The sun dance is a ceremony practiced by some Indigenous people of United States of America and Canada those of the Plains cultures. It involves the community gathering together to pray for healing. Individuals make personal sacrifices on behalf of the community. After European colonization of the Americas, with the formation of the Canadian and United States governments, both countries passed laws intended to suppress Indigenous cultures and encourage assimilation to majority-European culture, they banned Indigenous ceremonies and, in many schools and other areas, prohibited Indigenous people from speaking their native languages. In some cases they were not allowed to visit sacred sites when these had been excluded from the territory of community; the sun dance was one of the prohibited ceremonies, as was the potlatch of the Pacific Northwest peoples. Canada lifted its prohibition against the practice of the full ceremony in 1951, but in the United States, Indigenous peoples were not allowed to practice the sun dance or other sacred ceremonies until the late 1970s, after they gained renewed sovereignty and civil rights following a period of high activism, including legal challenges to the government.
Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978, enacted to protect basic civil liberties, to protect and preserve the traditional religious rights and cultural practices of American Indians, Eskimos and Native Hawaiians. Several features are common to the ceremonies held by sun dance cultures; these include dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of a traditional drum, a sacred fire, praying with a ceremonial pipe, fasting from food and water before participating in the dance, and, in some cases, the ceremonial piercing of skin and a trial of physical endurance. Certain plants are prepared for use during the ceremony; the sun dance is a grueling ordeal for the dancers, a physical and spiritual test that they offer in sacrifice for their people. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, young men dance around a pole to which they are fastened by "rawhide thongs pegged through the skin of their chests."While not all sun dance ceremonies include piercing, the object of the sun dance is to offer personal sacrifice for the benefit of one's family and community.
The dancers fast for many days, in the open whatever weather occurs. At most ceremonies, family members and friends stay in the surrounding camp and pray in support of the dancers. Much time and energy by the entire community are needed to conduct the sun dance gatherings and ceremonies. Communities organize for at least a year to prepare for the ceremony. One leader or a small group of leaders are in charge of the ceremony, but many elders help out and advise. A group of helpers do many of the tasks required to prepare for the ceremony; as this is a sacred ceremony, people are reluctant to discuss it in any great detail. Given a long history of cultural misappropriation, Indigenous people are suspicious that non-Indigenous people may abuse or misuse the traditional ways. Elders and medicine men are concerned that the ceremony should only be passed along in the right ways; the words used at a sun dance are in the native language and are not translated for outsiders. Not talking about this ceremony is part of the respect the people display for it.
In addition, the detailed way in which a respected elder speaks and explains a sun dance to younger members of the community is unique and not quoted, nor is it intended for publication. In 1993, responding to what they believed was a frequent desecration of the sun dance and other Lakota sacred ceremonies, US and Canadian Lakota and Nakota nations held "the Lakota Summit V", it was an international gathering of about 500 representatives from 40 different peoples and bands of the Lakota. They unanimously passed the following'Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality': "Whereas sacrilegious "sundances" for non-Indians are being conducted by charlatans and cult leaders who promote abominable and obscene imitations of our sacred Lakota sundance rites. We hereby and henceforth declare war against all persons who persist in exploiting and misrepresenting the sacred traditions and spiritual practices of the Lakota and Nakota people." - Mesteth, Wilmer, et al In 2003, the 19th-Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota asked non-Indigenous people to stop attending the sun dance.
