Thanks to everyone who attended the Mesquite City Council meeting on April 14. Although the council voted to rescind previous council resolutions regarding Gold Butte, all council members reaffirmed their support of a National Conservation Area (NCA) designation for Gold Butte. Our presence and voices at that meeting made a difference.
Now we are called to action again.
On April 28, the Mesquite City Council will vote on Resolution 867. In this resolution, the council is asserting that the area of the proposed NCA be cut in half. This is a dangerous proposal. Drawing the boundary at Whitney Pockets would fail to protect habitat for the desert bighorn sheep and the desert tortoise. It would remove the area of Black Ridge (including Little Virgin Peak), half of Bitter Ridge north, and the Virgin Mountains Instant Study Area from NCA protection. We need your voice and presence to tell the Mesquite City Council that Gold Butte needs protection in its entirety.
Take Action – The Mayor and City Council need to hear from you!
1. Please email the Mesquite City Council and tell them to uphold their support for protecting Gold Butte in its entirety. Even if you have already emailed the Council about this issue, please email them again! Click here to send an email to Mesquite’s Mayor and City Council. Scroll down for sample talking points and emails.
2. Attend the Mesquite City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 28 at 5 p.m. to stand up and be counted among those fighting to protect Gold Butte.
What: Mesquite City Council Meeting
When: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Mesquite City Hall, 10 E. Mesquite Blvd.
Sample Talking Points:
- It is important for the City of Mesquite to support an NCA for Gold Butte in its entirety. Drawing the line at Whitney Pockets will not provide adequate protection for the Virgin Mountain area, Black Ridge including Little Virgin Peak, and half of Bitter Ridge north.
- These areas are critical habitat for numerous wildlife species, including desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, the banded Gila monster, great horned owls and a great variety of reptiles, birds and mammals.
- The Virgin Mountains contribute to the Virgin River watershed. Protecting the Virgin Mountains also protects our water resources.
- The Virgin Mountains contain several unique botanical regions including stands of Douglas-fir, white pine, and ponderosa pine and contain the only existing pocket of Arizona cypress in Nevada.
- The northern edge of the Virgin Mountains contain several sites of historic value including mining sites and check dams that were installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
- With NCA protection for the entire area, locals and visitors will be able to continue experiencing the great outdoors through hiking, hunting, birding, camping, ORV riding on designated trails, and traditional tribal uses for generations to come.
- Protecting Gold Butte will enhance the region’s status as an important destination for tourism, while conserving important resources from ongoing damage from unregulated activities.
Sample Email to Mesquite City Council
Dear Council Member,
I am writing to let you know that I support permanent protection for Gold Butte. I am greatly concerned that the recommended cuts to the Gold Butte NCA in Resolution 867 will not adequately protect some of the natural and historic resources found in Gold Butte. As representatives for the City of Mesquite, it is imperative you support NCA designation for Gold Butte in its entirety. If the boundary of the NCA starts at Whitney Pockets, over half of the Gold Butte region will be unprotected including the Virgin Mountains and Black Ridge. Not only are these areas critical habitat for the desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep, they also provide invaluable ecosystem services such as ensuring clean water for our district.
Protecting Gold Butte would keep the area open to multiple uses, so people can continue to experience the great outdoors through hiking, hunting, birding, camping, ORV riding on designated trails, and traditional tribal uses for generations to come. Due to recent events in the area, Gold Butte has seen an uptick in degradation of the landscape—from grave robbing, to ATVs going off the marked trails, to petroglyph destruction, to lack of land management due to threatening circumstances. It is reckless for the City Council of Mesquite to send a message that we don’t care about protecting all of Gold Butte.
I urge you to revise this resolution so that Mesquite can send the message that it cares about protecting all of Gold Butte. Thank you.