ML - Vegas Magazine

2013 - Issue 7 - November

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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Page 107 of 131

tk title here Where the Wild Things Are BEYOND THE NEON LIGHTS, A COMPLEX ECOSYSTEM IS UNDER THREAT. CONSERVATIONISTS AND DEVELOPERS ARE WORKING TO RESTORE BALANCE. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF GALE WRITTEN BY TODD KNOWLES ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAVID LANDSEL 106 L as Vegas often seems like a world of its own, especially at night, when the beauty and wild life of the Strip come out to play. But beyond the city's casino corridors, the real world awaits—the one that has always been here. The landscape that surrounds us may look a bit sparse to the uninitiated, but our corner of the Mojave Desert is astonishingly rich in diversity. It was, in fact, an abundance of water that attracted the earliest settlers to the Valley. They found an oasis in the middle of one of the hottest, driest places in North America. Indeed, the area surrounding the springs—now Springs Preserve— was so lush that it gave the city its name. In Spanish, "las vegas" means "the meadows." And those meadows were home to many species. Where the water is may have changed over the years, but the same mix of species remains— hummingbirds, ravens, scorpions, spiders, Gila monsters, rattlesnakes, and the desert tortoise among them. Nonnative species have joined the menagerie, such as burros brought by European settlers and used by local miners. A metropolis in the desert is a tough proposition for humans VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 106-109_V_F_JimMoore_Nov13.indd 106 10/22/13 5:43 PM

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