This statement was supported by keepers of sacred bundles and traditional spiritual leaders from the Cheyenne, Dakota and Nakota nations, who issued a proclamation that non-Indigenous people would be banned from sacred altars and the Seven Sacred Rites and the sun dance, effective March 9, 2003 onward: The Wi-wanyang-wa-c'i-pi: The only participants allowed in the centre will be Native People. The non-Native people need to respect our decision. If there have been any unfinished commitments to the sundance and non-Natives have concern for this decision. Our purpose for the sundance is for the survival of the future generations to come and foremost. If the non-Natives understand this purpose, they will understand this decision and know that by their departure from this Ho-c'o-ka is their sincere contribution to the survival of our future generations. Though only some nations' sun dances include the body piercings, the Canadian government outla
San Bernardino Mountains
The San Bernardino Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in Southern California in the United States. Situated north and northeast of San Bernardino and spanning two California counties, the range tops out at 11,489 feet at San Gorgonio Mountain – the tallest peak in all of Southern California; the San Bernardinos are popular for hiking and skiing. The mountains were formed about eleven million years ago by tectonic activity along the San Andreas Fault, are still rising. Many local rivers originate in the range, which receives more precipitation than the surrounding desert; the range's unique and varying environment allows it to maintain some of the greatest biodiversity in the state. For over 10,000 years, the San Bernardinos and their surroundings have been inhabited by indigenous peoples, who used the mountains as a summer hunting ground. Spanish explorers first encountered the San Bernardinos in the late 18th century, naming the eponymous San Bernardino Valley at its base. European settlement of the region progressed until 1860, when the mountains became the focus of the largest gold rush to occur in Southern California.
Waves of settlers brought in by the gold rush populated the lowlands around the San Bernardinos, began to tap the mountains' rich timber and water resources on a large scale by the late 19th century. Recreational development of the range began in the early 20th century, when mountain resorts were built around new irrigation reservoirs. Since the mountains have been extensively engineered for transportation and water supply purposes. Four major state highways and the California Aqueduct traverse the mountains today; the San Bernardinos run for 60 miles from Cajon Pass in the northwest – which separates them from the San Gabriel Mountains – to San Gorgonio Pass, across which lie the San Jacinto Mountains, in the southeast. The Morongo Valley in the southeast divides the range from the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Encompassing 2,100 square miles, the mountains lie in San Bernardino County, with a small southern portion reaching into Riverside County; the range divides three major physiographic regions: the urbanized Inland Empire to the southwest, the Coachella Valley in the southeast, the Mojave Desert to the north.
Most of the range lies within the boundaries of the San Bernardino National Forest. From its northwestern end, the crest of the mountains rises until they are interrupted by the gorge of Bear Creek; the northern part of the San Bernardinos is a large upland plateau characterized by a series of extensive subalpine basins, including Big Bear Valley, is home to several large water supply reservoirs. South of the Big Bear area the range is cut by the Santa Ana Canyon, the broad valley of the Santa Ana River, rises to culminate at Mount San Gorgonio and eleven other peaks that exceed 10,000 feet in elevation; the mountains feature a steep drop into the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass – the latter of, one of the deepest mountain passes in the United States, exceeding the Grand Canyon's depth by over 2,000 feet. Many cities lie at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains; these include San Bernardino and Yucaipa in the south. In addition, there are several mid-sized to large towns in the mountains themselves, including Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs.
Cities within the San Bernardino Mountains total a population of about 44,000, with this number sometimes increasing tenfold during peak tourist season. Several regional streams and rivers have their headwaters in the mountains; the principal drainage is provided by the Santa Ana River, which runs westwards into the Pacific Ocean in Orange County. Other streams flowing off the mountains include the Whitewater River, flowing southeast through the Coachella Valley into the Salton Sea, the Mojave River, which drains northwards into the Mojave Desert; the San Bernardino Mountains are a humid island in the semi-arid southern California coastal plain. Parts of the San Bernardino Mountains have annual precipitation totals in excess of 40 inches, provide an important water resource for the coastal plain below. Most of the precipitation falls between March. During the colder winter storms, snow can fall above 3,000 feet, but most falls above 5,000 feet. Ski resorts capitalize on the most reliable south of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The San Bernardinos are part of the Transverse Ranges of Southern California, a mountain chain formed by tectonic forces between the North American and Pacific Plates along the San Andreas Fault. An early version of the range rose in the Miocene, between eleven and five million years ago, but has eroded; the range was shaped into its present form during the Pleistocene epoch beginning two million years ago, with regional uplift continuing to the present. The rocks that make up the mountains are much more ancient than the mountains themselves – ranging from 18 million years to 1.7 billion years old. The San Andreas Fault was responsible for the formation of both major mountain passes that mark the east and west ends of the range; these mountains are shaped by several primary tectonic or fault blocks – the Big Bear block, which forms the large montane plateau that character
Southern Paiute people
The Southern Paiute people is a tribe of Native Americans that have lived in the Colorado River basin of southern Nevada, northern Arizona, southern Utah. Bands of Southern Paiute live in scattered locations throughout this territory and have been granted federal recognition on several reservations; the first European contact with the Southern Paiute occurred in 1776, when fathers Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Domínguez encountered them during an attempt to find an overland route to the missions of California. They noted that some of the Southern Paiute men "had thick beards and were thought to look more in appearance like Spanish men than native Americans". Before this date, the Southern Paiute suffered slave raids by the Ute; the arrival of Spanish and Euro-American explorers into their territory increased slave raiding by other tribes. In 1851, Mormon settlers strategically occupied Paiute water sources, which created a dependency relationship. But, the presence of Mormon settlers soon ended the slave raids, relations between the Paiutes and the Mormons were peaceful.
