Frequently Asked Questions
Gold Butte is Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon and a treasure trove of cultural, historic, and natural wonders.
These wonders include thousands of petroglyphs; historic mining- and pioneer-era artifacts; rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep; dramatic geologic features like sculpted red sandstone and rock spires; and fossil track-sites dating back 170 to 180 million years ago.
In addition, Gold Butte is an amazing place open to multiple uses where people can experience the great outdoors through hiking, hunting, birding, camping, ORV riding on legal roads and routes, and traditional tribal uses.
- Protects cultural, historical and natural treasures: A national monument designation will keep Gold Butte the way it is for the enjoyment of current and future generations. It will ensure that special cultural, historical and natural resources are permanently safeguarded for now and for future generations.
- Support our local economies: Protected public lands create visibility for local communities. This can play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining people and businesses which would boost the local economy. For example, a recent economic study showed that protecting Gold Butte may support a 60% increase in the number of local jobs (Applied Analysis, 2015).
- Protect existing rights: A national monument honors existing public access and infrastructure rights-of-ways. This designation applies only to federal lands, and does not apply to private land.
- Enhance access for public input: The management of a national monument takes into consideration local priorities. Our communities would have an opportunity to provide local input when a Gold Butte National Monument management plan was developed.
Locals and visitors to the national monument will continue to have access to outdoor recreation activities including, but not limited to, horseback riding, camping, hiking, climbing, hunting, birding, traditional tribal uses, mountain biking and riding ORVs on legal roads.
No. The national monument will not impact any existing or future use of water. In addition, federal designation would not affect any allocation of water or water rights nor create any new water rights. Moreover, any designation would honor any valid existing rights-of-ways.
Yes. The national monument allows broad access for a variety of uses. Motorized travel in Gold Butte is allowed on legal roads and routes. These existing legal roads give locals and visitors continued access to outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, hunting, birding, camping, and ORV riding.
Nothing. Any federal designation applies only to federal lands, and does not apply to private land, there are absolutely no additional regulations on private land from any federal designation. Further, private property owners are guaranteed access to their land.
No. Any existing rights-of-way would not be affected, as the designation is subject to valid existing rights.
No. The national monument designation will not impact livestock grazing in the region as there are no legal active grazing leases within Gold Butte. These leases were retired nearly 20 years ago by Clark County to protect threatened and endangered species in the area.
Yes, a national monument designation ensures our public lands are managed with local input to facilitate careful, responsible enjoyment of public lands. The management of these areas takes into consideration local priorities which may include assessing opportunities to preserve cultural and historic sites, improving management of recreational experiences, and enhancing and restoring native plants and wildlife habitat.
The community will be invited to participate in a formal public planning process with Bureau of Land Management – the agency which manages these lands – to help develop a Gold Butte National Monument management plan.
No. A national monument designation does not create Wilderness. It takes an act of Congress to designate Wilderness areas. Wilderness areas cannot be established by presidential proclamation.
Protected public lands create visibility for local communities which can play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining people and businesses, and boosting local economies. Statewide, the outdoor recreational economy creates 47,000 jobs and $150 billion in revenue (Outdoor Industry Association, 2013).
A recent economic study showed that protecting Gold Butte may contribute nearly $2.7 million per year and provide a 60% increase in the number of jobs (Applied Analysis, 2015). Other studies have shown that where national monuments had been established, jobs, quality of life, and personal wealth increased in the surrounding areas (Headwaters Economics, 2014).
Mesquite is the gateway to Gold Butte and can benefit from increased tourists drawn to a nationally recognized and protected treasure that a national monument designation creates.