Humboldt County, Nevada
|Named for||Humboldt River|
|• Total||9,658 sq mi (25,010 km2)|
|• Land||9,641 sq mi (24,970 km2)|
|• Water||17 sq mi (40 km2) 0.2%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1.7/sq mi (0.66/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
Humboldt County is a county in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,528.A largely rural county and sparsely populated, the only major city is it county seat is Winnemucca which has a population of 7,396. The county also contains land from several major Native American communities including the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe and the Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada. Humboldt County comprises the Winnemucca, NV Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Largely a region with ranchers and farmers, the county came under increased attention after the 2017 proposal of the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine. The mine has been controversial in both local indigenous and settler communities, and in the national press -- as it would be the first major lithium mine to open in the United States and be important to the local economy but threatens local ecosystems and indigenous heritage sites.
Humboldt County is the oldest county in Nevada, created by the Utah Territorial Legislature in 1856. It was also one of Nevada's original nine counties created in 1861. The county is named after the Humboldt River, which was named by John C. Frémont, after Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist, traveler and statesman. Humboldt never saw the places that bear his name. Unionville was the first county seat in 1861 until the mining boom died there and it was moved to Winnemucca on the transcontinental railroad line in 1873.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 9,658 square miles (25,010 km2), of which 9,641 square miles (24,970 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (0.2%) is water. It is Nevada's fourth-largest county by area.
The Santa Rosa Range runs through eastern Humboldt County. The highest point in the county, 9,731-ft (2966 m) Granite Peak, is in the range. The most topographically prominent mountain in Humboldt County is unofficially known as Dan Dobbins Peak and is in the remote Jackson Mountains.
- Harney County, Oregon - northwest
- Malheur County, Oregon - north
- Owyhee County, Idaho - northeast/Mountain Time Border
- Elko County - east
- Lander County - southeast
- Pershing County - south
- Washoe County - west
National protected areas
- Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (part)
- Humboldt National Forest (part)
- Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (part)
The county includes land that is held by Indian reservations.
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe
The Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation spans the distance of the Nevada–Oregon border, in Humboldt County, Nevada and Malheur County, Oregon, near the Quinn River, which runs east to west through the Tribe's Nevada lands. Just to the east is southwestern Idaho. The Fort McDermitt Military Reservation was established 14 August 1865 at the former site of Quinn River Camp No. 33 and a stagecoach stop, Quinn River Station, in what was a traditional seasonal homeland of the Paiute, Shoshone and Bannock peoples.The reservation was established with 16,354 acres (66.2 km2) in Nevada and 19,000 acres (76.9 km2) in Oregon, mostly areas of arid land. In October 2016 the federal government put into trust for the tribe approximately 19,094 acres (77.3 km2) acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Nevada, in order to expand their reservation and give them a more sustainable base. Gaming is prohibited on these new lands. This was done under the Nevada Native Nations Land Act (PL No: 114-232).
Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada
|U.S. Decennial Census|
At the 2000 census there were 16,106 people in the county, organized into 5733 households, and 4133 families. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km2). There were 6,954 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.21% White, 4.02% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 8.54% from other races, and 3.09% from two or more races. 18.87%. were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,733 households, 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 22.8% of households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28.
The age distribution was 31.40% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 31.20% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 110.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.20 males.
The median household income was $47,147 and the median family income was $52,156. Males had a median income of $44,694 versus $25,917 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,539. 9.70% of the population and 7.70% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.40% of those under the age of 18 and 10.80% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
At the 2010 census, there were 16,528 people, 6,289 households, and 4,316 families in the county. The population density was 1.7 inhabitants per square mile (0.66/km2). There were 7,123 housing units at an average density of 0.7 per square mile (0.27/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.0% white, 4.2% American Indian, 0.7% Asian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 12.7% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 24.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.0% were English, 14.6% were Irish, 14.1% were German, and 5.1% were American.
Of the 6,289 households, 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.4% were non-families, and 25.6% of households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.13. The median age was 36.2 years.
The median household income was $55,656 and the median family income was $69,032. Males had a median income of $56,843 versus $33,531 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,965. About 7.8% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
Humboldt County School District serves Humboldt County.
There have been at least two allegations of abuse of civil forfeiture by Humboldt County Sheriff's deputy Lee Dove. Both cases were won by the civilians in question, albeit at great personal expense.
The Thacker Pass Lithium Mine is a proposed lithium clay mining development project in Humboldt County, Nevada and in 2017 was the most significant lithium-clay resource discovered in the US. The project is 21 miles (34 km) west-northwest of Orovada, Nevada within the McDermitt Caldera. The mine is proposed by Lithium Nevada, LLC - a wholly owned subsidiary of Lithium Americas Corp. The proposed mine would be the first sedimentary lithium resource ever mined. There has been significant exploration of Thacker Pass since 2007, and Record of Decision approving development of Thacker Pass lithium mine was announced in January, 2021.Development of Thacker Pass lithium mine is driven by increasing demand for lithium used in electric vehicle batteries, but the project has met resistance in the form of legal challenges and direct action. Several indigenous tribes with traditional homeland in the area oppose the project. These tribes have stated that Thacker Pass is a sacred site, a massacre site, and that they were not adequately consulted by the Bureau of Land Management. Opponents of the mine have voiced concerns about rushed environmental review, threats to critical wildlife habitat, disruption of cultural sites, and links between resource extraction and missing and murdered indigenous women. Proponents of the mine have stated that the project is necessary to limit climate change by reducing carbon emissions from American cars, is benign in its social and environmental impact, and will create jobs in rural Nevada. The New York Times reported that controversy around the mine is "emblematic of a fundamental tension" around resource extraction necessary to support the renewable energy transition.
Winnemucca is the sole incorporated city in the county.
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