Dear Governor Sandoval and Senator Heller,
I support preserving and protecting Nevada’s Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments.
Since President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law in 1906, 16 Presidents – 8 Republicans and 8 Democrats – have used the authority granted by the act to safeguard public lands, oceans, and historic sites in order to share America’s story with future generations. The Antiquities Act offers each president an opportunity to preserve a lasting legacy.
In April 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order calling for a “review” of Nevada’s Basin and Range and Gold Butte National Monuments. As a part of this “review” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke promised Nevadans he would visit Nevada’s monuments and talk to Nevadans about our national monuments. Sadly, like this national monument review, the Secretary’s visit to Nevada was an insult to Nevadans and the places we love. Secretary Zinke spent less than a day in Nevada visiting our national monuments while ignoring national monument supporters.
Nevadan’s fought long and hard to protect these special places. Nevada’s national monument designations were the results of years of discussions that reflected community negotiations and compromise on all sides to protect some of Nevada’s most spectacular and unique landscapes. Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments are exactly the types of landscapes the Antiquities Act was enacted to conserve. Containing thousands of cultural sites and artifacts, rare and threatened species, scenic and scientific wonders and the monumental work of art, City, these monuments are cherished by tens of thousands of people across the state, the nation, and the world as evidenced by the international tourism they attract and the over 90,000 comments submitted in support of preserving these two monuments.
What’s more protecting special places like Gold Butte National Monument encourages tourism, increases expenditures at local businesses, and creates a desirable place for people to live and work. Nevadans have a lot to gain by protecting public lands. Secretary Zinke should have done his job and talked to the people of Nevada and see how the over 80% of Nevadans support our national monuments. This rushed review and hour’s long visit is not the Nevada way. In Nevada we make sure to talk to all sides and make sure all voices are heard. It is time for you, as Nevada’s lawmakers, to lead and let Secretary Zinke know this is NOT how we do things in Nevada. It’s time to forget this review and permanently remove Nevada’s national monuments from this review.
Please tell Secretary Zinke to remove Nevada’s national monuments from this review list and keep our monuments whole and intact.