Local Governments Layoffs – Property Tax Receipts, Foreclosures and Economic Slow Down Takes Toll

As predicted and expected local governments are beginning to trim the fat and that means laying off employees. In markets where housing has taken its biggest bite out of the economy, there is an air of uncertainty. Country controllers, city auditors and local government leadership is trying to find ways to keep things moving and services strong, even with the dwindling of tax receipts from lackluster retail and auto sales, plus slow pays and property tax value re-adjustments.

The City of Phoenix, Arizona is cutting 500 employees now, with more to follow. In state governments we already read about California's hiring freeze and now Arizona is following suit, they have no choice. Most cities in both California and Arizona anticipate on cutting 5-10% out of their budgets in physical year 2008. That means no new buildings, equipment, hiring and trimming budgets, which will mean laying-off employees.

The States of Nevada and Florida are in similar positions. In Nevada they are watching their receipt hurts due to less travel from California to their casinos in the Northwest part of the state and then huge foreclosure numbers in both Northwestern Nevada and Clark County (Las Vegas), affecting property tax receipts. Las Vegas has enjoyed foreign tourism increases (due to weaker US dollar) for hotels, entertainment and gambling. Although car sales are down statewide, the general retail receipts are actually up in Las Vegas, the most populated area of ​​Nevada.

South Florida is in tough shape and small businesses are failing, due to the cascading problems of the housing crisis. Economists speculate that this scenario will be repeated in other high foreclosure housing markets first as we get through the recession. The recession will most likely be announced after it is over, as that is what the Fed and Treasury did last time.

Local Governments are also watching their costs increase as fuel costs have been taking a larger and larger chunk out of their budgets. This is also effecting education due to the costs to run school buses. It appears what has happened is no real surprise, as government generally spends whatever it takes in plus some, growing the bureaucracy incrementally, now with tax receipt income down, they are going to have raise taxes, fines and fees while reducing costs too. Maybe it is time for government to go on a diet? Of course, with increased foreclosures coming more crime too.

However, the local governments are providing services to illegal aliens and those costs are mounting as well. The challenges are intense and growing, municipalities and county governments are getting hit from all sides, as their income is reduced, their costs have increased and more individuals are demanding more services, while crime is increasing too. Things are not looking too pretty right now.

A Vegas Family Vacation

It’s easy to think of Las Vegas as an adult town. There are the risque shows featuring scantily clad showgirls. There are bars with cheap drinks, clubs with heavy-duty parties, adult-themed shows featuring plenty of “blue” comedy and, of course, gambling. If you’re not twenty-one years old, you can’t roll the dice or bet on a football game. It’s easy to think of LasVegas as a grown-up getaway.

There’s no doubt about it, there’s a lot of things to do for the adult set in LasVegas. However, thinking of the city as an adults-only vacation destination overlooks the many different family-friendly activities that are available. That’s right, Las Vegas really is a great place for the whole family. Just consider a handful of the hundreds of things in Vegas that will appeal to the young and the young at heart.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel. The giant hydroelectric dam is an awe-inspiring site with a fascinating history. Hoover Dam tours are available and their guaranteed to drop the jaws of young and old alike.

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Las Vegas Springs Preserve whisks visitors away from the blinking bulbs and neon of downtown and the strip, providing travelers with a great look at interactive exhibits that provide insight about the area’s ecology. Nature buffs will love the Preserve.

Las Vegas GameWorks

You may need to be twenty one to play blackjack, but there are great games available for people of any age at Las Vegas’ massive arcades. Operations like the Gameworks Arcade at Showcase Mall feature hundreds of video games and other activities suitable for all ages.

Bonnie Springs Old Nevada

Before the lights and the concerts, there were cowboys and trains. You can take a trip back in time at destinations like Bonnie Springs Old Nevada. It’s a complete old western town located within twenty miles of LasVegas featuring everything from western souvenirs to gunfight reenactments.

Rides

Many of the casino properties offer rides that would fit in at any high-end amusement park. There’s the Gondola Ride at The Venetian, roller coasters at New York/New York, and a score of different routes to the high-rises providing an unforgettable view of the well-lit city from above.

Amusement Parks

If you want to wrap yourself up completely in the amusement park experience, you can do it at places like Adventuredome at Circus Circus. It’s one of a handful of full-featured amusement parks that will keep kids happy in Las Vegas.

There’s no shortage of family-friendly things to do in LasVegas. You can see sharks in aquariums, make your way to the top of an Eiffel Tower replica, visit a wax museum, or do just about anything else you can imagine!

LasVegas is a great place for the grown-ups to cut loose, but it’s also an A-plus vacation destination for those who happen to be under twenty-one. Not everything that happens in Vegas needs to stay there for the sake of discretion-there are plenty of adventures that any kid will want to talk about for years to come.

Famous Fremont Street – Experience Casinos in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, is the most famous city for gambling in the world. The city of Las Vegas used as a scene in several Hollywood movie productions and TV shows. Since the early 1990s the Las Vegas Boulevard, also called the Strip, has become the center of tourism and gambling. Then many hotels and wellness resorts opened their doors at the Strip. As a result, the hotel and casino managers from the city center of Nevada decided to build a new attraction in order to make their hotels and Casinos more attractive. As a result was born the idea of ​​the Fremont Street Experiment (FSE).

The Fremont Street plays an important role in the history of gambling and entertainment in Las Vegas. In 1906 the first Las Vegas hotel opened its doors- the Hotel Nevada. The Northern Club got the first gambling license. Today an association of ten Downtown Nevada Casinos and Hotels managing the Downtown attraction FSE. The largest casino and hotel resort at the FSE is the Golden Nugget. The casino area for gaming is 38,000 square foot. Originally, it was built in 1946 and it was the first building designed as a casino in Nevada. During the last few years, the Golden Nugget was renovate and recently is expanding its capacity by building a new hotel tower. In the lobby of the Golden Nugget is display the world's largest nugget of gold found by a metal detector called the Hand of Faith (27,21 kilograms). It was in 1980 established by Kevin Hillier in Australia and later was sold to the Golden Nugget Las Vegas Casino.

The oldest and the smallest hotel at the FSE is the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino. It was the first hotel that was opened in Las Vegas. In 1907, one year after the opening, the first telephone of the entire city was installed at the hotel, which was called Nevada Hotel then. Thus it had the telephone number "1". Since 1959, the largest attraction of the casino was invented, the shrimp cocktail. During the last 50 years, the shrimp cocktail has become the signature attraction of this FSE casino.

