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Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Great Basin National Park

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments

Published March 2009


View Full Report
(PDF, 5.1 MB, 40 pages)

View Fact Sheet
(PDF, 231 KB, 2 pages)

Great Basin National Park, located near the eastern border of Nevada, is one of the country’s youngest (established in 1986), but it serves as a refuge for representatives of the world’s oldest living tree species, the bristlecone pine. Some specimens of these ancient timberline dwellers are 4,000 to 4,500 years old. The park also harbors a diverse array of ecosystems containing more than 860 plant species and a multitude of wildlife species.

Human beings have traveled through and lived in the Great Basin region for at least 12,000 years. Cultural resources, such as tree carvings (dendroglyphs), pictographs, and historic structures, are evidence of past inhabitants.

According to an assessment by the Center for State of the Parks, natural resources at the park are in “good” condition, with a score of 81 out of 100. The park currently has “good” air quality and “excellent” water quality, but they are threatened by power plants and groundwater withdrawals, respectively, and past grazing practices and fire suppression have degraded park habitats. Staff are working to restore some areas.

Overall conditions of Great Basin National Park’s known cultural resources rated 66 out of a possible 100, indicating “fair” conditions. While the addition of a cultural resources manager in 2003 has greatly benefited Great Basin, additional staff are needed for all programs to assist with baseline research, archaeological surveys, and museum and archival collections upkeep.

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