Last week, the following letter was delivered to Senator Harry Reid and Representative Dina Titus in support of protecting Gold Butte and Basin and Range. The signers of this letter represent the fabric of our communities in Nevada. They are business leaders and owners who work hard to promote our state and further develop our economy, educators—both public schools and higher education, community leaders who are active in conservation organizations and some who have even served in elected office. They are individuals who share one common trait—a deep-seated love for our state and a commitment to preserving our natural treasures for future generations. Friends of Gold Butte thanks the signers of this letter. We appreciate your support for our treasured places.
Dear Senator Reid and Representative Dina Titus,
We represent a diverse group of business leaders, conservation and outdoor recreation organizations, educators, community activists and individuals concerned with the protection of Nevada’s public lands. We write to respectfully urge you to permanently protect Nevada’s Gold Butte and Basin and Range regions.
Nevada’s public lands are among the most spectacular in the nation, offering majestic mountain ranges, unspoiled valleys, and unlimited recreational opportunities. From Lake Tahoe to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, these natural treasures help define who we are as a state. Nevadans share public lands for a wide range of activities, such as mining, ranching, hunting, recreation, and more. They contribute to the economic health of our state and improve Nevadans’ quality of life.
Too important to be ignored is the intrinsic value of Nevada’s public lands. Gold Butte and Basin and Range are just two sterling examples of areas that deserve immediate and permanent protection. Gold Butte is Nevada’s Piece of the Grand Canyon. Located between the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Gold Butte has critical archeological, geological, and cultural significance. These wonders include thousands of petroglyphs; historic mining and pioneer-era artifacts; dramatic geologic features like sculpted red sandstone and rock spires; fossil track sites dating back 170-180 million years ago; and important habitat for desert tortoise, bighorn sheep and more.
Basin and Range comprises eight distinct and magnificent mountain ranges, along with the unspoiled Garden and Coal Valleys. The region is beloved by Nevadans and visitors from around the country who hike, camp, hunt, bike, climb, and explore art and cultural sites in the great outdoors just a few hours from Las Vegas. As part of America’s “Great Basin,” these valleys are home to some of Nevada’s best archeological sites, critical habitat for plants and animals found nowhere else, and one of the biggest outdoor contemporary art sculptures in the world, Michael Heizer’s “City.”
Recent studies by Headwaters Economics, Center for Western Priorities and more have shown that protection of public lands contributes significant economic benefits to nearby communities in the form of increased tourism and businesses opportunities. Protecting both Gold Butte and Basin and Range will bring exciting new economic opportunities to Southern Nevada, will create jobs, and will improve the quality of life for Southern Nevada families.
Future generations of Americans deserve to experience these wondrous landscapes as they are today. Therefore, we urge Congress and the Administration to take whatever steps necessary to ensure permanent protection for Basin and Range and Gold Butte before it is too late. Now is the time to protect Nevada’s spectacular wild places!
Thank you for your time and urgent attention to this issue.
Paul De Patta, Conservationist, Las Vegas, NV
James Campos, Individual, Las Vegas, NV
Sam Liberman, Community Activist, Las Vegas, NV
Brian DiMarzio, Conservationist, Las Vegas, NV
Coutney Hicks-Pace, Individual, Reno, NV
Jennifer Furman-Born, Educator, Henderson, NV
Rick Minnozzi, Business Leader, Las Vegas, NV
Marla Turner, Community Activist, Las Vegas, NV
Brian McAnallen, Individual, Las Vegas, NV
April Mastroluca, Conservationist, Henderson, NV
Paul Aizley, Conservationist, Las Vegas, NV
Mary Riddel, Educator, Blue Diamond, NV
Marilyn Dondero Loop, Community Activist, Las Vegas, NV
Paul Pace, Individual, Reno, NV
Gerry Born, Educator, Henderson, NV
Nittaya Parawong, Business Leader, Las Vegas, NV
Christopher Hudgins, Educator, Las Vegas, NV
Jon Garman, Individual, Reno, NV
Chris Brooks, Community Activist, Las Vegas, NV
Bart Patterson, Educator, Las Vegas, NV
Sondra Cosgrove, Community Activist, Las Vegas, NV
Chris Miller, Community Activist, Las Vegas, NV
Kim Novi, Individual, Sparks, NV
Jenny Talancon, Individual, Reno, NV
Abbi Whitaker, Business Leader, Reno, NV
Kate Marshall, Community Leader, Reno, NV
Pam Egan, Individual, Las Vegas, NV
Marc Abelman, Business Leader, Las Vegas, NV
Tom Skancke, Individual, Las Vegas, NV