Land and Water


Overgrazing in the nineteenth century set the stage for the invasion of the exotic grass species, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Native to the Eurasian steppe, cheatgrass has become the dominant vegetation across much of the Intermountain West. This highly flammable species is able to displace native sagebrush-grassland vegetation through facilitation of frequent fires. The relationship between fire and cheatgrass is apparent when driving along Nevada's highways during summer.


Cattails were important to Indians in Nevada, most especially the Paiute. Cattails exist in several species. However, the most common species in Nevada seems to be the Typha latifolia, also known as the broadleaf cattail.

Brady's Hot Springs

Brady's Hot Springs is located along the southeast side of U.S. Interstate 80 about twenty miles northeast of Fernley, Nevada. These are the Emigrant Springs of the Forty-Mile Desert described by early transients in the mid-1800s, and they have been variously referred to as Hot Springs, Brady's, Springer's, or Fernley Hot Springs. The area is currently utilized for geothermal power exploration and development and agricultural processing.

Bow Stave Trees

Approximately 1,500 years ago, a new technology swept across Nevada. The bow and arrow allowed Native Americans to kill animals from farther away with more precision than they could previously achieve with weapons such as the atlatl and spear. These improvements may have resulted in more successful hunts that yielded greater supplies of meat for Native families, especially from large game such as deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep.

Blue Mountain Geothermal Area

The Blue Mountain geothermal area, located in central Humboldt County, Nevada, was originally explored for gold potential. High temperatures were noted during exploratory drilling, and as a result, the area has been examined for geothermal potential from the late 1990s to present.

Nevada Geothermal Power and its wholly owned subsidiary, Noramex Corporation, are actively exploring and developing the area; Nevada Geothermal Power holds the geothermal leases to 7,680 acres of the area.


Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) is found throughout the Nevada deserts, and has several other common names, including Antelope Bush, Antelope Bitterbrush, Buckbrush, and Quininebrush. It is a hearty plant, but quite flammable. Following wildfires, however, the plant is able to regenerate from the roots, a great benefit in environmental restoration.


The fernleaf biscuitroot, scientific species name Lomatium, is very common to the sagebrush steppe region in Nevada. Most species produce small, yellow flowers in umbrella shaped clusters and are easily recognizable by their leaves. The leafy, fern-like nature of the leaves and the general look of the plant is the source of another of its common names: desert parsley. It is the heartiest of all 81 species of Lomatium, cannot grow in shaded areas, and flourishes in open, dry, and rocky habitats.

Big Sagebrush

Big sagebrush is the state flower of Nevada and the characteristic shrub of the Great Basin's intermountain valleys and low mountain ranges. It has a wide distribution and occurs in a variety of habitats, and its characteristic aroma has become emblematic of the American West. Big sagebrush can exhibit a variety of growth forms, at least four of which are distinct ecotypes: basin big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata subsp.

Beowawe Geothermal Field

The geothermal area at Beowawe Geysers straddles the Eureka-Lander County line in Whirlwind Valley, about 10 km west of the small community of Beowawe, Nevada. It is one of the largest geothermal fields in Nevada with some of the highest reported subsurface temperatures in the state (reservoir temperatures of 213-216C), making it an ideal area for the development and production of geothermal power.

White Pine County

White Pine County embraces 8,877 square miles in eastern Nevada, in the White Pine Range adjacent to the Utah border. The state legislature established the county in 1869 as a result of the mining boom at Hamilton, its first county seat. The boom ended after less than three years, but the community continued to serve as the center of government until the courthouse burned. Ely became the county seat in 1887.


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