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.

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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.

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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.

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

Chapter 9

Nevada is not part of the South, but it has a close connection with its history. Many of Nevada’s early settlers had come from southern states, and preserved their loyalties. When war broke out, there was a lot of conflict between them and Nevada residents who supported the North. Confederate flags had to be prohibited, and the territory’s governor, James Nye, spoke up, forbidding people to voice opinions against the Union. Additionally, since all U.S. Army troops stationed in Nevada were transferred away to the war, the territory was left vulnerable to Indian attacks and heightened crime. A volunteer regiment was recruited to protect the roads, which had become increasingly vital, since all routes to the south were held by the Confederacy.

Virginia City, Nevada in 1861Virginia City, Nevada in 1861

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Published in: on 14 March, 2009 at 6:59 am  Comments (2)  

Nevada State Seal

This is the State Seal of Nevada

This is the State Seal of Nevada

The seal of Nevada was approved on November 29th, 1861. Allegedly, the original design had the smoke from the train going in one direction, and the smoke from the mill stack in another.

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Published in: on 14 March, 2009 at 6:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 8

Nevada is definitely not part of the Ozark or Appalachian region, so there is not a lot to say about this chapter, either. The mining in Nevada was never as pervasive or disruptive as in Appalachia, and Nevada’s culture was never as distinctive as the Ozarks’. The only paralled that might at all be appropriate is that Nevada was originally part of the Utah Territory, which was controlled by Mormons, who were (and still are) really conservative, so it might be considered that Nevada used to be really conservative, like the Ozarks and Appalachia. In fact, the reason Nevada was brought into statehood was because Lincoln thought it was a good idea to have two more Republican representatives. Until 1913, Nevada was overwhelmingly Republican, but since then it’s been pretty evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

Senator Pat McCarran (D)Senator Pat McCarran (D)

Pat McCarran was a Democrat Senator from Nevada from 1933 to 1954. He was famous for his hatred and persecution of Communists, much like Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy. The Las Vegas airport is named after Pat McCarran.

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Published in: on 6 March, 2009 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Nevada’s flag

This is the flag of the State of Nevada.

This is the flag of the State of Nevada.

Nevada has had four different flags since being admitted into the Union in 1864, during the Civil War. This is the most current one, adopted in 1991. The words “Battle Born” on the banner reflect the fact that Nevada became a state in wartime. The silver star commemorates Nevada’s state mineral, which is silver (even despite the large amounts of gold mined there in the 1800s.) The two vines are sagebrush, which is Nevada’s state flower.

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Published in: on 5 March, 2009 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 7

Since Nevada is not anywhere even near the Bypassed East, there is not a whole lot to say about it with reference to this chapter. The only characteristics Nevada shares with the Bypassed East region is its ruggedness, and mineral production. And while Nevada may have been a bypassed area at some point in time, it has, certainly, become a destination all its own in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Published in: on 5 March, 2009 at 8:54 am  Leave a Comment