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Behind the Lens: Nevada's Official State Element

Photos and musing from our photographer.

(David Kidd)
Like everyplace else, Nevada has named a number of things as official state symbols. There’s Lahontan cutthroat trout, sagebrush and desert tortoise (the state fish, flower and reptile, respectively), along with 19 other official state designees.

But while the other 49 states may have official flora and fauna, only Nevada can boast a state element.

Thanks to the efforts of a fifth-grade class in Carson City, Gov. Steve Sisolak recently signed a measure naming neon as the official element of the state. The students helped write the language in the bill and lobbied lawmakers, arguing that neon has been no less important to Nevada than trout and tortoises, and deserves to be similarly recognized.

David Kidd is a photojournalist and storyteller for Governing. He can be reached at
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