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State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson proposed a bill to recognize the alternate (quasi-Spanish) pronunciation of Nevada, though the bill was not supported by most legislators and never received a vote.
The Nevadan pronunciation is the de facto official one, since it is the one used by the state legislature.
The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet (4,000 m), harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species.
The valleys are often no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet (910 m), while some in central Nevada are above 6,000 feet (1,800 m).
At one time, the state's official tourism organization, Travel Nevada, stylized the name of the state as "Nevăda", with a breve mark over the a indicating the locally preferred pronunciation Nevada is almost entirely within the Basin and Range Province, and is broken up by many north-south mountain ranges.
Most of these ranges have endorheic valleys between them, which belies the image portrayed by the term Great Basin.
Nevada is the most mountainous state in the contiguous United States.
The terrain is also lower, mostly below 4,000 feet (1,200 m), creating conditions for hot summer days and cool to chilly winter nights.
Nevada and California have by far the longest diagonal line (in respect to the cardinal directions) as a state boundary at just over 400 miles (640 km).
Several rivers drain from the Sierra Nevada eastward, including the Walker, Truckee, and Carson rivers.
All of these rivers are endorheic basins, ending in Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake, and the Carson Sink, respectively.
Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War (the first being West Virginia). In 1940, with a population of just over 110,000 people, Nevada was by far the least-populated state, with less than half the population of the next least-populated state. The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer,).