The world's largest slot machine located in a 40,000 square foot gambling area is the key attraction of the Four Queens, another FSE Hotel and Casino. Since the opening in 1966, the casino has expanded several times. The latest attraction is opening the first casino club in the city center.

The Fitzgeralds is another one of the famous casinos in the city center of Las Vegas casinos. The hotel is located in 34 floors building at the FSE. The theme of the casino is "The luck of the Irish" including the famous leprechaun mascot and shamrocks. Almost 1000 slot machines and 29 gaming tables are located in the 42,000 square foot of the casino.

Frankincense Essential Oil Proves to Be Anti-Cancerous

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) trees were considered extremely valuable during ancient times and their location was often a matter of state secret. Egyptians used the incense to fumigate their homes, for ritual incense and the oil for cosmetics. It was used as a holy anointing oil and as a general cure-all for all diseases. It was also used to enhance meditation and elevate spiritual consciousness. History shows it was used for embalming and as a perfume AND formed an important part of the Sabbath day offering. Frankincense or olibanum was mentioned in the Scriptures over 50 times and is found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Chronicles, Nehemiah, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Matthew, and Revelations.

The actions of frankincense include anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, immune-stimulant, antidepressant and muscle relaxing. It stimulates the limbic system as well as the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands. It is strongly anti-viral, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and expectorant oil. Frankincense has the ability to relax and revitalize at the same time.

Cancer Research Using Frankincense

There are a few researchers studying the effects of frankincense on various cancers with some degree of success. In vitro effects show inhibition or stimulation of cell proliferation depending on the concentration of frankincense oil in the growth media. A recent study conducted at the University of Oklahoma showed that frankincense kills bladder cancer cells without harming surrounding tissue.

Studies are showing frankincense to be a strong immune-stimulant with some claiming that frankincense has the ability to repair DNA. A Chinese study conducted in 2000 indicated that Boswellia has “anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor activities.” These boswellic acids from frankincense inhibited “a variety of malignant cells” in people suffering from leukemia and brain tumors. The Cancer Research Institute of the University of Nevada treated cervical cancer with frankincense, in which “there was 72% inhibition and growth of non-cancerous cells.” Other studies have shown that boswellic acids from frankincense exert antiprolifertive activity toward a variety of malignant cells. Another study showed that boswellic acids are potent apoptotic agents to cancer cells and another one shows that Boswellic acids from frankincense gum exhibit potent cytotoxic activity against CNS tumors.

Why Hasn’t the General Public Heard about This?It sounds incredulous but the anti-cancerous effects of frankincense has been known for thousands of years. Does it work for everyone? No, but compared to the effects of chemotherapy, frankincense DOES show great promise now and in the future. Frankincense will never be promoted for the breakthrough that it is because there is no money to be made in its promotion. Frankincense is expensive in comparison to other therapeutic grade oils but “cheap” in comparison to drugs like chemotherapy. 

Understanding Privacy of Business Ownership

You may want privacy of your ownership interest in your business. This could be for a number of different reasons, including avoiding baseless lawsuits. Perhaps someone you know that owns a business got sued last month and you believe you can avoid the same fate if people can’t find what you own. There are a number of Internet incorporation services touting certain privacy benefits, such as asset protection, by organizing your business under the laws of a certain state. Nevada and Wyoming (and even New Mexico and a few others) are usually the states being sold as “privacy and asset protection havens.” These states do not require the disclosure of the identities of the shareholders of a corporation, or members of a manager-managed LLC in the required corporate filings (public records). Usually, these “privacy” states only require that the directors (sometimes only 1) and officers of the corporation, or the managers of the LLC, be disclosed on the Articles of Incorporation (or Articles of Organization) and all annual reports.

But, there are a ton of myths out there regarding privacy and asset protection. Many new entrepreneurs get lured into believing what often amounts to false hype. I will try to dispel a few of these myths. The bottom line is that privacy does not protect your assets by itself, it is only beneficial. The single greatest benefit of a state’s privacy protections is that it can help prevent frivolous litigation. Preventing the average Joe from finding out what companies you may own by searching public records is a good thing. This can save a lot of baseless claims. If it takes longer for someone to figure out who the owners are, that is obviously beneficial. The plaintiff will have to spend more money and most lawsuits are a simple game of pure economics. So, privacy can sometimes make it very expensive for a potential plaintiff to find your assets.

Guaranteed asset protection simply through privacy of ownership is basically a myth. Specifically, whether your business should always organize under Nevada or Wyoming laws, or use nominees or even bearer shares are all common questions. The short answer is that Nevada, Wyoming (and a few other states) do offer privacy protections, but that is no guarantee you’ll protect your assets or avoid any type of liability for your conduct.

Myth #1: You can Maintain Complete Privacy by Organizing in Nevada or Wyoming (or elsewhere)

The stated advantages to organizing under Nevada or Wyoming law for privacy purposes include:

  • Privacy for stockholders by not requiring that their names become part of the public corporate records. Nevada or Wyoming do not require shareholders or the members of an LLC to be disclosed in the corporate filings, only the directors, officers and managers of the LLC need to be disclosed-I discuss this later in this article;
  • Permits use of nominee stockholders, directors and officers of corporations and nominee members and managers of LLC’s;
  • Nevada and Wyoming do not share its data with the Internal Revenue Service and is one of a handful of states that do not have a sharing arrangement in place with the IRS (33 states have an “Information Sharing Agreement” in place with the IRS). But, just because Nevada does not share information with the I.R.S. does not mean your information will be kept private. You will need to provide the I.R.S. with the name and social security number of the person responsible for all tax issues involving the company in order to obtain an EIN. Also, the company will be required to prepare a tax return (informational returns for S-Corp’s and most LLC’s), on which the names and social security numbers of the owners will be provided. Thus, the I.R.S. will end up with this information regardless.

But, you can lose this privacy in a variety of ways. Business owners may be required to disclose their identity in the following instances: 1) Registering to do business in your home state; 2) Issuing stock; 3) Obtaining any required business licenses (which the State of Nevada requires for most activities and charges an additional fee to obtain); 4) Opening a bank account; 5) Being an employee or independent contractor to the corporation or LLC; or 6) Entering into other contracts or agreements where you sign individually, such as entering into any loans. Nevada now also requires a tax payer ID number of the company and personal guarantee by you on the state’s business license.Thus, it may not make sense for the average business to organize in Nevada or Wyoming solely to take advantage of privacy for these reasons.

