Protections for Nevada’s Gold Butte could be decided Tuesday

Gold Butte, Nevada. Photo by David Bly.

A proposal to protect areas of Nevada’s dramatic Gold Butte National Conservation Area could be decided this Tuesday when Nevada’s Clark County Commission votes on a resolution to support selected areas for Wilderness designation.

It is not hard to appreciate that this spectacular region characterized by dramatic sandstone formations and red rock cliffs, and thousands of Native American petroglyphs and prehistoric sites, needs to be protected.

Due to its abundance of wildlife and cultural icons, Gold Butte is a haven for nature, history and outdoor enthusiasts. However with this welcomed influx of visitors comes irresponsible off-roading recreation that causes environmental damage. Perhaps more troubling, vandalism of cultural sites have been reported, and Native American rock art and other cultural sites have been punctured with bullet holes and painted with graffiti.

If the commission votes to support wilderness designation, the U.S. Congress could consider legislation as early as this year to permanently protect areas of Gold Butte as wilderness.

Wilderness designation would help protect the region’s spectacular cultural resources, such as prehistoric rock shelters and roasting pits dating back over 4,000 years and to 400 B.C., respectively.

Encompassing the Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, and Colorado Plateau desert life zones, Gold Butte is home to a variety of desert animals, such as the Desert Tortoise, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Golden Eagles, and plants, such as the only pocket of Arizona cypress in Nevada.

For years, The Wilderness Society and local partners, such as Friends of Gold Butte, have been advocating for wilderness designation at Gold Butte.

The communities surrounding Gold Butte appreciate all that the area has to offer, so it is no wonder that there is not a shortage of support for Gold Butte wilderness protection.

Just ask the Friends of Gold Butte or Bob Challinor from the Desert Valley Times who said that decision makers “need to camp out under the stars to understand the passion people have for clear night skies not smeared by light pollution…They need to get up close with petroglyphs to see the treasures Friends of Gold Butte want to protect.”

To see what you can do to ensure that the Clark County Commission votes in favor of the resolution to support Gold Butte National Conservation Area with Wilderness designation, please visit: www.friendsofgoldbutte.org.

Watch our video below about Gold Butte and other wilderness treasures awaiting protection.

photo: Gold Butte, Nevada. Photo by David Bly.

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