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Animals
The LTS offers possibilities for visitors to see rare and unique species of animals. A few are highlighted below.

  • The desert tortoise is a federally listed threatened species that depends on the desert scrub of the LTS for its habitat.
  • Chuckwallas, listed as a BLM Sensitive Species, are frequently found in the same habitats as the desert tortoise. These lizards have a peculiar way of defending themselves— they fill their bellies with air to make it difficult for predators to remove them from the crevices where they live.
  • The Gila monster, also a BLM Sensitive Species, is the only poisonous lizard found in North America.
  • Nevada’s state animal and a BLM Sensitive Species, the desert bighorn sheep, uses the LTS as a cool-weather range. During cooler months, visitors to the LTS can often spot herds on rock outcrops and see their tracks on the ground.
  • Bald eagles have been identified in the LTS.
  • Gambel’s Quail, a Nevada protected species, uses the LTS as habitat.

For an original story about the animals of the LTS, check out Logandale Trail Tales.


Plants

Visitors to the LTS can also find several rare plant species: the three-cornered milkvetch, the Las Vegas bearpoppy, the two-toned beardtongue, and possibly the sticky buckwheat. The milkvetch, beardtongue, and sticky buckwheat are located near The Boot trail, the main trail in the LTS. These plants are most visible in spring, when they bloom.


Although not a single plant species, cryptobiotic soils are visibly present in the LTS. These delicate plant structures forming the crust of the soil are important for the health of the desert ecosystem since they provide nutrients to the soil and limit erosion. For more information about cryptobiotic soil crusts, please visit www.soilcrust.org.


Several plants found in the LTS are traditionally used by American Indians. The Moapa Band of Paiutes, descendents of previous inhabitants of the LTS, still use many plants found in the LTS for traditional purposes. See if you can find them during your visit.


History and Culture

The LTS is the former home of the Virgin Anasazi, a culture that mysteriously left the area around 1150 AD. Other groups came before and after the Anasazi, leaving evidence of their presence in the area. If careful, visitors to LTS can spot rock art, pueblo foundations, and artifacts that indicate the former presence of these cultures. Due to the subtle and sometimes hidden nature of the resources, most visitors pass them by without knowing they exist. Several petroglyph sites are in recesses of rock formations, not visible to the casual passer-by.


The drawings that can be seen on rocks in the LTS are petroglyphs (American Indian rock drawings). The images are pecked into the darkened, desert varnished surface of the sandstone to reveal the lighter rock beneath. Prehistorians tell us that most of the petroglyphs at this site were carved thousands of years ago. More precise dating of the petroglyphs is still under development. Petroglyphs are not unique to this spot. In fact, they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They form a unique part of our human heritage, and deserve our protection.


We know from historic accounts of indigenous peoples throughout the world that the creation of petroglyphs was an element in the practice of religion. Some commemorate an experience with the supernatural. The designs incorporate traditional elements from hunting religions, animal ceremonialism, and mythology. Rock art served as a portal to power - accessing the supernatural agents responsible for world renewal and ensuring continuation of life-giving elements: rain, food (plants and animals) and health. Petroglyphs have deep cultural and religious significance to the present-day Southern Paiute and other Indian tribes, who believe them to be sacred and imbued with the power of their ancestors.


In order to preserve the petroglyphs, follow these steps:

  • Take photographs rather than rubbings. The photos you take will not hurt the drawings, but rubbings gradually degrade them.
  • Do not touch the petroglyphs. Each person's fingers contain oils that are harmful to the drawings.
  • Leave the petroglyphs and any artifacts you may find in their places.

For more information about petroglyphs, please visit www.petroglyphs.us.


There is also evidence of more recent history, representative of the efforts to develop the Moapa Valley in the 19th and 20th centuries.