Also, keep in mind, you may have to personally guarantee any debt on behalf of your business and will likely enter into contracts on behalf of your business. This means providing your name and signature on certain documents. You will also need to provide a designated person along with their social security number to the IRS as the responsible party for tax matters when you obtain an FEIN for your business. These are all ways in which you could possibly disclose your identity. The average owner of an Internet business is going to operate his/her own business and really has no way to avoid these things.

Of course, if you don’t take an active role in operating the business or sign any such contracts or guarantees, these concerns may not apply. Also, using nominees (discussed more below) or even shelf corporations will generally allow you to avoid disclosing your identity in public (corporate) records. Some shelf corporations can even be purchased with established bank accounts, credit histories and tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Myth #2: Privacy Alone Protects Your Assets

The privacy afforded to those organizing in Nevada, Wyoming or any other state with similar privacy features simply will not protect your interest in a corporation or LLC from your creditors. For example, pursuant to Nevada Civil Code NRS 21.080, all real and personal property of a judgment debtor (not otherwise exempt by law) is liable to execution, including “shares and interests in any corporation or company.” If a creditor obtains a judgment against you, your interest in a Nevada or Wyoming corporation/LLC is subject to attachment in order to satisfy the debt. You can either ignore the court order to testify regarding your assets (or refuse to answer questions after appearing) and face imprisonment for contempt of court, or commit perjury by lying about the extent of your assets. Obviously not appealing choices and why the notion of privacy does not protect your assets by itself. Do not be fooled by websites that tell you otherwise.

Myth #3: Using Nominees Is a Bullet Proof Strategy

Many online services tout the use of nominees as a bullet proof method of privacy and asset protection. Nevada and Wyoming law, for instance, allows for the use of nominee directors and officers and managers of an LLC, and nominee shareholders and members. The theory is that you can use a third party to conceal your identity as an owner and corporate officer or manager. Then, you can maintain control over the entity by using a proxy or some other instrument to control the corporation or LLC over the nominee. You should generally avoid using nominees or at least understand there are holes in this “bullet proof strategy.”

While you will gain some layer of privacy from having a nominee officer, shareholder, director, etc. this privacy will be lost once the nominee is served a subpoena and asked to provide the contact information for the owners of the company. The nominee will then be legally required to provide this information and your privacy is gone. Nevada civil procedure law makes it clear that the failure to obey a subpoena shall be punished for contempt. The law leaves no room for discretion unless the records to be disclosed are privileged. I think you would be hard pressed to find a nominee who is going to want to spend some time in jail for the small fee you pay for the services.

But, some services out there do offer the use of an attorney to act as an intermediary between you and the incorporation service. That attorney can then invoke attorney-client privilege, adding a layer of privacy anytime there is an inquiry about your identity. Dealing directly with the incorporation service creates no such privilege. However, in some instances the attorney may be ordered by the court to divulge your identity in cases of fraud or criminal conduct. This practice does present some measure of privacy.

Myth #4: Using Bearer Shares Provides Asset Protection

There are many asset protection and incorporation websites touting the use of bearer shares in the state of Nevada and elsewhere. Bearer shares are now illegal under the laws of the State of Nevada as of 2007. Regardless, the bearer share strategy does not prevent creditors from recovering your stock if a judgment is obtained against you. There are far too many holes with the use of bearer shares as a way to maintain privacy and protect your assets. This “strategy” creates all kinds of fraudulent transfer issues in the first place, as well as possible income and/or gift tax ramifications. There is really no need to go into any more detail other than to say you should you avoid services/websites touting the use of bearer shares as an asset protection vehicle. Also, for most small businesses, the most negative aspect of bearer shares is the inability to make an S-election due to the limitations on the number and type of shareholders. Not to mention bearer shares are not permitted by most states.

Actually Understanding Privacy

If you feel strongly about privacy, at least on the surface, then you should understand what this really means. Privacy actually lies specifically with any initial corporate filings annual reporting requirements of the state. If you are truly concerned, you can use a state like Nevada or Wyoming that allows no disclosure of members in a manager-managed LLC or shareholders on the initial or annual corporate filings. Nevada’s privacy protection protects members and shareholders from disclosure on corporate filings, but this privacy does not apply to certain officers, directors, and in the case of LLCs, managers. Nevada requires an incorporator or organizer to appoint by name at least one initial director in a corporation’s articles or in the case of an LLC, at least one member or manager in the articles of organization. In both cases, the articles are a public record, and anyone can request copies by paying a small fee.

Nevada, as other states, requires that every corporation and LLC file an “Annual List of Officers and Directors” each year. This requires disclosure of the full names of at least some of the officers and the directors of a corporation, and the managers of an LLC. This information is then posted on the Nevada Secretary of State’s Web site, which is a searchable public database and easy for anyone to figure out who is operating the corporation or LLC. Most states will allow you to designate a manager of your LLC and designate directors of a corporation and only list the information of those persons on the organizational documents.

But, depending on state law, the shareholders or members of an LLC are required to be listed on the annual reports go forward. This is where you may run into an issue with privacy if you are concerned. Regardless of state laws, it is very difficult for a small ongoing business to maintain the privacy of all owners. Also, it can be an administrative and financial burden to establish and maintain a corporation or LLC in another jurisdiction. The fees you pay to the state and these nominee type services will add up in a hurry. But, privacy is still a consideration in avoiding frivolous lawsuits, as I mentioned. Just understand the limitations and myths.

Prenuptial Agreements – The Before Marriage Divorce Contract

A prenuptial agreement, also called a "pre-nup", or "premarital agreement", is an agreement made by couples planning to get married. The pre-nup governs how issues such as dividing financial assets, and alimony will be deal with if the marriage should end in a divorce.

Without a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, a divorced couple of property will be divided and any maintenance awarded in accordance with Nevada statutes and case law. Any couple looking to save themselves from the circus called, divorce court, should seriously consider a pre-nup. Such an agreement is especially important if one or both parties are on their second or married marriage, if they have children from a previous marriage, or have significant personal assets which they do not want to be subject to the whims of a family court judge.

Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Divorce Court?

Yes, unless there are defects in their negotiation or content. Originally, most states would not enforce prenuptial agreements because they felt such agreements were "in derogation of marriage", meaning the agreements work against the principle of married for life. However, in the early seventies, following other states, Nevada held prenuptial agreements to be generally enforceable in, Buettner v. Buettner, 1973. So your agreement will be enforceable if it is properly done.

