May 23, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Marion 702.283.0813
Bill Introduced to Protect Gold Butte
Citizens cheer Senator Reid’s commitment to the land and local economy
Gold Butte, NV—Protect Nevada, a broad coalition of community and business leaders and conservation organizations, applauds Senator Harry Reid for introducing legislation to protect Gold Butte, Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon. The coalition has been advocating protecting these public lands for more than ten years.
“We are thrilled that Senator Reid recognizes all the amazing things about Gold Butte,” said Nancy Hall with Friends of Gold Butte. “This diverse landscape represents our cultural history with petroglyphs dating back centuries, it is home to threatened species, and it provides top notch recreational opportunities including hiking, photography, and bicycle and ORV riding.”
The Gold Butte National Conservation Area Act will designate a nearly 350,000 acre National Conservation Area (NCA) with 129,500 acres of wilderness on public lands just south of Mesquite. In addition, 92,000 acres of lands currently being managed as wilderness within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area will be formally designated.
An NCA designation will highlight Gold Butte as a “go to destination,” giving it a star on a map and improved management plan. Wilderness designation will safeguard the most wild, but also fragile parts of the area, ensuring that it is conserved “as is” for generations to come.
Widespread support for protection of Gold Butte includes business owners, hikers, hunters, riders, civic organizations and labor unions.
“Land protection is about making sure that wildlife habitats and historic and prehistoric resources such as this are preserved for people to enjoy forever. Gold Butte in Nevada meets that standard, as part of one of our nation’s most valued natural treasures, the Grand Canyon,” said Sig Rogich, President of Rogich Communications Group. “This is not a partisan issue; it’s a cultural one, for land that can be sustained with a balanced management approach.”
Among the multiple uses of the area are a variety of hunting opportunities, including upland gamebirds and mule deer. “Some of the best hunting comes on protected lands,” said Chris Mero, chair of the Southern Nevada Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. “Wilderness designation will keep the most wild areas of Gold Butte unchanged, making for amazing wildlife habitat, while still keeping the roads and trails open to ensure access to our go-to shooting spots.”
Hunting and other recreational opportunities are what bring people out to use our public lands. Local business leaders recognize that they are a true economic driver for the community.
“Thank you, Senator Reid, for recognizing that our state’s multi-billion dollar outdoor industry requires stewardship,” said Jared Fisher, president of Escape Adventures. “The addition of Gold Butte to our map of destinations in Southern Nevada will be important for businesses like mine to grow, creating more jobs and more opportunities for all Nevadans.”
“We are very thankful to Senator Reid for understanding the importance of preserving Gold Butte,” added Hall. “And we look forward to Congressman Horsford’s bill on the House side, which is forthcoming, and are working with his office to ensure he has what he needs to make Mesquite the ‘Gateway to Gold Butte’.”
Protect Nevada is dedicated to safeguarding Gold Butte’s natural and cultural resources and recreational opportunities, while making sure that the fragile desert landscape is protected for generations to come.