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Sierra East:
Edge of the Great Basin

by Diana Tomback, Ann Howald, Harold Klieforth

ISBN 0520086899 / 9780520086890 / 0-520-08689-9
Publisher University of California Press
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

The Eastern Sierra is a dramatic, unusual, mountain-and-desert region in eastern California and western Nevada that includes two famous resorts, Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes. It is a world apart from the lands west of the Sierra Nevada, and the contributors to this lavishly illustrated natural history provide a marvelous introduction to the wonderland that makes up the Eastern Sierra.

As the eastern slope of the 400-mile-long Sierra Nevada merges with the western edge of the Great Basin, desert valleys of long summers and snow-spangled mountains of long winters lie side by side. The region's unique features include altitudes ranging from 2,800 feet at Redrock Canyon to 14,494 feet at the top of Mount Whitney; the merging of three biogeographic regions: the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin Desert, and the Mojave Desert; and the resulting extraordinary diversity of plant and animal life. The book contains chapters on the region's geologic story, weather and climate, plant communities, arthropods, native fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The authors emphasize relationships and the ingenious ways that plant and animal life have evolved and adapted to the Eastern Sierra's harsh environments. Maps, diagrams, photographs, and exceptional drawings illustrate the text. Written with few technical terms, Sierra East is a fine source book for the layperson and students on university field trips.
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