Why Draft a Prenup?

The most important reason to draft a pre-nup is to save you time and money, if your marriage ends in divorce. By agreeing to terms now, when you love each other, the divorce tends to run simpler, when the bliss has worn off. With a prenuptial agreement you know how things are going to be divided. Giving you peace of mind and costing you drastically less money in divorce attorney fees.

Pre-nups are not romantic. Approaching the conversation is a buzz kill. Most couples find it difficult to discuss the ending of a marriage. You're in love, and going to be married forever. Why would you need a divorce agreement? Because like life, divorce happens. You have less of a chance of finding your home on fire, and yet you buy home insurance. Signing a pre-nup is not dooming your marriage. Many couples feel siging a pre-nup solidifies each other's marriage commitments.

What's in a Prenuptial Agreement?

In 1989, Nevada adopted the Uniform Premarral Agreements Act (UPAA), which can be found in the Nevada Revised Statutes at Title 123A. Under the UPAA, parties to a prenuptial agreement are allowed to agree with regard to:

1. Rights of property which the parties already have or may acquire during the marriage;
2. Any rights to buy, sell, lease or mortgage such property;
3. The disposition of property upon separation, divorce, or death of one of the parties;
4. Alimony; and
5. Any other rights and obligations of the parties which are allowed to be governed by private contract, ie are not governed by statute.

Separate property is the main focus of most prenuptial agreements. If you are coming into a marriage with real estate, retirement accounts, or cash, you may want to keep these assets separate from your community property. Community property is divided equally if a divorce happens. Separate property is not divided. A pre-nup often includes a waiver by both parties of any rights in property the other spouse acquired before the marriage. This is important if you who wish to reserve the assets they bring into a marriage.

Couples can also agree that property acquired by one partner after the marriage, which would ordinarily become community property, will remain the separate property of that spouse. For example, you might be halfway to earning a huge bonus, stock options, or maybe a future book deal. By agreeing these assets are to remain separate property you limit this argument in court.

A pre-nup may include language about limiting alimony (aka spousal support) in the case of a divorce. We are even seeing an increase in "fidelity clauses" being linked to spousal support. If a spouse has an affair the spousal support can be limited or increased, depending on your wishes. However, if the elimination or modification of alimony for a spouse results in that spouse requiring public assistance, a court may disregard this portion of the agreement.

Two subjects of major concern to many couples contemplating marriage can not be governed by prenuptial agreements: child custody and child support. By Nevada law, a court must decide these matters based on the standard of the best interests of the child and specific factors at the time of the decision. A premarital agreement signed before children are born would be unable to discuss the future factors. So, any private agreement between the parties on these subjects will not be binding.

When are Pre-Nups Not Enforced?

Prenuptial agreements are contracts between spouses. Like all contracts, in order to be binding, an agreement must be entered into both parties knowingly and without any coercion, duress or fraud. Because of the closeness of the relationship between engaged persons, courts scrutinize prenuptial agreements especially closely.

First, the agreement must be entered into voluntarily. This means the agreement is not valid if one of the parties executed it under "duress," a legal term meaning "pressure." Agreements are often executed under some type of pressure; therefore, not every type of pressure will institute duress.

While threats of physical violence or blackmail would clearly determine duress, time between signing the agreement and the wedding date is the largest culprit. Courts will void a pre-nup because the bride felt pressure to sign a pre-nup three days before the wedding. The typical cause being the emotional tension of having to cancel the wedding, and explain to hundreds of guests why the wedding was taken. It's not a gun to the head, but just as scary for some.

The threat of calling off the wedding is not always enough to be duress. Most courts reason that a party has a legal right to call off a wedding at any time. The courts look for other factors such as the unavailability of legal counsel for one spouse, or a one-sided agreement. For more examples of what constituents doress, see "Voluntary Consent in Prenuptial Agreements".

It is advisable for couples to allow plenty of time to negotiate and draft an agreement. To avoid the issue of duress being raised in the event of a divorce, couples should again allow several weeks, and even a month or so before the wedding date, for the process of negotiating and executing the agreement. Each side should also consult their own attorney.

Second, the agreement must be entered into "knowingly." The UPAA requires that both parties be provided a "fair and reasonable disclosure" of the property and financial obligations of the other party. This means that income, real property, bank accounts, investments and all debts must be disclosed. This requirement underscores the advisability of allowing adequate time for consideration of the agreement.

The Nevada Supreme Court has held that where the husband failed to make the disclosures necessary to permit the wife to make an informed decision with respect to the premarital agreement, the agreement is invalid, Fick v. Fick, 1993. The court held that an incomplete list of the husband's assets, given to the wife shortly before the wedding, and on the basis of which the wife signed the prenuptial agreement, did not determine full disclosure.

Third, the agreement must be entered into without the presence of fraud. Fraud occurs when a party kindly or negligently misleads the other party. Obviously, deliberately misstating or concealing one's financial information would institute fraud. However, as stated above prenuptial agreements are held to a higher degree of scrutiny than regular commercial contracts; courts require a high degree of honesty on the part of each party, called a fiduciary duty to the other party. Therefore, if the resulting agreement is excessively one-sided, courts will presume the existence of fraud, and, without this presumption is rebutted in court, will invalidate the agreement.

In Sogg v. Nevada State Bank, the Nevada Supreme Court concluded that a premarital agreement would have presumed fraudulent where it left a wife with no resources or means of support in the event of a divorce, and where the wife probably would have received more under the community property laws of Nevada were it not for the premarital agreement.

The presumption may be overcome by a showing that the party claiming disadvantage was not in fact disadvantaged. Factors to consider include where the disputed party (1) had ample opportunity to obtain the advice of an independent attorney, (2) was not exercised into making a rash decision by circumstances, (3) had substantive business experience and acumen, and (4) ) was aware of the financial resources of the other party and understood the rights that were being forfeited.

The court in Sogg, held that where the premarital agreement was drafted by the husband's attorney, the wife was never given an opportunity to obtain the assistance of her own counsel, was not given a copy of the agreement until the morning of the wedding, and the wife's business experience was scanty. The court held that the presumption of fraud was not overcome, and the agreement was invalid.
Fair Pre-Nups

A contract is "unconscible" if it is so one-sided as to be fundamentally unfair. In some states, a prenuptial agreement will be upheld even if it is one-sided and is a bad bargain for one of the parties, as long as it is made voluntarily and with full disclosure by each party. However, the Nevada Supreme Court does not lean this way. In the Fick case, the court took into account the results of the agreement. It invalidated the agreement partly because the agreement eliminated alimony for the wife, which she would have been entitled to, andave the wife much less community property than she would have received under community property laws. This indicates that Nevada courts will look at the substantive outcome of an agreement in determining fairness and validity.