The Mormon missionary Jacob Hamblin worked at diplomatic efforts. The introduction of European settlers and agricultural practices made it difficult for the Southern Paiute to continue their traditional lifestyle, as it drove away the game and reduced their ability to hunt, as well as to gather natural foods. Today Southern Paiute communities are located at Las Vegas and Moapa, in Nevada. Due to the policies and mistreatment experienced by the Southern Paiute, their history is that of tragedy and portrays the consequences of US paternalistic policy towards Native American tribes, yet through it all the Southern Paiutes have portrayed remarkable resilience in preserving their culture and pride. Though they've been marginalized and decimated from the world population, they managed to make a remarkable retaliation, preserving their priceless culture and heritage. Prior to the 1850s the Paiute people lived peacefully with the other Native American groups; these groups included the Navajo and Hopi tribes.
Though there was the occasional tension and violent outbreaks between the two groups, Paiutes were able to live in peace with other tribes and settlers due to their loose social structure. Most Paiutes lived in small familial groups, only gathered together in large settings for matters of trade and commerce. Prior to the 1850s their biggest antagonist raiders from competing tribes; the Navajos were notorious for intruding on Paiute grazing land and engaging in brutal raids to capture Paiute women and children for slave trade. Though these raids were harmful, what crippled the Paiute's was the “settling” of their tribal lands by US citizens; the most prominent groups to migrate to Paiute lands were members and missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and silver miners in Pioche, Nevada. To the Paiute people the settling of their lands not only brought a clash of economies and culture, but a "degradation" of their sacred land. Prior to the 1860s there had been no long term development of the land.
Most of the non-native contact they had was with transient traders. Paiutes fought hard to defend their ancestral lands, at first were successful in driving the settlers out, but in 1869, a rich investor by the name of François Louis Alfred Pioche poured out investment in that town and it grew overnight to be a booming mining town. In the beginning of its founding, this town depended upon cheap Paiute labor to work in the mines; this caused a dramatic decline in the Paiute population. Another problem the Paiute people faced with these permanent settlers was their desire to “Americanize” the Paiute children. Paiute children were mandated to attend American schools where it was attempted to eradicate their old cultural traditions and tendencies, they were forced to learn about US history through the eyes of the US historians. The Paiutes, a population of thousands of people dwindled to be around sparsely 800 people. Due to forced relocation and forced assimilation as time went on the Southern Paiute people started to disappear from the history books.
In the 1950s the Paiutes fell victim to "Indian termination policy". These policies stripped the Paiutes of their health and educational benefits, federal tax protection, agricultural assistance; this policy harmed the Paiute people by leaving them on their own in a unstable state. In the 1980s the first attempt of reconciliation was made in the Restoration Act; this act "legally" created the "Paiute Tribe" in the eyes of the US legislator. It united the five main bands into one tribe. One of the most important skills the women of the Paiute tribes had was their basket weaving skills, they would use red-stemmed willows to weave their baskets. These skills were used in every aspect of their lives, the skill is believed to have been passed down from mother to daughter for at least 9,000 years; when they would go to gather and forage they would carry large conical baskets on their back to collect things. Specific tools were created including ones to strip fruit off of bushes and trees, ones used for winnowing, ones used to get to roots better.
