|In 1935 the University of Nevada formed a study group to consider medicinal
values of plants.At the same time, the Carson Indian Agency realized that
they had a plant emergency on their hands. The U.S. government had been
"rescuing" starving cattle in the Dust Bowl by transferring them to Nevada
and issuing them to natives on tribal land. The cattle ate every plant in
sight and died! The Works Progress Administration, sponsored by the Carson
Indian Agency and in conjunction with the University of Nevada, funded the
1937-1940 Nevada Medicinal Plants Project.
While a coincidence of disparate factors inspired the project,
it took shape as a tightly choreographed effort under the direction
of W. A. Archer and B. Y. Morrison of the Bureau of Plant Industry.
A large group including Harry Sampson, Edith Murphey, and Percy and
Agnes Train was hired to comb Nevada, collecting plants and
interviewing Native Americans about plant uses. As you will
see, the results of the project were both exciting and frustrating.