It is apparent the reasons prenuptial agreements will be rendered unenforceable tend to overlap. In practice, facts which indicate there was not adequate disclosure by a party or which indicate the presence of duress may also be used to find fraud, unconscionability, etc. The overall lesson for couples is therefore: allow sufficient time for negotiation; have separate divorce lawyers available for both parties, disclose all assets, financial information and anything else the other party may reasonably want to know, and to attempt to treat the other spouse as fairly possible.

You can learn more about pre-nups at http://www.rightlawyers.com

The Great Basin's Lehman Cave

"There are two kinds of rocks in Lehman Caves," the park ranger told the group. "Headbangers and kneknockers. Watch for both when you're in there." Then she led us through a heavy door and into a long concrete tunnel. The patter of our footsteps raced and collided along the tunnel's length. The placid, 50-degree Fahrenheit (10-degrees Celsius) air chilled us as we passed through the door that completed the airlock, and we finally entered the subterranean labyrinth.

When the sun is setting, Great Basin National Park in east-central Nevada lies in the shadow of the Snake Range's Wheeler Peak, which, at 13,063 feet (3982 meters), is the highest point wholly within Nevada. Millions of years ago, magma intruded into the joint between the quartzite, constituting most of the Snake Range, and the limestone along the range's eastern flank. The magma's heat metamorphosed some of the limestone into marble. That was the crucial first step in the formation of the caves.

At one time, the climate of eastern Nevada was more humid than it is today and, consequentially, the water table was higher. Rainwater, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the air to form carbonic acid – the weak acid of soda pop – soaked into the ground and dissolved the marble. As the climate discharged, the water table dropped, and the trickling water emerged into vaulted rooms and passageways. Losing its carbon dioxide, the liquid deposited its burden of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate) at the slower than snail's pace – an inch per century – to form soda straws, stalactite daggers, stalagmite stumps, mysterious shields, graceful draperies and columns resembling the ruins of ancient Greece. To keep the difference between cave features clear in your mind remember that the word "stalactites" has the letter "c" and this feature falls down from the ceiling, and the word for the other well-known feature "stalagmites" has the letter " g "and comes up from the ground. So it's "c" for ceiling (stalactite) and "g" for ground (stalagmite).

Actually, stalactites turn out to be soda straws that became plugged up. Soda straws have mineral-laden water dripping down through the center and leaving behind rings of minerals that can extend great distances if left undisturbed, up to 30 feet (9 meters). If the end becomes plugged, however, water can start dripping down the outside of the straw leaving minerals on the outside of the straw that continue to grow in an outward direction, so becoming stalactites, as the former straw now starts to thicken.

Into the Gothic Palace

As the ranger led us past the cave's natural entrance and into the Gothic Palace, she paused to tell us about Absalom S. Lehman. The proprietor of a ranch on the eastern slopes of Wheeler Peak, Lehman discovered the cave in 1885. In that year, he guided 800 people through his rooms and passageways; visitors had to climb down ladders into the vertical entrance, using only candle lanterns for illumination, according to the ranger.

When our group was a little farther along the path, the ranger turned off the electric lights, leaving only a candle lantern as our light source. As she raised the lantern from the ground, haunting shadows shifted across the somehow enlarged chamber. "Can you imagine exploring the caves this way?" she asked. After the lights were switched back on, we continued our six-tenths of a mile (1 km) journey through the white complex of narrow, twisting passageways and voluminous chambers. Some corridors were like art galleries displaying their sculptures openly. Other corridors obscured their treasures in confounding folds.

The Wedding Chapel and Beyond

After the Gothic Palace, with its arching ceiling and tall columns, we reached the spacious Wedding Chapel, which was actually used for five wedding ceremonies in the 19th century. In the adjacent Music Room, early tour guides would produce musical notes by tapping on the stalactites with mallets. However, this practice was discontinued after some of the stalactites were found crumbling.

Up past wooden stairs, our group came upon the Tom-Tom Room, which has the most famous geological feature of Lehman Caves – saucer-shaped plates called shields or pallets, angled out from the walls. No one knows exactly how shields develop. They may form when water, under pressure, emerges through cracks in the walls to deposit thin films of calcite, creating numerous pairs of facing plates that seem to defy gravity. Gradually, water builds columns underneath many of these shields. They only occur in one percent of all known limestone caves; so Lehman Caves would be special if only for its abundance of shields.

Going past the Dragon's Den and the Queen's Chamber, the ranger reached the Lodge Room at the crossroads of the trail system in the caves. She described how Clarence T. Rhodes, the first custodian of the cave after it had become public property, had urged members of the Knights of Pythias and the Boy Scouts from nearby Ely, Nevada, to hold their meetings here. Since the government did not have any money in the state budget to pay him. Mr. Rhodes was entitled to any fees he might charge for admission and, therefore, had a vested interest in promoting the caves. Unfortunately for the Lodge Room, those visitors knocked down some of the ceiling formations to provide headroom, and the soot from their fires is still visible along the walls.

On through a tunnel, the ranger led us to the Inscription Room. A glance at the sooty letters and numbers on the ceiling and walls immediately told us the reason for the name. After pointing them out, the ranger shined her flashlight near the tunnel we had come through to show us a low crawl space. "This is the old way to get into this room," she explained. With only an 18-inch (45 cm) clearance, the passage earned the name of Fat Man's Misery for those early visitors who made it through. To celebrate their quest, they marked the room with their initials or the date, the earliest of which is from the 1890's.

The plunking of water greeted us in the Cypress Swamp. Miniature gods of Mt. Olympus may have luxuriated in the delicate, rimstone-dicked pools along with a few curious, calcite creatures. The largest pool was named Lake Como, by Mrs. Rhodes after the famous lake in the Italian Alps.

The ranger saved the best for last. The Grand Palace offered us a gopher's-eye-view of orange carrot-like stalactites, beet-shaped stalagmites and other root-like shapes in this veritable garden of natural rock formations. On some columns, contorted stubs called helictites – looking as though someone had included wax beans – pointed every way, defying gravity.

