The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been collecting and interpreting natural-resources data in Nevada for more than 100 years. This long-term commitment enables planners to manage better the resources of a State noted for paradoxes. Although Nevada is one of the most sparsely populated States in the Nation, it has the fastest growing population (fig. 1). Although 90 percent of the land is rural, it is the fourth most urban State. Nevada is the most arid State and relies heavily on water resources.
Historically, mining and agriculture have formed the basis of the economy; now tourism and urban development also have become important. The USGS works with more than 40 local, State, and other Federal agencies in Nevada to provide natural-resources information for immediate and long-term decisions.
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