Lake Mead is America's largest man-made reservoir. It is named for Dr. Elwood Mead, U.S. Reclamation Commissioner between 1924 and 1936. Lake Mead National Recreation Area was established October 8, 1964. Lake Mead backs up 110 miles behind Hoover Dam which was completed in 1935, thus creating this huge reservoir.Three of America's four desert ecosystems -- the Mojave, the Great Basin and the Sonoran Deserts -- meet in Lake Mead NRA. As a result, this seemingly barren environment contains a surprising variety of plants and animals, some of which may be found nowhere else in the world.Lake Mead NRA is home to bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, kit foxes, bobcats, ringtail cats, numerous lizards and snakes and a wealth of bird species. Threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise and peregrine falcon are found here, as well as ancient Colorado River fish species.

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These are California Bearpoppy (Arctomecon californica), also called Las Vegas Bearpoppy, is a perennial forb that only grows in gypsum-rich soils near Lake Mead. The silvery-gray leaves grow in a clump at the base of the plant. The large, yellow, poppy flowers grow atop long stems.
California Bearpoppy occur in eroded, gypsum-rich soils near Lake Mead, which is in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone. These plants can most easily be seen along Northshore Road (Lake Mead NRA). They also occur in the Gold Butte region and along the south side of Lake Mead near Bonelli Landing (towards Temple Bar).

Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada. When completed in 1936, it was both the world's largest hydroelectric power generating station and the world's largest concrete structure. It was surpassed in both these respects by the Grand Coulee Dam in 1945. It is currently the world's 38th-largest hydroelectric generating station. This dam, located 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, is named after Herbert Hoover, who played an instrumental role in its construction, first as the Secretary of Commerce, and then later, as the President of the United States. Construction began in 1931, and was completed in 1936, a little more than two years ahead of schedule. The dam and the power plant are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, Hoover Dam was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985. Lake Mead is the reservoir created by the dam, named after Elwood Mead, who oversaw the construction of the dam.