They would tightly weave these big baskets with clay and resin to
The roadrunners known as chaparral birds or chaparral cocks, are two species of fast-running ground cuckoos with long tails and crests. They are found in the southwestern United States and Mexico in the desert; some have been clocked at 20 miles per hour. The subfamily Neomorphinae, the New World ground cuckoos, includes 11 species of birds, while the genus Geococcyx has just two, The roadrunner ranges in size from 22 to 24 in from tail to beak; the average weight is about 8–15 oz. The roadrunner is a large, black-brown and white-streaked ground bird with a distinctive head crest, it has long legs, strong feet, an oversized dark bill. The tail is broad with white tips on the three outer tail feathers; the bird has a bare patch of skin behind each eye. The lesser roadrunner is smaller, not as streaky, has a smaller bill. Both the lesser roadrunner and the greater roadrunner leave behind distinct "X" track marks appearing as if they are travelling in both directions. Roadrunners and other members of the cuckoo family have zygodactyl feet.
The roadrunner can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and prefer sprinting to flying, though it will fly to escape predators. During flight, the short, rounded wings reveal a white crescent in the primary feathers; the roadrunner has a slow and descending dove-like "coo". It makes a rapid, vocalized clattering sound with its beak. Roadrunners inhabit the deserts of the southwestern United States and Central America, they live in arid lowland or mountainous shrubland dispersed in dry open country with scattered brush. They are non-migratory; the greater roadrunner is not considered threatened in the US, but is habitat-limited. The roadrunner is an opportunistic omnivore, its diet consists of insects, small reptiles and other small mammals, scorpions, snails, small birds and fruits and seeds like those from prickly pear cactuses and sumacs. The lesser roadrunner eats insects; the roadrunner forages on the ground and, when hunting runs after prey from under cover. It may leap to catch insects, batters certain prey against the ground.
Because of its quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals. The roadrunner lives alone or in pairs. Breeding pairs are monogamous and mate for life, pairs may hold a territory all year. During the courtship display, the male bows, alternately lifting and dropping his wings and spreading his tail, he parades in front of the female with his head high and his tail and wings drooped, may bring an offering of food. The reproductive season is spring to mid-summer; the roadrunner's nest is composed of sticks, may sometimes contain leaves, snakeskins, or dung. It is placed 1–3 meters above ground level in a low tree, bush, or cactus. Roadrunner eggs are white; the greater roadrunner lays 2–6 eggs per clutch, but the lesser roadrunner's clutches are smaller. Hatching is asynchronous. Both sexes feed the hatchlings. For the first one to two weeks after the young hatch, one parent remains at the nest; the young leave the nest at two to three weeks old, foraging with parents for a few days after. During the cold desert night, the roadrunner lowers its body temperature going into a slight torpor to conserve energy.
To warm itself during the day, the roadrunner exposes dark patches of skin on its back to the sun. The Hopi and other Pueblo tribes believed that roadrunners were medicine birds and could protect against evil spirits, their unusual X-shaped footprints are used as sacred symbols to ward off evil in many Pueblo tribes—partially because they invoke the protective power of the roadrunners themselves, because the X shape of the tracks conceals which direction the bird is headed Stylized roadrunner tracks have been found in the rock art of ancestral Southwestern tribes like the Anasazi and Mogollon cultures, as well. Roadrunner feathers were traditionally used to decorate Pueblo cradleboards as spiritual protection for the baby. In Mexican Indian and American Indian tribes, such as the Pima, it is considered good luck to see a roadrunner. In some Mexican tribes, the bird was considered sacred and never killed, but most Mexican Indians used the meat of the roadrunner as a folk remedy to cure illness or to boost stamina and strength.
