The Desert Bighorn (or Nelson) Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is smaller than its Rocky Mountain cousin but has a wider spread of horns. The bighorn is well-suited for Nevada’s mountainous desert country because it can survive for long periods without water. The large rams stand about 4 1/2 feet tall and can weigh as much as 175 pounds.
The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Salmo clarki henshawi), a native trout found in 14 of the state’s 17 counties, is adapted to habitats ranging from high mountain creeks and alpine lakes to warm, intermittent lowland streams and alkaline lakes where no other trout can live.
The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), the largest reptile in the Southwestern United States, lives in the extreme southern parts of Nevada. Its hard, dome-shaped shell ranges from tan to black in color. This reptile spends much of its life in underground burrows to escape the harsh summer heat and winter cold. The desert tortoise can live to be more than 70 years old.
Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) grows abundantly in the deserts of the Western United States. A member of the wormwood family, sagebrush is a branching bush (1 to 12 feet high) and grows in regions where other kinds of vegetation cannot subsist.
The Single-Leaf Pinon (Pinus monophylla) is an aromatic pine tree with short, stiff needles and gnarled branches. The tree grows in coarse, rocky soils and rock crevices. Though its normal height is about 15 feet, the single-leaf pinon can grow as high as 50 feet under ideal conditions. The Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) shares the state tree designation. The bristlecone pine is the oldest living thing on Earth, with some specimens in Nevada more than 4,000 years of age.
State Precious Gemstone
Among the many gemstones found in Nevada, the Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal is one of the most beautiful. The Virgin Valley in northern Nevada is the only place in North America where the Black Fire Opal is found in any significant quantity.
State Semi-precious Gemstone
Nevada Turquoise, sometimes called the “Jewel of the Desert,” is found in many parts of the state.
In 1933, the Legislature adopted “Home Means Nevada” as the official state song. Mrs. Bertha Raffetto of Reno wrote the song to honor the state. The refrain of the song goes as follows:
“Home means Nevada, Home means the hills, Home means the sage and the pines. Out by the Truckee’s silvery rills. Out where the sun always shines. There is a land that I love the best, Fairer than all I can see. Right in the heart of the golden west. Home means Nevada to me.”
Silver (Chemical symbol: Ag)
Silver and Blue
On a cobalt blue background; in the upper left quarter is a five-pointed silver star between two sprays of sagebrush crossed to form a half wreath; across the top of the wreath is a golden scroll with the words, in black letters, “Battle Born.” The name “Nevada” is beneath the star in gold letters. Design adopted March 26, 1929, revised in 1991.
Adopted February 24, 1886. The seal has the words “The Great Seal of the State of Nevada” around the outer edge. Within this, is a composite picture showing the mining, agriculture, industry and scenery of Nevada, under which is the state motto, “All For Our Country.” The seal’s 36 stars symbolize the fact that Nevada was the 36th state to enter the Union.
In 1859 the Comstock Lode silver strike was discovered, sparking the first major wave of emigration into the area.
Carson City was named after the Carson River by city father Abraham Curry in 1860. In 1861 the Nevada Territory was formed, and Carson made its capital. Nevada was granted statehood on Oct. 31, 1864.
Of the 17 counties in Nevada, only Carson City and Virginia City have remained county seats since the beginning of statehood.