White Pine County, Nevada
White Pine County
|White Pine County|
White Pine County Courthouse in Ely
Location within the U.S. state of Nevada
Nevada's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Rocky Mountain white pine|
|• Total||8,897 sq mi (23,040 km2)|
|• Land||8,876 sq mi (22,990 km2)|
|• Water||21 sq mi (50 km2) 0.2%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1.1/sq mi (0.44/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
White Pine County is a largely rural, mountain county along the central eastern boundary of the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,030. Its county seat is Ely. The name "(Rocky Mountain) white pine" is an old name for the limber pine (Pinus flexilis), a common tree in the county's mountains.
The county boasts dark skies, clean air and millions of acres of unspoiled public land. It is the home of Great Basin National Park, one of America's most remote and least visited national parks. It is also home to no less than 14 federally designated wilderness areas, offering an abundance of terrain available to explore for hikers, backpackers, skiers, hunters and anglers.
The Ely Shoshone Indian Reservation is located in the county, on the south side of the City of Ely. The reservation has a land area of 104.99 acres (0.4249 km2) and a 2000 census official resident population of 133 persons.
European settlement in White Pine County began with mining exploration, activity generated by the Pony Express Trail (which passes through the county), and farming.
The county was established by the Nevada legislature in 1869 from Lander County and named after the heavy growth of limber pine trees in the area, which were then called white pine. Hamilton was the first county seat from 1869 to 1887, when it was replaced by Ely after a fire.
Several sections of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest exist within the county, within the Snake Range, Egan Range, White Pine Range, Ruby Mountains, and Schell Creek Range. The county also contains Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park and Cave Lake State Park.
In the southeastern part of the county within Great Basin National Park lies 13,065 ft (3982 m) Wheeler Peak, the tallest independent mountain within Nevada and the second-highest point within the state (the highest point being Boundary Peak). It is also the most topographically prominent peak in the county and the second-most prominent peak in Nevada (after Mount Charleston).
White Pine County is home to a number of designated wilderness areas. They were created by Congress on December 20, 2006, by the "White Pine County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2006." About half are integral parts of Humboldt National Forest. The rest are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. One is shared between the two agencies. Some extend into neighboring counties, as indicated.
- Bald Mountain Wilderness (Humboldt NF)
- Becky Peak Wilderness (BLM)
- Bristlecone Wilderness (BLM)
- Currant Mountain Wilderness (Humboldt NF) partly in Nye County, NV
- Goshute Canyon Wilderness (BLM)
- Government Peak Wilderness (BLM)
- High Schells Wilderness (Humboldt NF)
- Highland Ridge Wilderness (BLM)
- Mount Grafton Wilderness (BLM) partly in Lincoln County, NV
- Mount Moriah Wilderness (Humboldt NF / BLM)
- Red Mountain Wilderness (Humboldt NF) partly in Nye County, NV
- Shellback Wilderness (Humboldt NF)
- South Egan Range Wilderness (BLM) partly in Lincoln County, NV; Nye County, NV
- White Pine Range Wilderness (Humboldt NF)
- Elko County - north
- Tooele County, Utah - northeast/Mountain Time Border
- Juab County, Utah - east/Mountain Time Border
- Millard County, Utah - southeast/Mountain Time Border
- Lincoln County - south
- Nye County - southwest
- Eureka County - west
National protected areas
- Great Basin National Park
- Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (part)
- Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
White Pine County's population grew rapidly in the early part of the 20th Century in response to mining activity, and has remained relatively stable at around 9,500 residents since about 1950. Although mining has been a major employer throughout the county's history, tourism and services related to outdoor recreation are beginning to account for a larger share of jobs in the region.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,181 people, 3,282 households, and 2,159 families living in the county. The population density was 1.0 people per square mile (0.40/km2). There were 4,439 housing units at an average density of 0.50 per square mile (0.19/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.35% White, 4.14% Black or African American, 3.29% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 3.09% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. 10.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,282 households, out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.80% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.2% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 128.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 138.5 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,688, and the median income for a family was $44,136. Males had a median income of $36,083 versus $26,425 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,309. About 10.3% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,030 people, 3,707 households, and 2,344 families living in the county. The population density was 1.1 inhabitants per square mile (0.42/km2). There were 4,498 housing units at an average density of 0.5 per square mile (0.19/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.5% white, 4.2% American Indian, 3.9% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.8% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 13.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.9% were American, 11.3% were English, 11.2% were German, 10.4% were Irish, and 5.6% were Italian.
Of the 3,707 households, 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.8% were non-families, and 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 40.8 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $48,545 and the median income for a family was $62,946. Males had a median income of $51,010 versus $31,453 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,615. About 11.7% of families and 15.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.
From the late 19th century until near the end of the 20th century, the major industry was mining the region's deposits of copper, silver, and gold. The most notable of these operations included a series of open-pit copper mines near the town of Ruth, and a copper smelter in McGill, run by the Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation. The decline of mining has meant the loss of area jobs.
The county is served by the White Pine County School District.
- Ely (county seat)
Other unincorporated places
- Lages Station
- Pleasant Valley
- Treasure City
Government and infrastructure
Regional offices of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are located in Ely.
Ely State Prison, the location of Nevada's death row for men and the state execution chamber, is located in the county.
A swing county for much of the 20th century, White Pine County has become powerfully Republican like the rest of rural Nevada since the 1980s. The last Democrat to carry a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976. The most recent Democratic win in the county was a 36% plurality by Bill Clinton in 1992, but this was due to a high Third Party showing in that election. Donald Trump received over 70% of the county's vote in both 2016 and 2020.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- "County Explorer". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
- "Wheeler Peak, Nevada". Peakbagger.com.
- Fast facts about America's wilderness - Wilderness.net
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
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- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 431 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 302 votes.
- Official website
- Media related to White Pine County, Nevada at Wikimedia Commons
- The American Cyclopædia. 1879. .
- "Scientists Voice Their Overwhelming Support for Wilderness Designations in White Pine County, Nevada" by the Wilderness Society