New legislation would give Gold Butte long-overdue protection

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

That is why legislation has been introduced to protect these lands yet again, granting the area another opportunity for well-deserved and long-overdue recognition and conservation.

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. It is a treasure trove of cultural, historic, and natural wonders.

View a map of the area below:

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These wonders include thousands of petroglyphs; historic mining- and pioneer-era artifacts; rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave desert tortoise and desert big horn sheep; dramatic geologic features like "hobgoblins" and rock spires; and fossil track-sites dating back 170 to 180 million years ago.

In addition, Gold Butte is an amazing place where people can experience the great outdoors through hiking, hunting, birding, camping, ORV riding on designated trails, and many other activities, including traditional tribal uses.

View the video below featuring Gold Butte in the series "This American Land":

The legislation introduced by Senator Reid specifies that this protected area would include both a large national conservation area and 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. Credit: 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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