thermal springs.

Information from

Images from Google.

Published in: on 17 March, 2009 at 9:06 am  Comments (6)  

Nevada Waterways

Most of Nevada is within the Great Basin, an area of the United States with internal drainage that does not contribute water to an ocean. Instead, water flows into local basins such as Pyramid Lake, Lake Tahoe, Walker Lake, Carson Lake, and Ruby Lake.

The lakes and rivers of Nevada.

The lakes and rivers of Nevada.

Lake Tahoe and the Colorado River are particularly noted for their recreational potential. Most of the lakes and rivers appear to be located around the periphery of the state, leaving Nye County and western Clark County almost devoid of water. This is ironic because Clark County is home to Las Vegas, and the state’s largest population.

White Pine County, Nevada, is a critical recharge area for several major regional flow systems that extend north to the Great Salt Lake and, south to the Colorado River, according to a 2007 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Ground water flows through three types of aquifers in White Pine County: a shallow basin-fill aquifer, a deeper volcanic-rock aquifer, and an underlying carbonate-rock aquifer. The basin-fill aquifer is the principal source of domestic and agricultural water supply, which is safe for human consumption.

For people driving through the desert surrounding Las Vegas, the above might come as a surprise.

Information and image from

Additional information from

Published in: on 17 March, 2009 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment