18 Facts About Sierra Nevada


Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin.

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The Sierra Nevada is part of the American Cordillera, an almost continuous chain of mountain ranges that forms the western "backbone" of the Americas.

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The Sierra Nevada is home to three national parks, twenty wilderness areas, and two national monuments.

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The uplift caused a wide range of elevations and climates in the Sierra Nevada, which are reflected by the presence of five life zones.

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Sierra Nevada has played an important role in the history of California and the United States.

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Physiographically, the Sierra Nevada is a section of the Cascade–Sierra Nevada Mountains province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division.

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The California Geological Survey states that "the northern Sierra Nevada boundary is marked where bedrock disappears under the Cenozoic volcanic cover of the Cascade Range.

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The northern third of the western Sierra Nevada is part of the Sacramento River watershed, and the middle third is drained by the San Joaquin River (including the Mokelumne, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced River tributaries).

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Eastern slope watershed of the Sierra is much narrower; its rivers flow out into the endorheic Great Basin of eastern California and western Nevada.

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Communities in the Sierra Nevada include Paradise, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Grass Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Sonora, Nevada City, Placerville, Pollock Pines, Portola, Auburn, Colfax and Kennedy Meadows.

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The Sierra Nevada formed the western margin of a high plateau to the east, the Nevadaplano.

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Climate of the Sierra Nevada is influenced by the Mediterranean climate of California.

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Sierra Nevada snowpack is the major source of water and a significant source of electric power generation in California.

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Sierra Nevada is divided into a number of biotic zones, each of which is defined by its climate and supports a number of interdependent species.

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The earliest identified sustaining indigenous people in the Sierra Nevada were the Northern Paiute tribes on the east side, with the Mono tribe and Sierra Miwok tribe on the western side, and the Kawaiisu and Tubatulabal tribes in the southern Sierra.

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Tourism potential of the Sierra Nevada was recognized early in the European history of the range.

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The city and the Sierra Club argued over the dam for 10 years, until the U S Congress passed the Raker Act in 1913 and allowed dam building to proceed.

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However, by end of the 1920s, the Forest Service and the Sierra Nevada Club decided that roadless wilderness in the Sierra Nevada was valuable, and fought the proposal.

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