FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friends of Gold Butte Applauds Basin and Range National Monument Designation
LAS VEGAS – July 10, 2015 –Today, President Obama signed a Proclamation to designate the Basin and Range National Monument. The President’s action preserves two pristine, unspoiled valleys that connect eight distinct mountain ranges in Nevada. This monument designation ensures that current and future generations can experience and appreciate this distinctive place for generations to come. Friends of Gold Butte and the 500 members we represent want to add our voice to the many diverse business and conservation leaders across the state supporting today’s designation.
“We are thrilled to see Basin and Range achieve the protection it deserves, and applaud President Obama, Senator Reid, and Congresswoman Titus for their unfailing support for conserving Nevada’s spectacular wild places,” said Jaina Moan, Executive Director for Friends of Gold Butte. “While today we celebrate, tomorrow we ask that the work not end at Basin and Range’s doorstep. Gold Butte and the surrounding area really is Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon, and this cultural, historic, and natural treasure deserves to be permanently protected.”
Gold Butte is 350,000 acres of BLM managed land located at the very southeastern tip of Nevada. As the largest tract of unspoiled Mojave Desert land in Nevada, Gold Butte provides habitat for threatened Mojave Desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, Gila monsters, and several endangered or sensitive plant species such as the Las Vegas bearpaw poppy which is found only in this region of the world.
Early Native Americans were the first settlers of Gold Butte. The area is a Traditional Lifeway sacred to the Moapa Band of Paiute and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribes. Abundant archaeological resources are found throughout Gold Butte, including traces of human habitation such as prehistoric rock art and shelters dating back over 12,000 years.
Concerned citizens have been actively working to protect Gold Butte for 15 years. In response to these efforts, Senator Harry Reid and Representative Dina Titus have recently re-introduced bills to protect Gold Butte. Senate Bill 199 and House Resolution 856 call for the creation of a National Conservation Area with Wilderness for the Gold Butte area.
“Due to recent events in the Gold Butte area, Gold Butte has seen an uptick in degradation of the landscape—from grave robbing to ATV’s going off the marked trails to petroglyph destruction,” said Tony Barron, Friends of Gold Butte Board President. “Gold Butte needs protection. Gold Butte richly deserves protection. The time to protect Gold Butte is now.”
About Friends of Gold Butte:
Friends of Gold Butte is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization with 500 members and a mission to achieve permanent protection for Gold Butte’s biological, geological and cultural resources through education, community outreach and advocacy.