The word for roadrunner in O'odham language is Taḏai and is the name of a transit center in Tucson, Arizona Alsop III, Fred J.. Birds of North America. New York: DK. ISBN 0-7894-8001-8. Del Hoyo, Josep. Sandgrouse to cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Ed. ISBN 84-87334-22-9. Harrison, George. "Comical Cuckoo". Birder's World. 19: 56–58. Hutchins, Michael, ed.. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale. ISBN 0-7876-5785-9. Meinzer, Wyman. "Beep! Beep! Better pull over, folks – it's the roadrunner". Smithsonian. 23: 58. Perrins, Christopher M. ed.. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds: The Definitive Reference to Birds of The World. New York: Prentice Hall Editions. ISBN 0-13-083635-4. National Geographic Society. Field Guide to the
Population of Native California
The Population of Native Californian refers to the population of Indigenous peoples of California. Estimates prior to and after European contact have varied substantially. Pre-contact estimates range from 133,000 to 705,000 with some recent scholars concluding that these estimates are low. Following the arrival of Europeans in California and violence reduced the population to as low as 25,000. During and after the California Gold Rush, it is estimated that miners and others killed about 4,500 Indigenous people of California between 1849 and 1870; as of 2005, California is the state with the largest self-identified Native American population according to the U. S. Census at 696,600. Historians have calculated the Native Californian population prior to European entry into the region using a number of different methods, including: Mission records. Few analysts claim; the estimates developed by different analysts vary by a factor of two or more. Stephen Powers estimated that the pre-contact population of the state was 1,520,000.
He reduced this figure to 705,000. C. Hart Merriam offered the first detailed analysis, he extrapolated that to non-missionized areas. His estimate for the state as a whole was 260,000. Alfred L. Kroeber made a detailed re-analysis, both for the state as a whole and for the individual ethnolinguistic groups within it, he reduced Merriam's figure by about half, to 133,000 Native Californians in 1770. Martin A. Baumhoff used an ecological basis to evaluate the potential carrying capacity and estimated an aboriginal population of 350,000. Sherburne F. Cook was the most persistent and painstaking student of the problem, examining in detail both pre-contact estimates and the history of demographic decline during mission and post-mission periods. In 1943, Cook arrived at a figure only 7% higher than the one suggested by Kroeber: 133,550. Cook raised his estimate to 310,000; some scholars now believe that waves of epidemic diseases reached California well in advance of the arrival of the Franciscans in 1769.
If correct, this may imply that population estimates using the beginning of the mission period as a baseline have underestimated the state's pre-Columbian population. Mexican sovereignty over Alta California was short lived, as after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to end the Mexican–American War in 1848, the U. S. took control of California, in the latter half of the 19th century both State and Federal authorities, incited aided and financed miners, settlers and people's militias to enslave, kidnap and exterminate a major proportion of displaced Native American Indians, sometimes contemptuously referred to as "Diggers", using many of the same policies of violence against the indigenous population that it did throughout its territory. Simultaneous to the ongoing extermination, reports of its effects were being made known to the outside world. A notable early eyewitness testimony and account: "The Indians of California" 1864, is from John Ross Browne, Custom's official and Inspector of Indian Affairs on the Pacific Coast systematically categorizing the fraud, land theft, slavery and massacre perpetrated on a substantial portion of the aboriginal population.
By one estimate, at least 4,500 California Indians were killed between 1849 and 1870. Historian Benjamin Madley recorded the numbers of killings of California Indians between 1846 and 1873 and estimated that during this period at least 9,400 to 16,000 California Indians were killed by non-Indians occurring in more than 370 massacres. Professor Ed Castillo, of Sonoma State University, provides a higher estimate: "The handiwork of these well armed death squads combined with the widespread random killing of Indians by individual miners resulted in the death of 100,000 Indians in the first two years of the gold rush." The decline of Native Californian populations during the late 18th and 19th centuries was investigated in most detail by Cook. Cook assessed the relative importance of the various sources of the decline, including Old World epidemic diseases, nutritional changes, cultural shock. Declines tended to be steepest in the areas directly affected by the Gold Rush. Other studies have addressed the changes that occurred within individual regions or ethnolinguistic groups.
