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Physical Characteristics

   Eureka County, located in Central Nevada, encompasses 4,176 square miles. The County borders Elko County to the north, White Pine and Elko Counties to the east, Nye County to the south, and Lander County to the west.

   The topography of the County generally consists of alternating, linear mountains with long, low alluvial-filled basins characteristic of the Basin and Range Province. Similar to the topography of the State, mountain ranges and valleys in Eureka County have a north-south orientation. Uplifting, faulting, and weathering have contributed to the present relief. Elevation ranges from a high of around 10,461 feet at the Summit Mountains in the Monitor Range to about 4,000 feet elevation found on the floors of several of the lower basins.

   The Humboldt River, the largest in the County, winds through the north. The Town of Eureka, located at 6,500 feet elevation in the southeast corner of the County, is the county seat.

Federal Land Ownership. Almost 81 percent of the land in Eureka County is owned and managed by the United States government. The remaining 19 percent of the land area is private property.

Eureka Couunty
Land Management (1996)

Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Forest Service
Private ownership








Local Land Use
   The Eureka County 1973 General Plan provided an overall designation for existing land uses in Eureka County. The General Plan recognized principally six land use categories which include:
  • Urbanizing Areas, Permanent Open Space;
  • Open Space and Appropriate Associated Uses;
  • Agriculture, Mining, Limited Housing;
  • Agriculture, Mining, and Very Limited Housing;
  • Agriculture Only, Associated Housing.
   Changes in land uses have occurred since the adoption of the County's previous master plan in 1973. The distribution of land ownership and management has remained relatively constant. Mining activity has increased tremendously. Approximately 93 percent of private lands are used for agriculture with the remaining 7 percent in non-agricultural uses. In the early 1970s there were few active mining operations in the County, primarily one gold mine operation. Agricultural land uses in terms of the amount of irrigated acreage has remained relatively constant.

Source: Eureka County Master Plan, January 1997

Mineral Resources
   Mineral production on public lands in Nevada involves three primary systems: mineral location, resource leasing, and material sale. Miners and prospectors who locate minerals such as gold and silver on public lands must apply for mineral rights. Oil and gas, geothermal, sodium, and other similar minerals are available through competitive and non-competitive mineral leasing. Mineral resources such as sand and gravel may be purchased through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Material Sales. Mineral products mined in Eureka County include (in order of production value) gold, iron ore, stone (crushed), silver, mercury, lead, copper, and zinc.

Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs)
   Congress has directed that all federal land management agencies review public lands for wilderness consideration. Those areas which meet the wilderness criteria roadless areas of 5,000 acres or more, generally undeveloped with outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation are identified as Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs). Congress has reserved the right to final decision on selected lands for wilderness designation.

Identified BLM WSAs in Eureka County:
  NV 060-541 Roberts Mountain
  NV 060-428 Simpson Park

Air Pollution & Monitoring
   Presently, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and controlling air contaminant emissions from mobile and stationary sources of air pollution throughout the state. Eureka County falls within the jurisdiction of the Nevada Intrastate Air Quality Control Region (AQCR 147). At the present, Eureka County satisfactorily complies with state and federal standards; therefore, the County is classified as an attainment area.

The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range forms an effective barrier to moisture laden Pacific storms traveling east to Nevada. As a result, precipitation in Eureka County is light.

   Mean annual precipitation (rainfall)   7.91 inches
   Mean annual precipitation (snowfall)    9.30 inches

Summer temperatures extend into the 90s during the day, but surrounding mountain ranges and cooling downdrafts usually push nighttime temperatures into the mid-40s. Winters are generally moderate, though occasional blasts of colder arctic air settle in the region for short periods.

   Mean annual temperature ( F)  47.8
   Normal for January  27.2
   Normal for July  70.4

Recording station: Beowawe, elevation 4,684 feet
Note: Mean figures are derived by averaging the highest and lowest for a period of time.

Source: State of Nevada Office of Community Services, Eureka County Nevada Profile

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