The Parachute, the symbol of Lehman Caves, was frozen in time with its shield catching the air above dangling stalactite cords. We continued thinking heavenward on seeing the Angel's Wing, a vertical shield overflowing with a tapering column, and on passing by flushed columns called the Pearly Gates. The Glacier, composed of floodstone where water deposited calcite while running over a sloping wall, crept in from one end of the chamber. Elsewhere, lacy crystals of aragonite, another form of calcium carbonate, decorated the wall. On our way back through to the exit tunnel, we were again reminded that Nature's artful hand had graced Lehman Cave.

The Nature Trail

Outside the exit tunnel, a nature trail begins. By following it, you can learn more about the history of the park at the old cabin where Clarence Rhodes once lived, and get acquainted with the trees and shrubs of the park. Actually, the Snake Range gives you the opportunity to explore five different plant communities, representing the changes in vegetation from Mexico to Alaska. The first community, the upper Sonoran, named after Sonora, Mexico, surrounds Lehman Caves with piñons and junipers and extends down toward the Snake Valley.

By driving 12 miles (23 km) toward the Wheeler Peak Campground, you can see the rest of the life zones. The transition zone of ponderosa pines, white fir and mountain mahogany begins around the Lehman Creek Campground, which has the largest mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) in the world. Quaking aspens are here and on up the mountainside.

Higher up the steep, twisting road, near the Peak overlook, the Canadian life zone begins, with Douglas fir and Englemann spruce predominating. From the overlook, craggy Mount Jefferson Davis is to the left and Wheeler Peak is to the right.

In a sense, you're near the Hudson Bay by the time you make it to the Wheeler Peak Campground at about 10,000 feet (3048 meters). Limber pine, Engelmann spruce, and aspens shade the campsites. A trail system leads you to timberline, the highest margin of the Hudsonian zone, where an interpretive trail shows you the oldest living things on the planet – bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva). The oldest bristlecone, at almost 5,000 years, grew on the slopes of Wheeler Peak before being cut down in 1964.

It was named Prometheus by locales, whoave individual trees names including Buddha and Socrates. The story has it that a geographer studying Ice Age features tried to take a core sample of Prometheus in order to find its age. When the core sample boring tool broke, he refused to cut it down, with the Forest Service's permission. It was only afterwards when he countered the rings that he realized he had cut down the oldest known tree on Earth. It was later determined to be 4862 years old. Older bristlecone pines have been measured over the years since, but for a time, Prometheus held the record.

Lastly, the Arctic-Alpine zone extends up to the summit of Wheeler Peak, attainable by ascending 2,600 feet up a strenuous four-mile (6.5 km) trail. Little grows in this zone, except lichens, mosses, some hardy wildflowers and grasses in protected places.

On the way up to the campground, turn at an interpretive trail that tells the story of early gold mining in the area. To facilitate placer mining, the Osceola Placer Mining Company constructed a 30-mile (48 km) long ditch from Lehman Creek around the mountains in the early 1880's. Their most notable find was a 24-pound (10.9 kg) nugget. The trail leads out to some of the remains of this project.

Another interpretive trail lies along the dirt road to the Baker Creek Campground. The Forest Service has laid out a trail of rock art made by the native culture pre-dating the present-day Paiute, Goshute and Shoshone tribes.

The best rock art in eastern Nevada, though, is the sculptures that Nature itself created in Lehman Caves.

Resources

To get Great Basin National Park, drive about 68 miles (110 km) east from Ely, Nevada, along combined US Routes 6 and 50 to their junction with State Route 487, then south to Baker and, finally, west along Route 488. Cave tours, which last an hour for the Lodge Room tour to an hour and a half for the Grand Palace tour, cost $ 8 and $ 10, respectively for adults, or $ 4 and $ 5 respectively for children 5 – 15 years old and seniors, but are free for children under 5 for the Lodge Room tour. Children under 5 are not allowed on the Grand Palace tour. Today, a paved path and tunnels make spelunking skills unnecessary but it still helps to have some level of fitness for these tours.

The park has five developed campgrounds and seven primitive campsites. The town of Baker has a motel and two private campgrounds, while additional accommodations are available in the cities of Ely in Nevada and Milford and Delta in Utah. Trails lead through these forests, to mountain peaks and to lakes and creeks of the Snake Range. The visitor center is outside the park in the town of Baker, so you can check on getting a campsite while arranging for your cave tour before you arrive at the park itself. For more information, write to Great Basin National Park, 100 Great Basin National Park, Baker, NV 89311 or call (775) 234-7331.

The Great Basin National Park website is at: www.nps.gov/grba . Cave tour reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov .

Million Dollar Mud

You probably remember the great California Gold Rush of 1849; but did you know there was another gold rush in Nevada about the same time?

Gold was found at the head of Six-Mile Canyon in Nevada in 1859 by two miners named Pat McLaughlin and Peter O'Reilly. Another miner, Henry Comstock, found their claim and convinced them that it was actually his! So history remembers 'The Comstock Lode.'

Unlike the California miners, those working in Nevada had a real problem. There was a sticky blue-gray mud that clung to everything, including their picks and shovels.

They cursed the gummy muck as they dug down through it to the precious gold. Tons of the dreaded mud were pushed away and piled high as the hungry miners pushed deeper into the hills and mountains.

Then one day, somebody got curious about what the mud was made of and decided to have some of it assayed. Well it turns out that it was silver ore, worth in excess of $ 2000 a ton. One report said it assayed as high as $ 3000 a ton! This was in the 1850's when $ 1.00 had nearly the same purchasing power as $ 25.00 does today!

Word spread quickly about the bonanza in Nevada – the richest silver deposit in the United States. But it was not until a hundred years had passed before the real 'Bonanza' was discovered when a television series of that name was born out of the legend of the 'sticky blue mud.' The television series lent 14 seasons and made millions in revenue!

There will be times when life 'gums up the works' with unexpected encumbrances – your shipping department is late, your orders get lost, a road on the way to work is blocked; and that is a perfect time to take a good long look at the challenges you are facing and discover whether they have a 'silver lining.'

More than one innovative corporate executive has gone looking for trouble and found that the trouble he made his or her company a fortune!

Top West Coast Allied Health Schools

The West Coast of United States is a fertile land for Colleges and other educational institutions. These include many Top Ranked Allied Health Schools also. West Coast includes states like Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington.