The Native Californian population reached its nadir of around 25,000 at the end of the 19th century. Based on Kroeber's estimate of 133,000 people in 1770, this represents a more than 80% decrease. Using Cook's revised figure, it constitutes a decline of more than 90%. On this Cook rendered his harshest criticism: The first was the food supply... The second factor was disease.... A third factor, which intensified the effect of the other two, was the social and physical disruption visited upon the Indian, he was driven from his home by the thousands, beaten and murdered wi
The Tehachapi Mountains are a mountain range in the Transverse Ranges system of California in the Western United States. The range extends for 40 miles in southern Kern County and northwestern Los Angeles County; the Tehachapis form a geographic, watershed and rain shadow divide separating the San Joaquin Valley to the northwest and the Mojave Desert to the southeast. The Tehachapis' crest varies in height from 4,000–8,000 feet, they are southeast of Bakersfield and the Central Valley, west of Mojave and the Antelope Valley. The range runs southwest to northeast connecting the Southern Sierra Nevada range on their northeast with the San Emigdio Mountains on the west and Sierra Pelona Mountains on the southwest; the Tehachapis are delineated from the San Emigdio Mountains by Tejon Pass at the range's western end. The dramatic incline of Interstate 5 from the San Joaquin Valley floor up to the pass, is regionally referred to as The Grapevine, after Grapevine Canyon which it follows between the northern slopes of the two mountain ranges and is sometimes extended to include the portion of Interstate 5 on the southern side of Tejon Pass during snow closures.
The canyon was named after native grapevines, the California grapevine, found at springs on its slopes. The California State Water Project is to the east, with the California Aqueduct pumped by the Edmonston Pumping Plant over/through the Tehachapis to Castaic Lake reservoir; the Tehachapis are delineated from the Sierra Pelona Mountains by California State Route 138 at the range's southwestern end, connecting Interstate 5 and the Antelope Valley. The Tehachapis are delineated from the Sierra Nevada by Tehachapi Pass and State Route 58 at the range's northeastern end, connecting the San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert; the Union Pacific north/south railroad line, with the famous Tehachapi Loop, crosses here also. The Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm is on its eastern side; the Tehachapis, though neither as long or high as other California mountain ranges, are considered the topographic feature that separates this part of Northern California from Southern California, with the geographic boundary being Kern County.
Some historians consider that California averted a potential split into two separate states – "North California" and "South California" – from the early 20th century Ridge Route construction, the first highway crossing these mountains to connect the Greater Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley regions. The Tehachapis are the result of the movements of the Garlock Fault, located along the southeastern base of the range, a major transform fault which runs from the San Andreas Fault in the west to the Sierra Nevada Fault on the east and some distance beyond; this earthquake fault is unusual in California in that it is a left-lateral fault — meaning that if one stands facing the fault, the land on the opposite side moves to the left — opposite to most of the state's faults which are right-lateral faults. The Tehachapi Mountains are a major and crucial wildlife corridor and plant habitat bridge linking the other Transverse Ranges and the California Coast Ranges on the west with the Sierra Nevada on the east.
Their relative lack of development in the large Tejon Ranch section, have allowed the continuity of these ecological functions to date. The Tehachapis are in the California interior chaparral and woodlands sub-ecoregion, with native grasslands, California oak woodlands and oak savanna the predominate habitats; the higher montane elevations include the California mixed evergreen forest plant community. Some of the chaparral woodland species include: canyon live oak, valley oak, blue oak, gray pine. Montane species include: black oak, Coulter pine, incense cedar, white fir, in a few remote locations small stands of quaking aspen; the Tehachapi linanthus is a phlox plant species endemic to chaparral habitat in the Tehachapi Mountains and the southern Sierra Nevada. The Tehachapi ragwort is an aster plant species endemic to forest habitat in the Tehachapis and eastern Transverse Ranges; the Tehachapi buckwheat is known only from the chaparral of the Tehachapis. The Tehachapi slender salamander is endemic to the Tehachapi Mountains and a listed vulnerable species.
