"If you want to see something happening right now that happened here two hundred million years ago, you can see it all in Nevada." - John McPhee, Basin and Range

Trip to Basin and Range

Coal Valley bain

Coal Valley bain

I’ve been to the Love’s gas station plenty of times on my way through the I-15, but this time it was different. I was meeting Jim Boone an ecologist who blogs at birdandhike.com for a tour of the area called Basin and Range.

Basin and Range is an area north of where Great Basin Highway and Extraterrestrial Highway meet. It encompasses the unspoiled Coal and Garden Valleys as well as the beautiful Mt. Irish among other things. Those “other things” however are not just a footnote of unimportant places. “Other things” includes petroglyphs, 19th Century settlement sites, pronghorns, the White River Catseye plant (only found in Nevada), and the oh so amazing monumental work of art by Michael Heizer, City.

Coal Valley Basin

There is a lot to see, and my one-day trip provided only glimpses of the amazing landscapes, habitats and historic and cultural objects. I would encourage all the readers of
Let’s Talk Nation to take a trip, and take a closer look at the “empty” lands because when you take a closer look you find things that not only are amazing, beautiful and timeless, but that are unexpected.

Mount Irish Petroglyphs

Mount Irish Petroglyphs

Mt. Irish Petroglyphs

As I was walking through the area with the petroglyphs, I walked by some stones. I walk by stone’s everyday so they didn’t stand out to me, but Mr. Boone suggested I take a closer look. When I did, I noticed that there was something a little different about these stone’s and learned that they weren’t just any old stones, in fact they were broken pieces of pottery that Native Americans had used and most likely broken and left.

That experience taught me a valuable lesson. We might not think something is important because it may just look like some ordinary thing we see everyday like a stone, but upon closer inspection you might discover that you are looking at something unordinary and quite possibly amazing that should be protected for future generations to see.

Basin and Range and all the timeless treasures within it deserve permanent protection. The more than 877,000 acres of land, including the two valleys and eight mountain ranges are not just empty lands we should dispose of. They make Nevada the vast open treasure we love.

Together we need to do a better job protecting our unspoiled lands. Permanent protection is the key to not only preserving Basin and Range, but starting to point out, like Mr. Boone did for me, the treasures and life that live within our so called “empty” lands.


This post first published on Let’s Talk Nevada by Jocelyn Torres