Gold Butte National Monument is one of the four National Monuments the Trump administration wants to slash! On December 4th, President Trump traveled to Utah to announce his plans to gut the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to allow for fossil fuel development. On December 5th, the ax fell on Nevada's Gold Butte National Monument when Secretary Zinke's final National Monument Review Report was released. We will release more details as they become available, along with how you can take action!
Below is an excerpt from the report detailing the recommendations for Gold Butte, followed by links to the National Monument Proclamation from December 2016, the National Monument Review Final Report in full, and the Department of Interior's press release.
The Gold Butte section of Zinke's Report:
• The Gold Butte National Monument (GBNM) was established by Presidential
Proclamation No. 9559 on December 28, 2016, and consists of 296,937 acres managed
by BLM and the Bureau of Reclamation in Clark County, Nevada.
• The resources identified in the Proclamation include the biologic, archaeologic, and areas
of spiritual significance to American Indian tribes.
• There have been multiple legislative attempts to designate this area under protective land
designations, beginning in 2008 and concluding in 2015, which were unsuccessful.
• Lands within GBNM are managed with some level of a protective designation, either
under the existing land-use plan or as designated Wilderness (28,787 acres) or
Wilderness Study Areas (28,454 acres). The GBNM is also overlapped by Areas of
Critical Environmental Concern designated by BLM.
• The local water district has historic water rights for six springs and provides water for the
City of Mesquite. Five of the six water district springs are located within the boundaries
• The GBNM Proclamation inaccurately states that livestock has not been permitted in the
GBNM area since 1998 and therefore prevents issuing any new grazing permits or leases.
In fact, there are four active grazing allotments administered by the Arizona Strip
District, either fully or partially contained within GBNM, which have been authorized
• The Proclamation should be amended, through the use of appropriate authority, including
lawful exercise of your discretion granted by the Act, to ensure compliance with the
provisions and intent of the Act while also prioritizing public access; infrastructure
upgrades, repair, and maintenance; traditional use; tribal cultural use; and hunting and
fishing rights. The proclamation should also be amended to address inaccuracies related
to active grazing allotments.
• The boundary should be revised through the use of appropriate authority, including
lawful exercise of your discretion granted by the Act, to ensure that the monument
reservation is limited to the smallest area compatible with the protection of the objects
identified and protect historic water rights.
• You should request congressional authority to enable tribal co-management of designated
cultural areas within the revised GBNM boundaries.
• The management plan should be developed to protect objects and prioritize public access;
infrastructure upgrades, repair, and maintenance; traditional use; tribal cultural use; and
hunting and fishing rights.
• The DOI should work with Congress to secure funding for adequate infrastructure and
management needs to protect objects effectively.
Here are other documents relevant to the review:
Patagonia Founder, Yvon Chouinard's Letter to House of Representatives
National Monument Review Final Report
Department of Interior's press release
Gold Butte National Monument Proclamation, December 28, 2016