FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Jaina Moan, Executive Director, Friends of Gold Butte, email@example.com / 702-208-8377
STATEMENT: Friends of Gold Butte Responds to the Release of the DOI Final Monument Report
Nevadans fought for decades to achieve a protected designation for the natural and cultural treasures in Gold Butte. We finally achieved that and we are now seeing real and positive results on the land. The Monument designation has been good for Gold Butte. Since the designation we have seen an increase in private and public funding and resources going to support restoration and research projects on the land. Visitation to the Monument has increased and plans to install interpretive and directional signage have been approved. Notably, hundreds of local citizens have participated in education and outreach projects that promote responsible enjoyment in Gold Butte National Monument.
We need to continue this good work. But, now, we remain in limbo over the fate of this Monument. The vague recommendations to modify boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument are a disappointing conclusion to an unnecessary, sham review process that has lacked transparency since the beginning. Secretary Zinke visited Nevada for less than 2 days. He canceled a meeting with supporters and refused to reschedule it. His review did not consider the opinions of thousands of people who expressed support for Gold Butte National Monument and the years of work that went into protecting this region, nor did it consider the millions of public comments that the Department of Interior received in support of all monuments.
Any reductions to the Gold Butte National Monument made through an Executive Order would not only be unlawful, they would have a negative effect on the preservation of our national treasure. The President does not have the authority to modify boundaries, and we are ready to challenge this matter in court. We will remain vigilant in protecting the boundaries of Nevada’s newest monument.
ABOUT THE MONUMENTS REVIEW: Earlier this year, President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced an executive order directing the Department of the Interior to review public lands that have been protected under the Antiquities Act since 1996. Nevada’s National Monuments, Gold Butte and Basin & Range, are part of this review. Nationally, more than 2.7 million comments (more than 90,000 on Gold Butte and Basin & Range specifically) poured in during the Interior Department’s 60-day comment period – a record-breaking response. More than 98 percent of all comments received expressed support for maintaining or expanding national monuments.