LAS VEGAS - The U.S. Postal Service celebrated Nevada statehood by dedicating a Forever Stamp to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Known by several nicknames - the Silver State, the Battle Born State, the Sagebrush State - Nevada became the 36th state Oct. 31, 1864.

"Nevada is truly one of our nation's most beautiful treasures," said former Nevada Congressman and current U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Vice Chairman James Bilbray. "With so much to choose from, it was difficult to decide on an image the size of a postage stamp to adequately depict Nevada's revered beauty and history. We chose to feature the Fire Canyon in Nevada's first state park, the Valley of Fire. The canyon's natural sandstone formations are just one of the state's breathtaking landscapes."

The Nevada Statehood Forever Stamp is available at Post Offices, online at usps.com/stamps, at the Postal Store on eBay at ebay.com/stamps, and by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

The Story Behind the Stamp

Bilbray said artist Ron Spears, of Reno, created his first sketches for the stamp on-site in Fire Canyon.

"Spears has a deep appreciation for the area, which he visits often, and he was especially keen to paint the scene in the morning light," explained Bilbray. "He created his painting in the fall when the light was low and strong. Facing south, Spears captured the scene at dawn when the sandstone glows in shades of brilliant reds and yellows - a result of various quantities of iron in the rock - highlighted by deep purple and blue shadows.