In Alaska, the Top Allied Health Schools like Charter College in Wasilla and Anchorage offering various Diploma Programs in Medical Billing, Coding and Transcription and Medical Office Management and Administration and also Medical Insurance Specialization. Apollo College in Tucson, Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona College of Allied Health, Fortis university, the Bryman School, Western International University, Brown Mackie school, Brookline College, Lamson, Caliber College in Phoenix, Tucson College and Kaplan university are the major Allied Healthcare Colleges in Arizona State.

California is also famous for its Health Care Colleges like Pacific College, Cleveland Chiropractic, CSI Career College, Empire university, San Joaquin school, Everest university, American Career and Concord Career Institute. New Bridge and Heald College are also reputed colleges in California.

Oregon attracts not only natives but also students from all parts of the world. The Sate has so many Colleges offering Diplomas in Health Care Administration and Dentistry. Pioneer Pacific University which has campuses through out the State, Heald and Everest College are some of them.

The Top Allied Health Colleges in Idaho are Stevens-Henager and Brown Mackie College. Both of these colleges have campuses in Boise and offer Diploma Programs in Surgical Technology and Respiratory Therapy Technology.

Nevada has many good Allied Health Care Colleges to its credit such as Career university of Northern Nevada in Reno, Academy of Healing Arts in Las Vegas, Milan Institute, High Tech Institute, North West Health Careers in Las Vegas and Nevada Career Institute in Nevada. Most of these colleges offer Diploma Programs in Surgical Technology, Medical Office Administration, Pharmacy Technology, Surgical Technology and Respiration Therapy Technology.

Eagle Gate university which has campus in Layson, Ameritech, Utah Career College in West Jordan and Layton, Certified Careers Institute in Clearfield, Provo and Stevens Henager College are High Ranked Health Colleges in Utah. Stevens-Henager College has many campuses in through out Utah in Salt Lake City, Logan, Ogden etc.Utah Career College offers Diploma Programs in Veterinary Technology also.

Pima Medical institute is one of the Top Allied Health Care College in Washington. It has campuses in Seattle and Renton. It offers many Diploma Programs in Dentistry and Hygiene as well as Medical Billing Coding ad Transcription. Other Top Colleges in Washington are Everest College in Bremerton and Renton, Apollo College in Spokane, Charter College in Pasco etc. Everest Colleges in Washington are famous for its Medical Insurance Specialization Programs.

Apart from this, Argosy University and DeVry University too have centers in Washington. Keller Graduate School of Management under DeVry University has campuses in Bellevue, Federal Way offering many Diploma Programs in Health Care Management as well as Health Care Information Technology. Argosy University has campus in Seattle only where Bachelor’s Degree is offered to Health Care Management Students.

The Rubies of the Silver State

It’s the Yosemite of Nevada. Lamoille (“luh-MOY-uhl”) Canyon in northeastern Nevada’s Ruby Mountains is a glacier-carved feature in the middle of an arid land. The Ruby Mountains themselves are a surprise, as they support aspens and mountain goats and other critters that one doesn’t expect to find in the desert. The many lakes in this area are also home to many kinds of trout. These creatures thrive here because the Rubies are among the highest and wettest of the Great Basin’s mountain ranges.

The best place to begin your visit to the Rubies is in Elko, Nevada, off Interstate 80. This is the seat of Elko County, one of the largest counties in the United States. The friendly people of the Elko Chamber of Commerce at 1405 Idaho Street can help you plan your visit and arm you with plenty of literature. You’ll also want to check on what events will be taking place in Elko. For instance, the town hosts the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in January, the Elko Western Festival Days and the Elko Mining Expo in June, and the National Basque Festival (the oldest and largest of the Basque celebrations in Nevada) in July. And in September the Elko County Fair and Livestock Show takes place, as well as the Man-Mule Race, a 20-mile jaunt from Lamoille to Elko.

To gain an even better understanding of the region, visit the nearby Northeastern Nevada Museum at 1515 Idaho Street in Elko. Perhaps one of the best local museums in Nevada, this facility exhibits local artifacts, slide shows, and traveling displays of the winners of an annual photo contest.

A third excellent “first place” to visit is the Humboldt National Forest office at 2035 Last Chance Road, in Elko. You can find out where to camp and picnic in the Humboldt National Forest, which encompasses the Ruby Mountains.

Once armed with knowledge, head west from the Elko Chamber of Commerce or the museum on Idaho Street until you reach 12th Street. Turn left and follow the signs for state routes 227 and 228. After proceeding 1.3 miles from the museum, turn left at the junction with the state routes onto State Route 227. After another 3.2 miles you’ll reach Elko Summit and can look ahead to your destination, the Rubies. Stay on Route 227 toward Lamoille; before reaching the town, turn right onto Lamoille Canyon Road, approximately 19 miles from Elko.

The Ruby Mountains, like other ranges in the Great Basin, are long and thin; they measure 100 miles long and a maximum of 10 miles wide. The Rubies are geologically complex, consisting of ancient metamorphic rocks such as gneiss (metamorphosed granite), slate (from metamorphosed shale), and quartzite (from sandstone), all found in the northern two-thirds. Mixed in with these major rock types is garnet, a semiprecious stone that is usually red. The garnet was mistaken for ruby by early settlers, and thus the range acquired its name. The southern third of the Rubies consists of limestone, which makes for a drier-looking landscape. Rain tends to soak through the limestone. The mountains also have a steep eastern face and a gentle western slope, which, from a mountain-range-type perspective, puts the Rubies in good company. Many of the Great Basin mountain ranges, as well as the Sierra and the Tetons, sport this profile. And as do the Sierras and Tetons, the Rubies offer ample evidence of being ground down by glaciers, especially in Lamoille Canyon.

Lamoille Canyon Road – the 13.5 mile drive from the junction of state routes 227 and 228 – takes you from the sagebrush plains at an elevation of 5,800 feet; enters the Forest Service Scenic Byway; and continues another 12 miles up along Forest Service Road 660 to the subalpine zone at the Roads End trailhead, situated at an elevation of 8,850 feet. As you drive to Lamoille Canyon, look for the four road signs that demarcate the forest’s self-guided natural history auto tour.

The Rubies were subjected to glacial carving during the Pleistocene Epoch between 10,000 and 3 million years ago. The glaciers in this range were some of the largest and deepest in the Great Basin, and were some of the few that actually reached the adjoining plains. The first indication of Lamoille Canyon’s glaciated past is its U-shape. As you continue up the canyon, you’ll also notice side canyons that hang high up on the walls. These hanging canyons are another glacial feature. The main glacier in a canyon carves downward faster than the smaller tributary glaciers, thereby leaving the canyons hanging after the glaciers recede.

