Just two hours from the lights of Las Vegas lies an incredible landscape of limitless valleys and majestic mountain ranges. Garden Valley and Coal Valley are two unspoiled basins framed by incredible mountain ranges and peaks that tower overhead. On July 10 2015, President Barack Obama designated the Basin and Range National Monument to permanently protect both the basin and the range - thereby keeping intact wildlife corridors, preserving important prehistoric sites, and ensuring this special corner of Nevada remains pristine for future generations to enjoy. Sign the petition to thank President Obama, Senator Reid, and Congresswoman Dina Titus for their efforts in protecting Basin and Range.
Conservation in the Nevada has primarily focused on mountain ranges – Great Basin National Park, most of Nevada’s Wilderness Areas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, all primarily protect mountains. The Basin and Range National Monument is one of the first land designations that protects some of America’s last remaining valleys.
The Basin and Range National Monument safeguards this area’s natural beauty, sensitive areas, wildlife and rare plants, and preserves this scenic treasure so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Outdoor recreation and tourism are a vital part of the Nevada economy. While visitors may come to Nevada to visit the casinos and bright lights, many stay to experience its natural beauty and resources.
The Outdoor Industry Association found that active outdoor recreation generates 148,000 jobs across Nevada, $1 billion in state and local tax revenue and produces $14.9 billion annually in consumer spending.
Recent research found that national monuments added millions of dollars to the economies of communities close to them, and added hundreds of new jobs in addition to increasing per capita income.
Permanent protection allows current outdoor recreation and current valid land use such as grazing, to continue.
In addition, the Bureau of Land Management will be prevented from selling any land or granting permits for oil or mineral prospecting in order to preserve wildlife habitat, archaeological sites and other natural and cultural resources in the region.
Only about two percent of the Basin and Range National Monument has been investigated for archaeological resources, so archaeological information for this area is currently limited.
However the high site density in many of the areas that have been investigated suggests that the Monument has the potential to provide important information about use of this portion of the Basin and Range province from the Paleoindian period through the present.
The goal for the future would be to conduct substantially more archaeological inventory in order to better understand the area’s prehistoric and historic land use and cultural resources.
National Conservation Lands
Now that the Basin and Range region is permanently protected, it will gain national recognition as part of our National Conservation Lands. The publicly-owned lands in the Basin and Range area will continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The National Conservation Lands are protected public lands and waterways that have joined the ranks of our national parks and wildlife refuges as special places that preserve our natural, historical and scientific treasures. These treasures range from national monuments like the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Protecting intact mountain and valley systems demands a landscape approach to conservation. Valleys in the Great Basin region are often fragmented by roads, developed for housing, agriculture or other purposes.
The Basin and Range National Monument is only one of the only few protected lands to protect two spectacular and unspoiled valleys – Garden Valley and the neighboring Coal Valley – as well as the connections between eight distinct mountain ranges.
Map of Nevada's new National Monument: Basin and Range
Text and photos from ProtectBasinandRange.org