State & Federal
Few areas of Nevada can boast the diversity of natural, historic, and economic resources that characterize Eureka County. From alpine mountain peaks to irrigated valley floors, County residents enjoy a diverse physiography that supports important natural resources and economic activities. The unique values of Eureka County include clean air, access to open space and recreation, active and passive enjoyment of fish and wildlife, quiet surroundings, enjoyment of nature, views and scenery, the community life of small towns, safety and security, agricultural and other outdoor employment, among others.
Eureka County was created in 1873 from lands derived from Elko, Lander and White Pine Counties. There are three established communities in the County: Eureka, Crescent Valley, and Beowawe. The Town of Eureka is located on U.S. Highway 50, "the Loneliest Road in America", in the southeastern portion of the County.
Eureka was first settled in 1865 after the discovery of a rich ore deposit in the area and was subsequently designated the County Seat in 1873. The Town of Crescent Valley became a residential community after attempts to farm alfalfa and operate a dude ranch failed. It has become a haven for those seeking a friendly, comfortable lifestyle in northern Eureka County. Beowawe, a small community located on the Humboldt River near Crescent Valley, was originally established as a supply point, or gateway, for the mining districts in the area. Today, the Union Pacific Railroad still passes through the center of Beowawe.
Eureka County is one of the few Nevada counties which is traversed by Interstate 80, U.S. highway 50, and the mainline Union Pacific rail lines. Within Eureka County can be found commercial quality geothermal, oil, and mineral resources. North America's largest gold mines are currently located in the north part of the County.
The demand for natural resources produced in the intermountain region of the United States has brought both prosperity and concern to Eureka County. In the past, the demand for energy and precious metals has bolstered economic activity through the production of oil and gold. However, in recent years the mining industry in Eureka County has suffered a downturn and the once rapid rate of immigration to the County has tapered off over the last decade. The population growth and decline inherent in the "boom and bust" cycles of a mining economy requires the County to carefully consider efficient uses of land as well as provision of public facilities and services.
At the same time, urbanization of the intermountain west has brought interest in the management of public lands and increased regulation of traditional uses such as domestic livestock. As a consequence, agriculture in Eureka County, long considered an important stabilizing factor, has been faced with escalating costs of operation and limitations in access to forage resources.
Collectively, these issues have galvanized residents and their elected representatives to seek mechanisms to manage growth and influence resource management. These actions are viewed as necessary to maintain and enhance local economic security and the rural quality of life which has long typified Eureka County.
-- Next Section --