Rich lands at Gold Butte offered another opportunity for protection

Gold Butte's Whitney Rocks

David Bly

Although Gold Butte is named for a nearby mining town, its natural riches are timeless.

Which is why this week legislation that would protect these lands was introduced yet again, granting these lands another opportunity for well-deserved recognition and conservation. This unique wild place has been proposed for protection numerous times and its preservation is long overdue. 

Located between the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the area known as Gold Butte covers almost 350,000 acres in southeastern Nevada. These wild lands boast rugged mountains, iconic Joshua trees and Mojave yucca, breathtaking sandstone formations and one-of-a-kind canyons. Its natural treasures have been long-cherished, as evidenced by exquisite rock art and numerous Native American artifacts. In addition, many desert wildlife call this place home, including the desert tortoise, big horn sheep, kit fox, coyote, golden eagles, jackrabbits, Gila monster, and several sensitive plants.
View the video below featuring Gold Butte in the series "This American Land":

The legislation proposed by Senator Reid and Congressman Steven Horsford specifies that this protected area would include both a large National Conservation Area as well as areas reserved as pristine wilderness. By protecting Gold Butte through two types of land designations, this bill aims to strike a balance between safeguarding the most sensitive areas and also keeping some places open for vehicular use.
Rock art and Native American artifacts are abundant at Gold Butte. Photo: T. Rylander
Both land types would offer recreation like hiking, camping, hunting, wildlife-watching and more. Therefore, Gold Butte is sure to attract tourists, bringing both recreation jobs and consumer dollars to Nevada’s economy.
For all of these reasons, we hope, and will be advocating for, this Congress to give Gold Butte, Nevada, the protection it has long deserved. 
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