Besides glacial evidence, Lamoille Canyon offers many recreational opportunities. Among them are camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, bicycling, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, nature observation, and picnicking. The first picnic location you’ll come to is the small but attractive Powerhouse picnic area. A particularly good time to visit this spot is when the creek is full from springtime snowmelt. It offers five sites for families and one group site for 25 people, but no piped water.

If you’re traveling with motorhomers, your first opportunity to camp is where the Right Fork of Lamoille Canyon meets the main canyon – a campground managed by the Elko County Lions Club. Groups of at least 25 people are accepted here; the facility is not designed for single-family camping. To make reservations, contact Heidi Draper at (775) 934-2096. From the Right Fork, the Forest Service offers camping in dispersed primitive sites downstream of the Powerhouse Picnic Area. The canyon’s only developed campground is farther up at Thomas Canyon. It offers 42 sites with water and rest rooms. All of the sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis; however, 19 RV non-electric sites and 16 standard non-electric sites can be reserved online. (see resource box)

A highlight of your canyon tour along Lamoille Canyon Road comes next on the Lamoille Hanging Canyon Nature Trail. One of several hiking trails within the forest, this half-mile-long trail starts at the Avalanche Overlook and leads through aspens, whose yellows and oranges can be enjoyed during the fall. You’ll learn that the Ruby Mountains began as sediment in an ancient ocean that covered much of the West a half-billion years ago. Later, magma intruded into these sediments, leaving pockets of granite when the magma cooled. By the time the Rubies were uplifted 15 million years ago, these rocks had been metamorphosed into the gneiss, marble, and schist that we see today. The glacier that carved Lamoille was 700 feet thick at times, and exerted almost 40,000 pounds of pressure per square foot on the rock.

Combine that with the fact that the glacier flowed one to three feet per day, and you can imagine how much grinding the rocks were subjected to. The creek that flows through this canyon bottom now is home to beavers that feed on the inner bark of the aspens. The canyon bottom boasts the best soil in the area and has the most luxuriant plant and animal life. As you look up at the canyon slopes, you’ll notice that they’re much different from the bottomland. The north-facing slope lacks the good soil but is cooler and moister than the opposite canyon wall, so it supports aspens, limber pines, and other scrubby growth. The south-facing slope receives sunlight more directly year-round, and so it is hotter and drier. This type of climate supports sparse growth dominated by mountain mahogany, and limber pines at the highest elevations.

Another good place to enjoy aspens is the Terraces picnic area, situated approximately 1/2-mile farther up the canyon from the nature trail. This is the most complete picnic spot in the canyon, with piped water, toilets, tables, and grills. It also provides an aspen-framed view down into the canyon.

From there, the byway gradually curves southward, reaching its end at appropriately named Roads End trailhead. At this point, you’ll be in the subalpine zone at 8,850 feet above sea level. The two picnic sites here lack fire pits but otherwise can serve as a spot for a snack before heading off on the Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail. This 40-mile-long trail heads south to Harrison Pass and covers much of the 90,000-acre Ruby Mountains Wilderness Area.

This wilderness actually extends from near Secret Pass at the northern end of the Rubies and reaches almost as far south as Harrison Pass. It preserves the character of most of the higher elevations, including the largest area of alpine habitat in the Great Basin. The region’s flora has more in common with the alpine country of the Rockies or the Sierra than with other Great Basin ranges. In the 1960’s, mountain goats were introduced here, and beginning in 1989, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep were reintroduced, thus giving the Rubies a faunal touch of the Rockies.

Roads End is a popular trailhead for hikers and backpackers who want to enjoy the highest elevations of the Rubies. Incidentally, the highest point in the range, Ruby Dome, at 11,387 feet, is not along the crest trail, but is actually situated just south of Lamoille Canyon. But the crest trail takes the adventurous near many peaks that are more than 11,000 feet tall. This trailhead is also popular with anglers who enjoy fishing in the many lakes of the wilderness. All of the trails are open from late June through September, depending on how long the snow lingers.

If you want to see one of those Ruby Mountain lakes, then head up the trail near where the loop at Roads End begins. Take the steep hike for a four- to six-hour round trip to Island Lake, which sits in a cirque at the 9,672-foot elevation. Brook trout lurk under the lake’s 7-1/2 acre surface.

Enjoy the different perspective you’ll get of the canyon on your drive back out. Once you’ve returned to State Route 227, turn right and proceed approximately 1/2-mile to the little ranching town of Lamoille. The town was named by Thomas H. Waterman, who, along with John P. Walker, first settled there in 1864. The area reminded Waterman of his home in Johnson, a town in Lamoille County, Vermont.

As you head back toward Elko on State Route 227, take State Route 228 toward Jiggs to continue your Ruby Range exploration. Three miles beyond Jiggs, turn left, or east, toward Harrison Pass. After 3.5 miles, the pavement ends, but the dirt road is well maintained. In another 1.2 miles, you’ll cross the Humboldt National Forest boundary. Then, in 6.3 miles, you’ll reach 7,248-foot Harrison Pass. Ruby Valley will be ahead. Go down the other side for 3.4 miles and turn right into Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge headquarters is 7.6 miles from the Harrison Pass Road junction. At this facility bird lists and other wildlife information are available, as well as information about fishing, camping, and boating.

Ruby Lake owes its existence to the Ruby Mountains in this southern third of the range. Remember, this section is mostly limestone, which absorbs rain and snow. Well, that water doesn’t just disappear. It emerges as springs at the base of the mountains and forms this lake. The national wildlife refuge was established around the lake in 1938 and is home to ducks, geese, wading birds, and shorebirds. It is also one of the few refuges that boast nesting sandhill cranes and trumpeter swans among their occupants.

The lake’s greatest attraction is that it harbors trout and bass. Anglers can be numerous on the water at times, but regulations keep fishing from getting out of hand. Nevada state fishing licenses are required, and season, boating, and bait regulations should be checked before you head out. Fishing for bass is most productive in the middle of summer, and fishing for trout peaks in June and in the fall.

The refuge offers its own 35-site campground south of the headquarters with no-hookup sites; a dump station is located nearby.

From this campground, you’ll have 60 miles to return to Elko over Harrison Pass. That will give you a chance to see much of the length of the Rubies on your way – a chance to reflect on what you’ve seen and learned about the Yosemite of Nevada.

The End