The white-eared pocket mouse is endemic to the Tehachapis and San Bernardino Mountains and a listed endangered species. There are at least 107 bird species, including the Steller's jay and mountain chickadee, found in the Tehachapis, many which consume acorns of the black oak as part of their diet. Other flora found here include the mountain mahogany; the notable raptor is a critically endangered species. As in many California mountains, larger fauna includes: mule deer, mountain lion, fox, black bear, feral pig and raccoon; the Tehachapi Mountains are the last known breeding site of the jaguar in the United States. The big cats were found there as as the late 1800s; the range includes and is the boundary between the xeric Mojave Desert and Mediterranean climate zones, includes the subalpine zone. The majority of the range is in the Mediterranean climate zone, receiving precipitation in the winter similar to the neighboring Transverse Ranges in the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests to the west and southwest.
They create a rain shadow for the eastern foothills ecotone into the Mojave climate zone that receives only a few inches of precipitation a year in winter. Summer
Nevada is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 32nd most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U. S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area where three of the state's four largest incorporated cities are located. Nevada's capital, however, is Carson City. Nevada is known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy, it is known as the "Battle Born State", because it achieved statehood during the Civil War. Nevada is desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U. S. federal government, both civilian and military.
Before European contact, Native Americans of the Paiute and Washoe tribes inhabited the land, now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish, they called the region Nevada because of the snow. The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821; the United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War. Nevada has a reputation for its libertarian laws. In 1940, with a population of just over 110,000 people, Nevada was by far the least-populated state, with less than half the population of the next least-populated state. However, legalized gambling and lenient marriage and divorce laws transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination in the 20th century.
Nevada is the only U. S. state where prostitution is legal, though it is illegal in Clark County, Washoe County and Carson City. The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer, with mining continuing as a substantial sector of the economy: Nevada is the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world; the name "Nevada" comes from meaning "snow-covered", after the Sierra Nevada. Most Nevadans pronounce the second syllable of their state name using the TRAP vowel. Many from outside the Western United States pronounce it with the PALM vowel. Although the latter pronunciation is closer to the Spanish pronunciation, it is not the pronunciation preferred by most Nevadans. State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson proposed a bill to recognize the alternate pronunciation of Nevada, though the bill was not supported by most legislators and never received a vote; the Nevadan pronunciation is the de facto official one, since it is the one used by the state legislature. At one time, the state's official tourism organization, TravelNevada, stylized the name of the state as "Nevăda", with a breve mark over the a indicating the locally preferred pronunciation, available as a license plate design.
Nevada is entirely within the Basin and Range Province, is broken up by many north-south mountain ranges. Most of these ranges have endorheic valleys between them, which belies the image portrayed by the term Great Basin. Much of the northern part of the state is within the Great Basin, a mild desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter. Moisture from the Arizona Monsoon will cause summer thunderstorms; the state's highest recorded temperature was 125 °F in Laughlin on June 29, 1994. The coldest recorded temperature was −52 °F set in San Jacinto in 1972, in the northeastern portion of the state; the Humboldt River crosses the state from east to west across the northern part of the state, draining into the Humboldt Sink near Lovelock. Several rivers drain from the Sierra Nevada eastward, including the Walker and Carson rivers. All of these rivers are endorheic basins, ending in Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake, the Carson Sink, respectively. However, not all of Nevada is within the Great Basin.
Tributaries of the Snake River drain the far north, while the Colorado River, which forms much of the boundary with Arizona, drains much of southern Nevada. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet, harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species; the valleys are no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet, while some in central Nevada are above 6,000 feet. The southern third of the state, where the Las Vegas area is situated, is within the Mojave Desert; the area is closer to the Arizona Monsoon in the summer. The terrain is lower below 4,000 feet, creating conditions for hot summer days and cool to chilly winter nights. Nevada and California have by far the longest diagonal line as a state boundary at just over 400 miles; this line begins in Lake Tahoe nearly