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Nevada's Environmental Legacy

Progress or Plunder

James Hulse

Publication Year: 2009

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History


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p. vii


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xiv


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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-14

"When Nevada became a state in 1864, the U.S. government was trying to get rid of public lands as quickly as possible, in an effort to 'privatize' the vast landscape of the West. Congress encouraged homesteading, railroad building, adn the establishment of schools and colleges, which allowed easy transfer of land. This national giveaway policy existed for another ninety years in in an orderly manner to citizens through government land offices; ..."

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pp. 15-34

"In Nevada history precious category. The silver bonanza that began in the early 1860s was one justification for Nevada’s hasty admission into the federal Union in 1864. For the first half century of statehood, extracting and processing silver and gold ore from underground shafts were the state’s primary enterprises. After an interval..."

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pp. 35-54

"Nevadans have an uneasy relationship with the waters that make their desert cultures possible. We take our lakes, rivers, and underground sources for granted—like an unnoticed bloodstream that seems to be functioning well. Only when these channels fail to flow adequately do most of us give them serious attention. The host bodies—whether individual humans, farms, or cities—often ..."

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pp. 55-70

"In Las Vegas Valley the phrase 'liquid gold' means neither oil nor money; it suggests water. In the twentieth century Las Vegas became one of the least-probable urban centers in the United States, located in one of the driest, hottest spots on the continent. During the past century, it evolved from being a small watering hole in a parched, dusty southwestern valley into an extravagant tourist ..."


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pp. 71-86

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pp. 87-96

"We need a deep immersion in art and history to realize how unmilitary, nonbellicose the United States was in 1940–7 America was asleep, not only at Pearl Harbor. Nevada was widely perceived to be still a frontier land in the twilight of an era of mining booms, with a population density of one person per square mile. Our parents remembered World War I, which had been fought in distant lands with small impact on our then forty-eight states...."

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pp. 97-104

"When the United States confronted its most challenging decisions in the twentieth century, it often looked to Nevada’s open spaces for solutions. During World War II and the Cold War, spending. This desert state was exceptional in the variety of defense-related enterprises tested on, under, and above its terrain. Nevada enjoyed quick, profitable contracts and short-term benefits; it ..."

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pp. 105-116

"As the debate about the M-X racetrack scheme receded from the horizon in Nevada, an even more challenging threat loomed. It involved the question of how the nation would dispose of its and the private nuclear industry had been building atomic power– seemed likely that the new technology would meet America’s need for cheap energy for decades. But there was a downside. As the..."

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pp. 117-136

"The activities of those who are altering Nevada’s rugged but fragile landscape with weaponry, giant shovels, trucks, and bulldozers are superficially known to that part of the public who are listening and watching. Their noise resembles the sound of artillery shells lobbed onto a nearby battlefield, within earshot but far enough away to seem not immediately threatening. We are..."

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pp. 137-139

"Nevada has been promoted as a 'land of opportunity' since the days of the early Mormon settlers, the gold and silver rushes of early miners, and the building of the Central Pacific Railroad. It even enjoyed this label for divorce seekers of the 1920s and gambling promoters in the 1930s and later. This 'land of opportunity' was in fact an impoverished needy cousin within ..."


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pp. 141-146


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pp. 147-154

E-ISBN-13: 9780874177923
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874177695

Page Count: 176
Illustrations: 22 b/w photos, 4 maps
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 370998642
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Nevada's Environmental Legacy

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Subject Headings

  • Nevada -- Environmental conditions.
  • Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- Nevada -- History.
  • Environmental degradation -- Nevada -- History.
  • Natural resources -- Nevada -- History.
  • Environmental policy -- Nevada -- History.
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