I never fail to giggle every time I hear a tourist comment or question about the “people” of Nevada literally speaking, us residents that “live here.” The usual comment is something like, “Wow! I didn’t realize people live here.” There must be some grand imagined scene where all (single, of course) strip employees live in barracks on-site and Henderson, Boulder City, and Summerlin (not to mention Reno and Carson City) are but myth. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as 81.1% of Nevada’s land is owned by the federal government. But, although the information is very much out there, us regular citizens don’t keep up much on the goings-on with that 81.1% of our state.
In actuality, there are some really neat folks with SNAP, or Southern Nevada Agency Partnership, “a partnership of stewardship professionals from the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Forest Service who work together to coordinate the protection, conservation and use of the public lands of Southern Nevada.” Specifically, the Cultural Resources Team “raises awareness of, and respect for, the historical significance, local history and tribal culture.”
The team surveyed more than 20,000 acres of federal lands, recorded more than 500 cultural resource sites, and cooperatively funded an inventory of more than 1,000,000 artifacts; produces outreach documents, exhibits, provides educational materials; and this January, received the 2013 Partners in Conservation Award from the Department of the Interior. Most exciting to me was actually the creation of a Southern Nevada Site Stewardship program in which citizens can volunteer to “adopt a cultural site” and fulfill the role of advocates for sites of special concern.
The archeologists and representatives from all agencies and organizations involved in SNAP have a true passion for first, preserving our cultural resources and then sharing their work with the community. I encourage Boulder Cityites to live by their example and do the same; getting involved and helping out with upwards of 70,000,000 acres will ensure that our future generations can enjoy our beautiful state.