Eastern California is not a well-defined term. It generally refers to the strip of
California, United States to the east of the crest of the Sierra Nevada, or to the easternmost counties of California:
* Modoc County
* Lassen County
* Plumas County
* Sierra County
* Nevada County
* Placer County
* El Dorado County
* Alpine County
* Mono County
* Inyo County
* San Bernardino County
* Riverside County
* Imperial County
Eastern California does not fit the stereotypes of California, and is more related in culture and geography to southeastern
Oregonand northwestern Nevada. Because it is generally in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada or the Transverse Ranges, the climate is extremely dry and can be considered a desert. Indeed, the hottest and lowest area in North Americalies in Eastern California: Death Valley.
Eastern California is also very sparsely populated (except for the area around
Lake Tahoe), and tends to be politically conservative, much like the rest of the rural Western United States.
Historically, Eastern California has had strong ties to Nevada, with the exact boundary between the two states in some dispute. [cite web|title=A Moving Monument|author=Bruce A. Metcalfe|url=http://users.adelphia.net/~brmetcalf/rr/monument.htm|accessdate=2006-03-28] Residents of portions of near
Susanville, Californiatried to break away from California in 1856, first by declaring themselves part of the Nataqua Territory, [cite web|title=US395:Lassen County (Susanville to Modoc County Line)|work=Floodgap Roadgap|url=http://www.floodgap.com/roadgap/395/u16/|accessdate=2006-04-01] and then through annexation to Nevada. The two states further squabbled over ownership of Susanville in 1863. The town of Aurora, Nevadawas temporarily the county seat of both Mono County, Californiaand Esmeralda County, Nevada. Finally, the line between the two states was settled by a survey in 1872.
Geologically, Eastern California is mostly part of the
Basin and Range Province, marked by crustal extension, with horsts and grabens. Volcanism is also very evident in this region.
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