NVSHPO Regional Coordinators, Betty Conway & Michele Burkett
Gold Butte National Monument contains a great number of cultural and historic treasures. If you have spent time in Gold Butte hiking you probably have viewed some of these amazing reminders of those who came before us. Unfortunately, these treasures are subject to vandalism, theft, and natural deterioration. Federal and state laws protect archeological resources and those who steal or vandalize these resources can face criminal prosecution and fines.
In 2005 a statewide site steward program was established – the Nevada Site Stewardship Program (NSSP). This was managed by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). In 2013, a similar program in Clark County merged with the state program. Volunteers receive training and are provided confidential site information. They are tasked with monitoring their site quarterly. They become experts on their site and report to SHPO and to the managing federal agency on the condition of the site at each of their visits. They may contribute information that can help in the apprehension and conviction of those responsible for criminal actions.
In addition to the stewards, however, our best resource for protection and preservation of these resources is the education and assistance of all those who visit these areas. The following are some things you can you do to help keep these sites pristine and preserve them for future generations.
- Leave artifacts in their place. The exact location of each artifact tells a story, and rebuilding stone walls or piling together pottery fragments can destroy the past. If you pick up and look at artifacts, be sure to put them back where you found them.
- Stay on trails, and keep pets leashed around archaeological sites. Erosion can damage or destroy sites.
- Hands off rock imagery. Oils and dirt from our hands can, over time, damage ancient rock images.
- Do not draw, chalk, or paint on or around cultural sites.
- If you observe sites that have been disturbed, please take time to report your observations using the link below:
Thank you for your help.